McLaren target historic Monaco Grand Prix and Indy 500 double victory on huge motorsport day | F1 News

The Monaco Grand Prix and Indy 500 are two of motorsport’s biggest events and McLaren have the opportunity to win both races this Sunday.

If McLaren’s recent F1 form is anything to go by, Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri will be in the mix to compete for pole position on Saturday to set themselves up for a special Monaco win on Sunday when the lights go out at 2pm – live on Sky Sports F1.

Over in the United States, the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 will begin at 5.45pm, live on Sky Sports F1’s YouTube channel and the Sky Sports F1 channel itself, where McLaren have four drivers going for glory.

IndyCar is very competitive but the Indy 500 takes that to a new extreme as 33 drivers battle it out on a 2.5-mile oval for 200 laps, hitting speeds in excess of 220mph while going side by side.

Credit - McLaren F1/AP Photo
McLaren’s Senna-inspired Monaco GP livery (top) and their IndyCar (bottom) Credit: McLaren F1/AP Photo

The Penske team start with the advantage after locking out the three front-row positions for the rolling start, with New Zealander Scott McLaughlin on pole thanks to a a record four-lap pole speed of 234.220mph.

Alexander Rossi, who won the Indy 500 on his debut in 2016 and traditionally goes well on ovals, is the first of the Arrow McLaren team quartet of cars in fourth on the grid. Debuting NASCAR star Kyle Larson is fifth, with Pato O’Ward eighth and Britain’s Callum Ilott, a former F2 race winner and Ferrari academy driver, in 15th.

Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the race, O’Ward expressed confidence in McLaren’s prospects as they chase a first win in the IndyCar showpiece since returning to the US series full-time in 2020.

“We have had a great month so far. Arrow McLaren have given us some great race cars,” he said.

“I was cheering hard for Alex and Kyle to try and break up that Penske front row. But they can enjoy their front-row picture, we will be making them sweat coming from second and third row.

Pato O’Ward in practice action around the Brickyard

“It has been great having Callum as well. It’s the Indy 500 – it’s the greatest event in the world!”

O’Ward, a five-time race winner in IndyCar, starts in the top eight for the third year running.

The 25-year-old will be aiming to go one better than the 2022 race when he finished second to former Sauber F1 driver Marcus Ericsson, with the pair then colliding when in the top three last year with eight laps to go in a race that O’Ward had led most laps.

“I feel I’ve got enough knowledge under my belt to know how to tackle and approach an Indy 500,” said O’Ward.

“I’ve put myself in multiple times in contention to win this race, but that’s what it’s all about. I’m just so thankful and grateful I get the opportunity to be part of this because it’s so cool.

“I’ve never enjoyed the Month of May like I have this year. It’s such a process. We’ve got a good starting spot and we can work from there.”

McLaren have twice won the Indy 500, in 1974 and 1976.

NASCAR star Larson attempts ‘Double Duty’

The added intrigue in McLaren’s line-up at the Brickyard this year comes in the shape of 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Larson, who impressed to qualify fifth on his IndyCar debut just behind Rossi.

Larson’s NASCAR team, Hendrick Motorsports, have partnered with Arrow McLaren to form his Indy 500 entry.

The 31-year-old is attempting to complete the 500 miles around Indianapolis before getting a helicopter to compete in a 600-mile NASCAR race in Charlotte later that day.

Larson has impressed in his debut outing in IndyCar

Larson is only the fifth driver to try this incredible feat and will also fancy his chances of strong results in both races, first in the Indy 500.

“He has been a great addition to the team, and he’s done a great job,” said an impressed O’Ward.

“He’s got a fast car under him and he’s going to have a shot just like everyone else in the team. It’s about positioning yourself to have that shot.”

Watch Indy 500 on Sky Sports F1 YouTube

As is tradition, the Indy 500 follows the Monaco Grand Prix and you can watch The Greatest Spectacle in Racing from Indianapolis live on Sky Sports.

British drivers Ilott, Tom Blomqvist and Katherine Legge are in the 33-driver field, which will be led by McLaughlin from pole position on Sunday.

Coverage of the full race, including build-up, will be shown on Sky Sports F1’s YouTube channel for the first time from 3.30pm on Sunday.

On TV, Sky Sports Mix (which is free for viewers with a Sky Box) will begin coverage at 5pm and Sky Sports F1 will show the 108th Indy 500 begins at 5.30pm following the Monaco GP.

Sky Sports Main Event will join the 200-lap race, which begins at 5.45pm, at 6.30pm, so there are several ways to watch the Indy 500.

Sky Sports F1’s full live Monaco GP and Indy 500 Schedule

Thursday May 23
12.05pm: F3 Practice
1.30pm: F1 Drivers’ Press Conference
2pm: F2 Practice

Friday May 24
10am: F3 Qualifying
12pm: Monaco GP Practice One (session starts at 12.30pm)*
2pm: F2 Qualifying*
3.45pm: Monaco GP Practice Two (session starts at 4pm)*
5.30pm: The F1 Show
6.30pm: Indy 500 Final Practice
8.30pm: Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge

Saturday May 25
9.40am: F3 Sprint
11.15am: Monaco GP Practice Three (session starts at 11.30am)*
1.10pm: F2 Sprint*
2.15pm: Monaco GP Qualifying build-up*
3pm: Monaco GP Qualifying*
5pm: Ted’s Qualifying Notebook

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There was a scary moment in Indy 500 practice as 19-year-old rookie Nolan Siegel suffered a huge crash before emerging from the car unharmed.

Sunday May 26
6.55am: F3 Feature Race
8.35am: F2 Feature Race
12.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: Monaco GP build-up*
4pm: Chequered Flag: Monaco GP reaction
5pm: Ted’s Notebook
5.30pm: The Indy 500

*also on Sky Sports Main Event

Next up it’s time for the most-famous F1 race of them all – the Monaco Grand Prix. Watch every session from the famous street circuit from Friday live on Sky Sports F1, with Sunday’s race at 2pm. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime