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/

Spencer Pigot ready for full-season IndyCar effort with ECR

Photo: IndyCar
Leave a comment

After spending the last two years in a part-time role with Ed Carpenter Racing, contesting the road and street course races in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet, Spencer Pigot now gets a long-awaited chance at a full-season effort in 2018.

Moving over to the No. 21 entry, which has featured ECR’s full-season driver since 2016, Pigot has seen slight differences in his off-season prep ahead of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

“We were one of the teams that got to a handful of days testing the aero kit, so I obviously did all the running on the road courses, but I was able to do a few laps on the ovals when Ed was testing. So, that wouldn’t have happened (if I was part-time still),” he told NBC Sports.

However, outside of that increase in testing and a little learning some new tracks – he has not raced at ISM Raceway, Gateway Motorsports Park, Pocono Raceway, or Iowa Speedway in an IndyCar – the changes to Pigot’s off-season program have not been dramatic.

“There’s definitely some things I’ll need to learn, but as far as off-season prep: nothing too dramatic, nothing too different.”

Pigot’s first full-season campaign saw its first official outing of the 2018 season last weekend during the open test at ISM Raceway. While he and the ECR team struggled to find speed much of the weekend – they languished outside of the top ten in the results of the first three sessions – things took a turn for the better during the final session of the weekend on Saturday night, when Pigot ended up ninth on the speed charts.

He ended up 14th in the combined results for the weekend, noting that he and the team still want to find more outright speed.

“I thought throughout the test that our average long run pace was okay, but we were still missing the outright pace to be where we need to be come qualifying time,” he revealed. “I think that we definitely made a step forward Saturday night and definitely have a much better idea of a direction we can head and go with when we go back.”

In terms of long-run practice, Pigot noted that tire degradation became much more prevalent, which made running with others cars around you somewhat of a challenge. Though, he emphasized that tire degradation could be beneficial for racing.

“Talking to some of the other guys, it seems a little bit harder to run behind people as the tires go off because the tires are degrading pretty quick with the lack of downforce as well,” he explained. “So, it’s going to be tricky, it’s going to be sliding around a little bit more than what guys have experienced in the past. But, I think everyone’s under the same kind of idea that it’s going to be better racing, and especially at (ISM Raceway) it should be exciting.”

Pigot did get some practice at overtaking at ISM and got a feel for what he may be able to expect when IndyCar returns in April for the Phoenix Grand Prix, and while he acknowledged it was difficult to judge during testing, he did feel like he could run around other cars without much of an issue.

“It’s not like a race when everyone comes in the pits at the same time and you’re all on similar tires, so it’s kind of hard to know exactly. But, I thought we were pretty good,” he detailed. “I thought I was able to run pretty close to guys in front of me and was able to make a few passes when other guys made mistakes or might have gone a little high.”

The test also served as Pigot’s first IndyCar venture on a short oval – he last ran on a short oval in 2015 during his Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship season.

“The corners definitely come up quick. There’s not much time to really relax or think about too much,” Pigot quipped when describing his first time on a short oval.

He continued, “You’ve got to concentrate pretty hard on being precise because the line there is very narrow so you have to make sure that you’re where the grip is at all points throughout the corner. And then, when everyone’s out there and you run in traffic, it’s just like you’re constantly in a corner, so it’s a little more difficult to get big runs and drafts off people. But I think it’ll definitely play into the hands of guys that have their cars set up well and can be easier on the tires.”

And in becoming the team’s full-time driver, Pigot is seeing a slight increase in his leadership role within the team, especially as it relates to testing and development, with Pigot doing the lion’s share of testing during the winter on road courses.

But, he also emphasized the oval prowess of teammate, and team owner, Ed Carpenter as something he will lean on when he ventures out on other ovals for the first time this year.

“Especially as we’re trying to learn this new aero kit, I was the one that pretty much did all the testing on the road and street courses. It was kind of me and the engineers trying to develop the car and work towards the setup that’s going to work for us. So, there’s definitely a little more responsibility in that. But, then on the ovals, obviously Ed’s there and he’s a great teammate to have and to learn from and bounce ideas off of. But, yeah, it’s definitely a more involved role within the team,” Pigot explained.

Pigot and ECR will test two more times, at Barber Motorsports Park and Sebring International Raceway, in the month of February prior to the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 11.

Follow@KyleMLavigne