Bringing the drama and the excitement, there is almost too much going on in racing this week. From Danica Patrick landing her final racing ride for the Indy 500 to a scuffle between the Formula 1 and Formula E bosses, here is what happened this week in racing.
Featured image: The Haas F1 car did it better with the Halo after the reveal of their 2018 car this week. Image rendering from Haas F1 team Twitter.
The Halos are coming…
This week, Williams and Haas revealed their 2018 cars. While some, like the Haas F1 car managed to make the thonged accessory not so horrid looking, others, like the Williams’ 2018 design, made it appear as the full-on sandal we were all desperately hoping it would not be.
Don’t fret though, expect more reveals of the cars in the next couple of weeks as teams gear up for testing prior to the Australian Grand Prix on March 25th.
Sky Sports with ESPN
As you know, Disney-owned ESPN took over the F1 media coverage from NBC Sports at the end of 2017. As we say farewell to some of our favorite NBCSN announcers, we look to ESPN to step up the game. Announced on Tuesday, ESPN will partner with Sky Sports, using the Sky Sports F1 commentary team, including former drivers like Damon Hill and Martin Brundle, as well as their presenters Simon Lazenby, Ted Kravitz, David Croft, Rachel Brookes and Natalie Pinkham.
(And if you do miss Leigh Diffey (like we know you do), he’ll be announcing IndyCar for the 2018 season, a great reason to watch IndyCar.)
Australian GP, March 25
Patrick gets a ride for 500 (the Indy one)
While answering questions at Media Day for NASCAR’s Daytona 500, Danica Patrick slipped her confirmed ride for May’s Indy 500 with Ed Carpenter Racing.
The 2018 IndyCar grid complete
The IndyCar Grid is finally complete with the announcement of Zachary Claman De Melo and Pietro Fittipaldi riding for Dale Coyne this season. Here’s who to look for going full time in 2018, starting with St. Pete next month:
A.J. Foyt Racing – #4 Matheus Leist (R); #14 Tony Kanaan
Carlin Racing – #23 Charlie Kimball; #59 Max Chilton
Ed Carpenter Racing – #20 Ed Carpenter and Jordan King (R); #21 Spencer Pigot
Harding Racing – #88 Gabby Chaves
Team Penske – #1 Josef Newgarden; #12 Will Power; #22 Simon Pagenaud
Andretti Autosport – #26 Zach Veach (R); #27 Alexander Rossi; #28 Ryan Hunter-Reay; #98 Marco Andretti
Chip Ganassi Racing – #9 Scott Dixon; #10 Ed Jones
Dale Coyne Racing – #18 Sebastien Bourdais; #19 Zachary Claman De Melo (R) and Pietro Fittipaldi
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing – #15 Graham Rahal; #30 Takuma Sato
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – #5 James Hinchcliffe; #6 Robert Wickens (R)
There will be some part-time drivers joining the field on the occasional circuit. Juncos Racing (with Chevrolet engines), will have rookie Kyle Kaiser and Rene Binder. Michael Shank Racing with SPM (and Honda engines), will have Jack Harvey in the #60 car for six races, and of course Team Penske will have Helio Castroneves for the month of May returning in the #3.
#TeamIndyCar back-to-back wins
The Amazing Race saga continued this week on CBS with a double-header sending teams to Bahrain and Thailand. Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly had one leg up in the first stop, Bahrain, considering their experience in F1 and the Bahrain circuit. The two cleared the first hour of challenge, winning $7500 each. Next stop was Thailand and an uncomfortable experience of eating and/or wearing scorpions. Landing another win, they are one of four teams left competing in the series. Catch up on CBS.com and stay tuned next week to see if they can take the checkered for this season (and if you can hear more racing puns like that one from Daly).
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, March 11
Sebring test entries revealed
IMSA’s sanctioned test at Sebring February 20-22 will see 35 cars on the field. Noteable changes from the Rolex 24 race include Corvette only running one car for testing, and the British-American United Autosports Ligier JS P217-Gibson entry (which will run part-time in the IMSA series).
Le Mans 2018 field revealed
Le Mans is still four months away, but the complete field listing has been revealed. 60 cars will run the legendary circuit for 24 hours in June, including 10 LMP1 cars, 20 LMP2s, 13 GTE Am cars and 17 GTE Pro cars (the equivalent of IMSA’s GTLM class). See the field and details here from Racer.com.
66th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, March 17
Who will do it better, Formula 1 or Formula E?
This day was bound to come as the automotive climate shifts to more hybrid and electric vehicles, with manufacturers like Volvo pledging to be hybrid/electric by 2020, and the jump of manufacturers, like Porsche, to the Formula E series for that reason. The boss of Formula E, Alejandro Agag stated Formula E will eventually be the replacement pinnacle for Formula 1, where Formula 1’s Chase Carey absolutely disagrees. Just imagine what this blurb would look like if former Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone were still at the reigns.
Mexico City E-Prix, March 3