Bahrain F1 Grand Prix - Race

MotorSportsTalk’s predictions: Bahrain GP

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As expected, the Chinese Grand Prix proved to be a challenging race to predict, especially after qualifying yielded little information. Eventually, it was Christopher and Keith who managed to correctly predict the race winner, with Tony touting Jenson Button as “sneaking a top five finish”. Can they continue this form for the Bahrain Grand Prix?

You can watch FP2, qualifying and the race on NBC this weekend via, or on their phone or tablet by downloading the app

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Race winner: Fernando Alonso. A former winner in Bahrain and on-form after China, two-in-a-row for the Spaniard would truly assert his championship challenge this year.

Surprising finish: Romain Grosjean. His car issues aside, Grosjean has been cleaner – if slightly anonymous – through three races this year. I’d look for that to change at a track he finished on the podium on a year ago.

Most to prove: Jean-Eric Vergne. Vergne shaded Daniel Ricciardo substantially in China, and this was a race where Daniel made Q3 a year ago. At the very least, needs to outqualify the Australian and prove something to the Red Bull higher-ups.

Christopher Estrada (@estradawriting)

Race winner: Kimi Raikkonen. Five podiums in Bahrain, but no victory? After his runner-up effort in China, it’s high time for the Finn to get rid of his goose egg.

Surprising finish: Nico Rosberg. The German’s had some tough luck early on, but his car is steadily improving. That should keep himself confident to make some noise.

Most to prove: Sergio Perez. Pressure’s on for the young Mexican after he was told to “toughen up” on the track. Let’s see if Perez can get rough when he needs to.

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Race winner: Sebastian Vettel. The late change in the tire compounds could give Red Bull an edge. Vettel proved late on in China that the RB9 is very quick indeed, so he will be challenging for the win in Bahrain.

Surprising finish: Valtteri Bottas. Williams may be struggling, but with a few DNFs here and there, they could open their 2013 account in Bahrain. Bottas has looked more likely to score than Maldonado, so he’s my tip for surprising finish.

Most to prove: Mark Webber. Webber’s Chinese GP weekend was the stuff of nightmares, so he needs to bounce back and prove that he is able to compete with Vettel. A good result will also quieten the Porsche-WEC rumors.

Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)

Race winner: Kimi Raikkonen. I’m tipping the Lotus to do well here. The E21 is great on its rear tires which will count for a lot at a track where traction is vital. Raikkonen’s smoothness and self-discipline will take care of the rest.

Surprising finish: Romain Grosjean. I’m going to concur with Tony. Grosjean is quick, he was terrific here last year and I suspect his change of chassis this weekend will help him get on top of the set-up problems that plagued his first three races.

Most to prove: Sergio Perez. Raikkonen’s criticism of Perez’s driving in China was well off the mark – the McLaren driver didn’t put a wheel out of line before the Lotus hit him. But he can’t be coming home in eleventh place while Button is putting in damage-limiting drives to fifth.

Here are your Russian Grand Prix air times on NBCSN, Live Extra

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The Russian Grand Prix airs this weekend on NBCSN, marking the second time for Formula 1 to hit the streets of Sochi after its debut at the new track last year.

Here’s your TV times breakdown:


Formula One returns to Sochi for its second race in Russia in as many years, following the first running of the Russian Grand Prix in a century last year. Mercedes enjoyed success at last year’s Russian GP, as Lewis Hamilton led Mercedes to a 1-2 finish and the team clinched its first-ever constructors’ championship. Mercedes is on the brink of winning its second straight constructors’ championship, and needs to outscore Ferrari by just three points this weekend in Sochi to secure the title.

Hamilton dominated the most recent race on the F1 calendar, the Japanese Grand Prix on Sept. 27, as he led all 53 laps to claim his eighth win of the 2015 campaign. Hamilton leads teammate Nico Rosberg by 48 points with just five races remaining in the season.

Live coverage from the Sochi Autodrom begins Friday morning with Practice 1 at 3 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra, followed by Practice 2 at 7 a.m. ET on NBCSN. Live Extra will stream Practice 3 on Saturday at 5 a.m. ET, prior to live qualifying at 8 a.m. ET on NBCSN.

Live Russian Grand Prix coverage begins Sunday at 6:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN, followed by F1 Extra at 9 a.m. ET. NBCSN will air an encore presentation of the Russian Grand Prix at noon ET on Sunday.

Lead F1 announcer Leigh Diffey will call the Russian Grand Prix, and will be joined by veteran analyst and former racecar driverDavid Hobbs, and analyst and former race mechanic for the Benetton F1 team Steve Matchett. F1 insider Will Buxton will serve as the team’s on-site reporter from the Sochi Autodrom. Alex Jacques will call the GP2 race in Sochi airing Sunday at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

F1 Motorsports Coverage This Week on NBCSN & NBC Sports Live Extra (subject to change):

Date Program Time (ET) Network
Fri., October 9 F1 Russian Grand Prix – Practice 1 3 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
F1 Russian Grand Prix – Practice 2 7 a.m. NBCSN
/DRIVE on NBC Sports 8:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sat., October 10 F1 Russian Grand Prix – Practice 3 5 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Russia Grand Prix – Qualifying 8 a.m. NBCSN
Sun., October 11 F1 Russian Grand Prix 6:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra 9 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Russia Grand Prix (Encore) 12 p.m. NBCSN
GP2 – Russia* 10:30 p.m. NBCSN

Rosberg: F1 title race is not over yet

xxxx during the Formula One Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka Circuit on September 27, 2015 in Suzuka, Japan.
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Nico Rosberg is refusing to back down in the fight for the 2015 Formula 1 drivers’ championship despite trailing Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by 48 points with five races remaining.

F1 arrives in Sochi this weekend for the Russian Grand Prix, and Rosberg knows that failing to score any points would leave Hamilton just one victory away from a third world title.

Rosberg has failed to put up the same kind of fight to his teammate this year as he did in 2014 when the championship was only decided at the final race in Abu Dhabi.

However, he is refusing to back down and write off his title hopes yet, despite not having won a race since June.

“Once I got back from Japan, I was able to focus on the positive elements from my weekend in Suzuka: pole position, the on-track pass on [Valtteri] Bottas and then having the speed to undercut [Sebastian] Vettel’s Ferrari at the second pit-stop,” Rosberg said, reflecting on his fightback to second place at Suzuka two weeks ago.

“I’m not backing down in my fight for the championship and gaining those positions back fair and square showed that. We have five races to go and, although the championship gap to Lewis is quite big, in my mind it’s definitely not over yet.

“The way the whole team has performed this year – from the factories to the garage – has been just incredible and I have the car I need to get back to the top step.”

Sochi was the site of Mercedes’ first constructors’ championship victory in 2014, and Rosberg is hoping to aid its bid to clinch a second title on Sunday.

“I really enjoyed our first trip to Russia last year and it was an awesome weekend for the team – one that I will always remember after seeing all the hard work they’ve put in during my time here,” Rosberg said.

“So, I’m aiming to put all those tools they’ve given me to good use and bring home a top result.”

The Russian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra this weekend.