F1 on NBC Sports TV, streaming schedule for 2014 Australian Grand Prix

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The second season of Formula One on NBC Sports kicks off with the Rolex Australian Grand Prix.

NBCSN will feature live coverage of both practice sessions and race qualifying. The race itself is 1:30 a.m. ET on March 16. A full listing is below.

Practices, qualifying and the race are also streamed online, via NBC Sports Live Extra.

A special half-hour season preview show, Countdown to F1, will occur immediately before FP1, at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 13.

Further programming is also planned around the Australian Grand Prix weekend, including a re-air of “Road to Ferrari” at 11 p.m. ET, and other bumper programming at 8:30 p.m. Thursday and 1 a.m. Friday.

Leigh Diffey returns to anchor the coverage with analysts David Hobbs and Steve Matchett, with Will Buxton live from Australia on the ground as pit reporter and insider.

Breakdown
Countdown to F1 – Thursday, March 13, 9 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Practice 1 – Thursday, March 13, 9:30 p.m. ET (Live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra)
Road to Ferrari – Thursday, March 13, 11 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Practice 2 – Friday, March 14, 1:30 a.m. ET (Live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra)
Qualifying – Saturday, March 15, 2 a.m. ET (Live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra)
Qualifying Encore – Saturday, March 15, 6 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
Grand Prix – Sunday, March 16, 1:30 a.m. ET (Live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra)
F1 Extra – Sunday, March 16, 4 a.m. ET (Live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra)
Grand Prix Encore – Sunday, March 16, 6:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN)

The remainder of the entire 2014 F1 on NBC Sports schedule will be released soon.

F1 2017 driver review: Sebastian Vettel

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Sebastian Vettel

Team: Scuderia Ferrari
Car No.: 5
Races: 20
Wins: 5
Podiums (excluding wins): 8
Pole Positions: 4
Fastest Laps: 5
Points: 317
Laps Led: 286
Championship Position: 2nd

2017 was supposed to be the year Sebastian Vettel finally fulfilled his ambition of emulating Michael Schumacher by returning Ferrari to its championship-winning heyday.

Instead, it ended in disappointment and frustration – once again.

Ferrari arguably made a greater step across the change in technical regulations for 2017 than any other team, living up to its pre-season tag as favorite by winning the opening round in Australia in fashion.

Vettel and Ferrari led their respective championships following the Monaco Grand Prix as the German ended a 16-year win drought for the Prancing Horse in the principality, and even heading into the summer break, a shot at both championships was looking good.

However, cracks had started to appear. Vettel’s remarkable antics behind the safety car in Baku sparked controversy after driving into Hamilton, suggesting the tension of the title fight was beginning to take its toll on the German.

The final run of flyaways was where things really fell apart for Vettel, though. Singapore looked to be a slam-dunk win, only for a start-line crash also involving teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen to put 25 free points in Hamilton’s pocket.

Reliability woes then struck in Malaysia and Japan – two more races Vettel could realistically have won – to make it game over in the title race, with Hamilton wrapping things up in Mexico.

Vettel only finished the year 46 points back from Hamilton, proving the impact the three bad races in Asia had. Realistically, this was a title race that should have gone down to the wire in Abu Dhabi. Instead, Vettel remains a four-time champion, level with Hamilton, who had just one to his name back in 2013 when his rival secured his fourth.

Ferrari’s internal issues will come under the microscope over the off-season, and Vettel himself knows there is plenty to work on. Staying cool under pressure and not letting things boil over as in Baku is the most obvious area for improvement.

But there is reason for hope. If Ferrari can keep up with Mercedes and repeat its impressive step into 2017 through the upcoming off-season, we may well be treated to another Vettel/Hamilton scrap at the front of the field, perhaps settling once and for all who is the greatest driver of the post-Schumacher era.

Season High: A crucial win in Hungary despite battling with a broken steering column.

Season Low: Letting tensions flare in Baku and hitting Hamilton behind the safety car.