Grosjean of France, Webber of Australia, Hamilton of Britain and Vettel of Germany fight for the first position during the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit

Complete 2014 F1 on NBC Sports TV Times, Schedule

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The complete, 2014 Formula One on NBC Sports schedule has been revealed (see Australian Grand Prix times here). A breakdown of times for each Grand Prix follows:

NBC will present four races, CNBC will broadcast three and NBCSN will air the remaining 12 races. CNBC will also live broadcast eight qualifying sessions, while NBCSN will air 11. All practices will be presented on NBCSN. Additionally, every race can be viewed live on your desktop and mobile device via NBC Sports Live Extra and the NBC Sports Live Extra app.

NBC Sports Group’s Formula One full announce booth returns for a second season, with lead race announcer Leigh Diffey providing live play-by-play commentary. Diffey is joined by veteran analyst and former racecar driver David Hobbs, and analyst Steve Matchett, a former race mechanic for the Benetton F1 team. Rounding out the broadcast team is F1 insider Will Buxton, who will provide live reports on-site in Australia and at all 19 F1 races this season.

The four live NBC races begin with the Monaco Grand Prix on May 25 at 7:30 a.m. ET, followed by the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday, June 8 at 2 p.m. ET. NBC’s F1 coverage continues with the United States Grand Prix (Austin) on Sunday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m. ET, and concludes with the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday, Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Group’s announce team of Diffey, Hobbs, Matchett, and Buxton will be on-site to call the action from Monaco, Montreal (Canada) and Austin (U.S.).

Due to scheduling conflicts, live coverage of the Great Britain, German and Hungarian Grands Prix will air on CNBC, NBCUniversal’s fully-distributed business channel.

The full release on the F1 schedule can be found on the NBC Sports Group Press Box website.

Schedule by Grand Prix:

Grand Prix Practice 2 (ALL on NBCSN) Qualifying (11 NBCSN, 8 CNBC; Specifics TBD) Race (Channel Listed)
Australian P1: 3/13, 9:30 p.m.P2: 3/14, 1:30 a.m. March 152:00 a.m. March 161:30 a.m., NBCSN
Malaysian March 282:00 a.m. March 294:00 a.m. March 303:30 a.m., NBCSN
Bahrain April 411:00 a.m. April 511:00 a.m. April 610:30 a.m.,  NBCSN
Chinese April 182:00 a.m. April 192:00 a.m. April 202:30 a.m., NBCSN
Spanish May 98:00 a.m. May 108:00 a.m. May 117:30 a.m., NBCSN
Monaco May 22 (Thurs.)8:00 a.m. May 248:00 a.m. May 257:30 a.m., NBC*
Canadian June 62:00 p.m. June 71:00 p.m. June 82:00 p.m., NBC*
Austrian June 208:00 a.m. June 218:00 a.m. June 227:30 a.m., NBCSN
British July 49:00 a.m. July 58:00 a.m. July 67:30 a.m., CNBC
German July 18 (SDD)2:30 p.m. July 198:00 a.m. July 207:30 a.m., CNBC
Hungarian July 25 (SDD)11:30 a.m. July 268:00 a.m. July 277:30 a.m., CNBC
Belgian August 228:00 a.m. August 238:00 a.m. August 247:30 a.m., NBCSN
Italian September 58:00 a.m. September 68:00 a.m. September 77:30 a.m., NBCSN
Singapore September 199:30 a.m. September 209:00 a.m. September 217:30 a.m., NBCSN
Japanese October 31:00 a.m. October 41:00 a.m. October 51:30 a.m., NBCSN
Russian October 106:00 a.m. October 117:00 a.m. October 126:30 a.m., NBCSN
United States October 311:00 p.m. November 11:00 p.m. November 22:00 p.m., NBC*
Brazilian November 711:00 a.m. November 811:00 a.m. November 91:00 p.m., NBC
Abu Dhabi November 218:00 a.m. November 228:00 a.m. November 237:30 a.m., NBCSN

All Times ET

Schedule Subject to Change
(SDD) Same Day Delay

*Entire broadcast team on site

Cooper Tires named presenting sponsor for Mazda Road to Indy

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Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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Cooper Tires has been named the presenting sponsor for the Mazda Road to Indy, in full.

See the release, below:

As the Official Tire of all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda – Cooper Tires plays a key role in developing the next generation of open-wheel talent beyond providing high quality, dependable performance tires. Today, Cooper Tires increases its support by becoming the presenting sponsor of the highly acclaimed driver development ladder which will now be known as the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires.

“It is really an understatement to say that Cooper Tires is a great partner of our three series,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “Chris Pantani, Director of Event Marketing and Motorsports for Cooper Tires, and his team are always looking for ways to improve our platform, be it from a competition standpoint to marketing and activation and driver development. Cooper and Mazda have a long relationship which extends outside of Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000 to other series. It is fitting and appropriate that we now even more so acknowledge their efforts and partnership as the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires.”

Cooper Tires has a formidable presence at every event on the racing calendar from its marketing activation unit, which also introduces fans to drivers via hosted Q&A sessions, to the funds distributed in Cooper Tires Pole Award presentations across the three series – funding that will increase in 2017 – to the popular Road to Indy TV App Powered by Cooper Tires, which provides live streaming, Timing and Scoring and more. Most recently, Cooper Tires was a track sponsor for the Toronto rounds featuring doubleheader races for all three series in support of the Verizon IndyCar Series.

The MRTI Hashtag Program launched by Cooper Tires in 2014 and expanded to include full support from Mazda Motorsports in 2015, encourages and rewards drivers and teams who utilize the #MRTI and #TeamCooperTire hashtags in their social messaging on Twitter and Instagram. The contest periods feature unique challenges which allow drivers to win race tires along with other prizes such as merchandise from Mazda and race/hospitality tickets that they can give away to their fans. The hashtags also provide fans with an easy way to follow drivers in the series.

“Our level of commitment to the premier open-wheel development series is more than just as a sponsor; it is a commitment as a partner,” stated Pantani. “The Mazda Road to Indy, now presented by Cooper Tires, is integral to the development of young drivers aspiring to become IndyCar drivers. Extending its commitment to provide proven race tires on the track, Cooper Tires develops young driver’s needs on and off the track. This is where the #MRTI excels above all other series. Cooper Tire is proud to partner with Andersen Promotions and Mazda to make excellence happen.”

Cooper Tires in also a key partner in the scholarships that allow a driver to progress to the next step on the ladder. In 2016, more than $2.3 million in season-ending prizes and awards are on offer.

“This is great news for the Mazda Road to Indy,” said John Doonan, Director of Motorsports, Mazda North American Operations. “It means a lot to have Cooper Tires alongside us in the entire program. We share similar goals and are committed to building and improving the best open-wheel ladder in the world, and this serves as another sign of continued stability and growth.”

The Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires will be in full swing this week at Mid-Ohio with seven races comprising the Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, the Royal Purple Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio and the Allied Building Products USF2000 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio. Cooper Tires will be rolling out collectible driver “baseball” cards which will be given away free to fans.

Nürburgring: Hosting German GP must be ‘economically justifiable’

NUERBURG, GERMANY - JULY 07:  Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Mark Webber of Australia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing lead the field early in the German Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring on July 7, 2013 in Nuerburg, Germany.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
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The Nürburgring remains keen to play host to Formula 1 again in the future, but says that holding the German Grand Prix must be “economically justifiable”.

The German Grand Prix returns this weekend at Hockenheim after a one-year absence from the calendar when talks to hold the race at the Nürburgring in 2015 broke down.

The two tracks have alternated hosting the race since 2008, the deal ensuring that neither made a loss for two consecutive years.

F1 last visited the Nürburgring in 2013 when Sebastian Vettel claimed his first German Grand Prix win for Red Bull.

F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone said last December that he doubted the Nürburgring would host the race in 2017 due to the track’s financial uncertainty.

Although the Nürburgring does want to welcome F1 again in the future, it will only do so relying a deal is financially viable.

“Our position remains unchanged and we would like to organize the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring again,” a spokesperson from the track told NBC Sports.

“However, the business environment has to be economically justifiable.

“We will not afford Formula One at all costs.”

The Nürburgring played host to the FIA World Endurance Championship last weekend, welcoming a bumper crowd of 58,000 on race day.

An announcement was made mid-race confirming the date for the 2017 6 Hours of Nürburgring as July 16.

However, Montreal is due to host its first Formula E race the same weekend, with a number of the series’ drivers also racing in the WEC.

“The date has been requested by FIA WEC, we have confirmed this date and we agreed to the request of FIA WEC to release the date on Sunday,” the spokesperson said.

“From our point of view this date is 100 per cent fixed.”

CJ Wilson Racing, Chicago Blackhawks charities partner at Road America

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Photo: CJ Wilson Racing
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CJ Wilson Racing and the Chicago Blackhawks charities have come together for a partnership going into the next round of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season at Road America.

A release from CJWR explaining said partnership is below:

The CJ Wilson Automotive Group and CJ Wilson Racing today announced a partnership with the Chicago Blackhawks, who will become the primary sponsor of the race team’s #35 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge event at Road America. The car will compete in the colors of the Chicago Blackhawks Charities.

Livery design by Andy Blackmore Design
Livery design by Andy Blackmore Design

The partnership will officially launch at the United Center on Wednesday, August 3, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m in advance of Saturday’s race. Fans will have the opportunity to get up close to the car, meet the drivers and Blackhawks Ambassador Denis Savard, and have their picture taken. Attendees can make a voluntary donation to Chicago Blackhawks Charities and one family from Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation will be invited to the race itself as the special guests of CJ Wilson Racing.

CJ-Wilson-BMW-KTM-blackhawks-2EditAutomotive Group and race team President, CJ Wilson, is excited about this unique partnership. “This is the first real opportunity for our team to partner with one of the ‘big four’ professional sports and create some crossover with professional racing.”

The two-time MLB All-Star went on to explain that “from a competitive standpoint we look forward to every race. We have taken a significant step up, moving from the ST level to GS and we are continuing to take further steps away from the track to expand our reach and our influence. Having the car available to Blackhawks fans at the United Center is really neat and is one of the elements of this partnership that has really excited us. Being able to show off these amazing machines in a non-traditional setting really shows people the commitment we have as an organization and hopefully gives them a better understanding of just how accessible our sport is.”

“It is great to be able to include the race team into our long-standing community-based charitable work and our ongoing efforts to give back to local Chicagoland initiatives,” added Eric Vates, Vice President of CJ Wilson Mazda. “It is exciting for the CJ Wilson Automotive Group to have the opportunity to incorporate our race team with one of our premier partners, the Chicago Blackhawks,” added Vates.

Fans can meet the drivers and Blackhawks Ambassador Denis Savard and get up close to the CJ Wilson Racing Chicago Blackhawks Charities Porsche at the United Center on Wednesday August 3, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. in Lot C (located on Warren Blvd. between Damen Ave. and Wood St.). The seventh round of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge will take place at Road America, Wisconsin on Saturday, August 6, at 11:35 a.m.

Pirelli confirms Brazilian and Abu Dhabi GP tire selections

xxxx during the Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 15, 2015 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
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The last two Grands Prix of the season will feature the widest range of dry weather compound tires, Pirelli has announced on Tuesday.

Its three hardest compounds – the soft, medium and hard tires – will be utilized for the Brazilian Grand Prix on November 13.

Two weeks later in Abu Dhabi for the season finale, however, Pirelli will go to the three softest – the ultrasoft, supersoft and soft tires.

These two races will follow on from the North American double in Austin and Mexico City, where Pirelli will go down the middle with the supersoft, soft and medium compounds.

The soft/medium/hard selections were used at Barcelona and Silverstone and will be used at Sepang and Suzuka.

Meanwhile the other ultrasoft/supersoft/soft races are Monaco, Montreal, Austria and the upcoming Singapore GP.

Pirelli’s season-long breakdown is linked here.