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A Triple-Action Weekend: A Recap of the F1, F1 Academy, and IndyCar Races

It was a fast-paced weekend as it marked the beginning of the season for the F1 Academy and IndyCar, while Formula 1 had their second race of the season in Saudi Arabia. The weekend was filled with action from maiden wins to debuts and everything in between. 

Formula 1

The weekend started pretty ordinary with all teams participating in both free practices on Thursday and Friday. Things began to take a turn for the “smooth operator” Carlos Sainz as he began to feel ill. After being diagnosed with appendicitis, Sainz was no longer able to participate in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. To race in his place would be none other than Ferrari Academy driver and F2 Prema Racing driver Oliver “Ollie” Bearman.  Bearman is currently part of the 2024 F2 grid and racing for Prema Racing. Due to the late notice, Bearman was only able to test the car out for the third free practice before participating in the qualifying session. During the qualifying session, the 18-year-old surprised the fans and also the veterans on the grid. He was .064 seconds away from making it to the top 10 in the qualifying session. For Saturday’s race he started 11th on the grid. After overtaking quite a few drivers, Bearman finished in seventh place and earned driver of the day. Max Verstappen might have been the winner of the race, but all eyes were on Bearman that night.

F1 Academy

Courtesy of Clive Mason/Getty Images

This past weekend also marked the beginning of the season for the F1 Academy at Saudi Arabia. The F1 Academy weekends work differently than F1 weekends. During the F1 Academy weekends, there are two races that occur. The first race was won by newcomer Doriane Pin who races for Prema Racing. It is Pin’s first year at the F1 Academy, and she is being sponsored by the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team. While being sponsored by the F1 team, she is also part of the Mercedes Junior Development program. The second race was won by returner Abbi Pulling, who currently races for Rodin Motorsport and is sponsored by BWT Alpine. The exciting start to the season has only fueled the excitement for fans for what is to come. The F1 Academy season only has seven races and the next will be May 2 through May 4 in Miami, FL.


Courtesy of Brian Fahie/

The IndyCar season kicked off March 10 in St. Petersburg, FL. Team Penske Dallara driver Josef Newgarden started first on the grid for the 100-lap race. On the first lap of the race, Newgarden had a clean start while Scott McLaughlin, who drives for Team Penske, gained three spots. By lap 27, there was an accident caused by Marcus Armstrong, driver for Chip Ganassi Racing, when he hit a tire barrier. After making a pit stop on lap 28, Newgarden came out in third while Meyer Shank Racing driver Felix Rosenqvist remained in second and Wayne Taylor Racing driver Colton Herta took the lead. Unfortunately, on the 35th lap of the race, AJ Foyt Racing driver Sting Ray Robb was eliminated from the race due to a brake failure.  By the 90th lap, it was clear that Newgarden would be taking the season opener win. In second was Arrow McLaren SP driver Patricio “Pato” O’Ward, who earned his second consecutive runner-up finish in the streets of St. Petersburg. To finish off the podium was Scott McLaughlin.

The action-packed weekend is the first of many that will happen this season. With multiple races coinciding with another along the way, this motorsport season will be far from boring. 

Edited by: Kendall Merriett

Social Media Content Created by: Callista Carreiro

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