There may be no Formula 1 taking place this weekend, but British motorsport fans can still get a dose of single-seater action with IndyCar.
Sunday sees the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 race. Billed by American enthusiasts as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”, the 2020 edition has seen changes made due to COVID-19.
Along with being moved from its traditional May schedule, the 2020 Indy 500 will take place without any spectators present. It means watching on TV will be the only way to see the 500-mile race unfold.
How has COVID-19 affected the 2020 Indy 500?
Traditionally the Indy 500 race is the result of a month-long motorsport festival at the ‘Brickyard’ oval circuit. For 2020, the organisers have had to work with a reduced schedule, cancelling parades and other events that make up the historic competition.
Qualifying took place on 15th and 16th August, with the final ‘Carb Day’ practice session on Friday, 21st August.
Marco Andretti, grandson of motorsport legend and 1969 Indy 500 winner Mario Andretti, will start on pole position for 2020.
How can I watch the 2020 Indy 500 in the UK?
Sky Sports F1 has the sole UK broadcast rights to the 2020 Indy 500.
Sky Sports subscribers will be able to watch via the Sky Sports F1 channel, or on the Sky Sports Main Event channel. Alternatively, subscribers can use the SkyGo app on their smartphone or mobile device.
Non-subscribers can purchase a Now TV Sky Sports day pass to watch the race. This can be used with a smart TV or compatible mobile device.
Is there an online livestream for the 2020 Indy 500?
Sadly there is no official internet livestream for those wanting to watch the Indy 500 in the UK.
Viewers in the United States can watch online through the NBC Sports App, or through the NBC Sports website.
What time does the 2020 Indy 500 start in the UK?
The start of the 2020 Indy 500 has been moved backwards by one hour, in a move to contend with the Indiana summer heat.
Coverage of the build up to the race will begin at 6pm in the UK, with the green flag to signify the start set for 7.30pm.
The official pace car used to lead the field for the 2020 Indy 500 will be the new mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. It marks the 17th time a Chevrolet has been used as a pace car for the event.
Is Fernando Alonso racing in the 2020 Indy 500?
Double Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso is back in 2020 for his third attempt at winning the Indy 500.
Driving for the Arrow McLaren SP team, Alonso has at least performed better than last year when he failed to qualify for the main event.
Winning the Indy 500 would make Alonso the second driver to complete the unofficial ‘Triple Crown of Motorsport’. Alonso has already completed two parts of the Triple Crown, by winning the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Starting 26th out of the 33-car field means Fernando will have some work to do.
Are there any British drivers in the 2020 Indy 500?
The 2020 Indy 500 sees three British competitors hoping to take victory in the American classic.
Max Chilton, who competed in Formula One with the Marussia team, is perhaps the best known Brit for casual fans.
Lincolnshire’s Jack Harvey has raced in IndyCar since 2017. He took this first IndyCar podium last year, and has scored some impressive top-ten finishes so far in 2020.
Finally, Ben Hanley will start in 33rd and last position on the grid. Originally from Manchester, Hanley is making his second Indy 500 start. Last year he retired after just 54 of the 200 laps with a broken driveshaft.
Why does the Indy 500 winner drink a bottle of milk?
Arguably one of the strangest traditions as part of the Indianapolis 500 is the winning driver drinking a bottle of milk to celebrate.
The tradition began in 1933, after Louis Meyer took his second Indy 500 victory. Meyer chose to drink buttermilk after the race, believing it would be refreshing on a hot day. He did the same again after his third Indy win in 1936.
A dairy company executive saw a photo of Meyer drinking milk, leading to the beverage being offered to future Indy 500 winners. Today, the Indiana Dairy association gives the winning driver $10,000 for choosing to drink milk as part of their post-race celebration.
2015 Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya is pictured here drinking his choice of full-fat whole milk.
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