Indian GP on NBCSN could be site of Vettel’s fourth straight title

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Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) will look to win his fourth consecutive Formula One World Championship at the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday at 5 a.m. ET on NBCSN, needing only a top five finish to secure the season title.

Vettel has a commanding 90-point lead over Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) in the points standings with just four races remaining. Sunday’s race marks the third running of the Indian Grand Prix. Vettel has won both previous races, and has led every single lap in the two-year history of the event. Vettel has dominated the F1 landscape this season, winning nine of 15 Grands Prix, including five consecutive races dating back to the Belgian Grand Prix on August 25.

With a fourth consecutive World Championship, Vettel would tie Alain Prost (4) and trail only Juan Manuel Fangio (5) and Michael Schumacher (7) for the most career F1 World Championships. Vettel’s resume currently includes numerous F1 records, including youngest polesitter, youngest race winner, and youngest world champion.

Live coverage of the Indian Grand Prix begins with practice on Friday at 4:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN, followed by qualifying on NBCSN on Saturday at 4:30 a.m. ET. Live race coverage of the Indian Grand Prix begins on Sunday at 5 a.m. ET. NBCSN will also air an encore presentation of the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET. F1 Extra, NBC Sports Group’s half-hour post-race show, will air immediately following the conclusion of NBCSN’s Indian Grand Prix coverage.

Live coverage of practice, qualifying, and the Indian Grand Prix can also be seen on NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets.

NBCSN will also re-air last Saturday’s MAVTV 500 IndyCar World Championships, where Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi) finished fifth to win his third career IZOD IndyCar Series championship, on Saturday at 12 a.m.

Date Coverage Network Time (ET)
Fri., October 25 F1 Indian Grand Prix – Practice NBCSN 4:30 a.m.
F1 Indian Grand Prix – Practice (Encore) NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Sat., October 26 MAVTV 500 IndyCar World Championships (Encore) NBCSN 12 a.m.
TRANSLOGIC NBCSN 2:30 a.m.
F1 Indian Grand Prix – Qualifying NBCSN 4:30 a.m.
Sun., October 27 F1 Indian Grand Prix – Qualifying (Encore) NBCSN 1 a.m.
TRANSLOGIC NBCSN 2:30 a.m.
F1 Indian Grand Prix NBCSN 5 a.m.
F1 Extra NBCSN 7:30 a.m.
F1 Indian Grand Prix (Encore) NBCSN 2:30 p.m.

COMMENTATORS: Lead F1 announcer Leigh Diffey will call the Indian Grand Prix and will be joined by veteran analyst and former racecar driver David 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 Buddh International Circuit in India.

FORMULA ONE ON NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA: NBC Sports Live Extra — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets — will provide live comprehensive streaming coverage of the Indian Grand Prix, as well as practice and qualifying in the days preceding the race . Coverage will be streamed via “TV Everywhere,” the media industry’s effort to make quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of home and on multiple platforms.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play.

Coverage airing on NBCSN will live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra, and to the digital platforms of participating cable, satellite, and telco services, via “TV Everywhere,” which is available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of participating MVPDs.

Click here for the participating cable/satellite/telco companies offering NBC Sports Live Extra 
http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/2013/08/16/nbc-sports-live-extra-providers/

Red Bull rising into the form expected when the season began

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Young “Mad Max” Verstappen had plenty to be angry about for the first half of the Formula One season. After his breakout season in 2016, this year had been little more than a rash of retirements, crashes and clashes with other drivers.

But a late burst over the last two races delivered his second career victory and a second-place. Those results have Red Bull rising and looking more like the fast and muscular team it was expected to be.

Verstappen and teammate Daniel Ricciardo now look primed to keep pushing for the front over the final four races of 2017, starting this week at the U.S. Grand Prix. Do that and the prospects for a 2018 title fight grow brighter.

“We’re definitely going the way we need to be going,” Ricciardo said. “If we start on the front foot, I genuinely believe we can fight for the title if we start closer. That’s what we’re aiming for.”

Verstappen’s win in Malaysia demonstrated a perfect marriage of the young Dutchman’s driving skill and his improving car when he beat Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton with a head-to-head pass early. He was on the podium again a week later in Japan. The champagne spray at both races was a tasty but dry reminder that Red Bull wanted – and expected – so much more this season.

While Ricciardo has been a workhorse with nine podiums and one victory, Verstappen’s season was crippled by reliability issues with his car or crashes.

“There were so many races this year when he was in a fantastic position to achieve big results,” team principal Christian Horner said this week. “Credit to him that at such a young age he hasn’t let frustration boil over … when it comes right for him, it’s going to come right in a big way. And that’s exactly what happened in Malaysia. He drove a great race there, with no issues.”

Some of the “issues” created internal tension.

The first lap of the Hungarian Grand Prix was a disaster for Red Bull. Verstappen tried to overtake Ricciardo and hit him, knocking Ricciardo out of the race while Verstappen finished fifth. Ricciardo lashed out at Verstappen as “immature” and criticized the “amateur” maneuver.

Verstappen said he can’t think about what happened early in the season.

“That frustration I put behind me,” Verstappen said. “It happened. You can’t change it anymore. You’re just happy that it’s going well again and we had some good results.”

Ricciardo has carried Red Bull to the podium time and again but his broad smile hasn’t beamed from the top spot since Azerbaijan in June. Despite his run of strong finishes, he’s stuck at fourth in the driver’s standings and needs a boost to overtake Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas for third.

The Circuit of the Americas has been good for both Red Bull drivers in the past. Ricciardo finished third here in 2014 and 2016. Verstappen had an attention-getting drive in 2015 when he finished fourth in his Toro Rosso after sloshing his way through the field on a wet track.

Verstappen had a wild race in 2016 when he challenged for the lead early, came in for a pit stop when the crew wasn’t ready and yelled to his garage: “I’m not here to finish fourth!” He didn’t finish at all when his car was knocked out with a gearbox problem on lap 32.

Verstappen was 17 when he joined the F1 grid as the youngest driver in series history and he still jokes about his age. Austin is known for its live music and nightlife, but he’s limited as to how much he can party away from the track.

“I’m only 20. I can’t drink,” Verstappen said. “If I’m on the podium (Sunday) I won’t care.”