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

2 Comments

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/

Indy Lights: Chad Boat to make Indy Lights debut with Belardi

Photo: Getty Images
Leave a comment

Belardi Auto Racing, which currently fields entries for Aaron Telitz, Santi Urrutia, and Shelby Blackstock in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, announced on Tuesday that USAC standout Chad Boat, son of former IndyCar race winner Billy Boat, will make his Indy Lights debut with the Brian Belardi led-outfit. Boat will contest the July 9 race at Iowa Speedway and will return for the August 26 event at Gateway Motorsports Park.

“We’re extremely pleased to announce the addition of Chad Boat to our stable of drivers for the Iowa and Gateway Indy Lights oval races this summer,” team owner Brian Belardi detailed. “It’s exciting to have a second-generation driver running with us, and we’re certainly looking forward to getting Chad on track in Iowa.”

Boat has become a star in his own right in USAC, winning Rookie of the Year honors in both the USAC National Midget and Sprint car divisions. The 25-year-old has competed previously at Iowa, where he will make his first start, in what is now called the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He will pilot the No. 84 entry, with sponsorship from Pristine Auction.

“I grew up watching my dad race Indy cars, so having the opportunity to run Indy Lights this year is absolutely surreal,” said Boat. “I have to thank Belardi Auto Racing for giving me a shot behind the wheel of the No. 84 Dallara, as well as Pristine Auction for their continued support in my racing career. I can’t wait to get to Iowa Speedway.”

Follow Kyle Lavigne.

Mercedes, Ferrari go conservative on Austrian GP tire picks

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Pirelli has confirmed all 20 Formula 1 drivers’ tire picks for next weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, with most opting to stack up on ultra-softs.

As it does for every grand prix, Pirelli will bring three compounds to Austria next week, electing for the softest possible combination of ultra-soft, super-soft and soft tires.

In the regular pre-race release of each driver’s tire picks, Pirelli revealed that Force India, McLaren and Red Bull have gone down the most aggressive routes, stacking up on the ultra-soft tire.

Title contenders Mercedes and Ferrari have gone down a more conservative route, favoring additional sets of the super-soft compound.

Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will take seven sets of ultra-softs to Spielberg, while Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will have eight sets at their disposal through the weekend.

Graham Rahal survives Road America to finish eighth

Photo: IndyCar
Leave a comment

Graham Rahal and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing faced a roller coaster of a race during the Kohler Grand Prix at Road America on Sunday.

He was a rocket off the initial start, jumping from sixth on the grid up to fourth exiting turn 1, but was almost immediately ordered to surrender a position for blocking. He quickly slipped back to sixth, and then began plummeting down the order as he battled an oversteer condition that saw his car chew through its rear tires more quickly than others.

Forced to abandon the planned three-stop strategy, he and the No. 15 Gehl Honda team switched to a four-stop plan that saw him drop well outside the top ten at times.

However, they kept plugging away and rebounded nicely in the second half of the race to eventually finish in eighth. While he would have liked to finish higher up the order, Rahal knows that he and the team got everything they could out of it.

“The car was a handful today. I knew about five laps in that I didn’t have the pace for a three-stop strategy,” Rahal revealed post-race. “We tried as best we could to work with what we had during the race and overcome it. I would have obviously liked to have finished better, but eighth is about as good as we could do today. We struggled with a very loose race car all weekend and just couldn’t put a dent in the problem. We worked awfully hard but just missed it this weekend.”

The eighth-place finish keeps Rahal in the championship hunt. Rahal now sits seventh in the standings, 11 points behind fifth-place Josef Newgarden and 72 behind championship leader Scott Dixon.

Follow Kyle Lavigne.

Ed Jones continues steady run with seventh at Road America

Photo: IndyCar
Leave a comment

Dale Coyne Racing’s Ed Jones has made waves in the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season with a string of solid performances that belie his rookie status.

And Sunday’s Kohler Grand Prix at Road America was no different.

The 22-year-old battled an oversteering car most of the weekend at Road America, and had to navigate a little carnage late in the race as Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay both fell through the field with front wing problems.

However, Jones weathered all storms to finish an impressive seventh, his fifth finish inside the top 10 this year, and his best finish since his third place at the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade MotorOil.

“It was a really tough race,” Jones said of the effort. “We had a loose car yesterday. It was loose, but fast, for qualifying, and today again the car was really loose. I was hanging on the whole race, but the team had some good pit stops and we were able to move up.

“Obviously, the strategy was pretty similar to everyone else. Everyone was aggressive out there. It was hard racing but we came out with a seventh place and we moved up a little bit in the points.”

The seventh-place run sees Jones maintain his position in the top ten in the championship. He currently sits tenth in the standings, three points ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Max Chilton.

Follow Kyle Lavigne.