Live updates and live video from Bahrain Grand Prix

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The sandy desert of Bahrain welcomes the Formula One circus for round four of the 2013 world championship, and following a tight qualifying yesterday, we are set for a thrilling grand prix today.

Nico Rosberg snatched a surprise pole position for Mercedes, finishing ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. However, with the German team struggling with its rear tire wear so far this season, Rosberg could face a stiff challenge if he is to hold on to first place during the race. An extra dynamic is the alternative strategy of Felipe Massa, who will start 4th on the harder compound, whilst  Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber will be desperate to put their penalties behind them to charge through the field.

As well as watching the race on NBCSN, you can catch the live coverage via NBC Sports Live Extra on your phone or tablet.

You can also follow the Bahrain Grand Prix live via the @F1onNBCSports Twitter account, which will be providing live commentary throughout the race.

Also, be sure to visit MotorSportsTalk throughout the weekend for all of the latest news and updates from the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Alonso would be ‘very happy’ to finish F1 career with McLaren

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Fernando Alonso says he would be “very happy” to see out his Formula 1 career with McLaren after signing a new multi-year contract with the British team, announced on Thursday.

Alonso, 36, ended speculation about his future by agreeing a new deal with McLaren, hopeful of returning to the front of the field next year when the team swaps Honda power for Renault engines.

Alonso admitted to considering options outside of F1 before agreeing to stay at McLaren, and was thought to only be chasing a one-year extension in order to be in a position to snap up a more attractive seat in the volatile 2019 market.

However, Alonso confirmed in an interview with the official F1 website that the deal with McLaren stretched beyond the end of next year, adding he would be content to see out his time in the sport with the team.

“I never talk about contracts, but one thing I can say is it is a long-term partnership,” Alonso said.

“I am very happy to finish my career at McLaren. So I don’t think it is going to be only one year.”

Alonso also revealed he had options with teams high up the field in F1 for 2018 just a couple of months ago, but was always leaning to staying at McLaren despite not scoring a podium with the team in almost three years.

“There were some other options in F1. In the summer there were still some options at the top teams, but my desire was to stay with McLaren,” Alonso said.

“But at that time they were in conversation with different engine suppliers, so I had to give them time to sort out their situation.

“Then McLaren opted for a Renault engine which delayed my decision, because I had to understand what Renault’s plans were for next years.

“But when I had everything on the table, everything was pretty clear.”