F1 Testing in Bahrain - Day Four

Bahrain Grand Prix at night highlights NBCSN’s weekend TV coverage

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NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the 2014 Formula One™ season continues “under the lights” this weekend with live coverage of the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN, with an encore presentation at 2:30 p.m. ET.

The action begins Friday at 11 a.m. ET with practice on NBCSN, followed by a live edition of F1 Countdown at 12:30 p.m. ET. Qualifying will air live at 11 a.m. ET on CNBC on Saturday, with a re-air on NBCSN at 12:30 p.m. ETF1 Extra, NBC Sports Group’s post-race Formula One studio show, will air Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

Sunday’s race marks the first time the Bahrain Grand Prix has been run at nighttime, also commemorating the race’s 10th anniversary following its inception in 2004. The Bahrain Grand Prix joins the Singapore Grand Prix as the only two Formula One night races.

Last week, Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) led the Malaysian Grand Prix wire-to-wire to earn his first victory of the 2014 F1 season, while teammate Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), who won the Australian Grand Prix on March 16, earned a second-place finish. Reigning F1 champion Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), who has won four consecutive F1 World Championships and won last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix, landed his first podium of the season in Malaysia with a third-place finish.

Lead F1 announcer Leigh Diffey will call the Bahrain 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 Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain.

In addition to its F1 coverage, NBCSN will begin its 2014 IndyCar coverage with the St. Petersburg 100, the first race in the 2014 Indy Lights schedule, on Friday at 4 p.m. ET. Indy Lights is the premier ladder series for drivers and teams striving to compete in the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500.

NASCAR AMERICA, NBCSN’s 30-minute weekday show highlighting the latest news in stock car racing, airs at 5 p.m. ET on Wednesdayand Thursday this week. Host Rick Allen will be joined in-studio by analyst and current driver Jeff Burton on Wednesday, and motorsports analyst Wally Dallenbach Jr. on Thursday.

Following is this week’s motorsports coverage schedule on NBCSN:

Date Program Network Time (ET)
Wed., April 2 NASCAR AMERICA NBCSN 5 p.m.
Thu., April 3 NASCAR AMERICA NBCSN 5 p.m.
Fri., April 4 Bahrain Grand Prix – Practice NBCSN 11 a.m.
F1 Countdown NBCSN 12:30 p.m.
Indy Lights – St. Petersburg 100 NBCSN 4 p.m.
F1 Countdown (Encore) NBCSN 5 p.m.
Sat., April 5 Bahrain Grand Prix – Qualifying CNBC 11 a.m.
Bahrain Grand Prix – Qualifying (Encore) NBCSN 12:30 p.m.
Sun., April 6 Bahrain Grand Prix NBCSN 10:30 a.m.
F1 Extra NBCSN 1 p.m.
Bahrain Grand Prix (Encore) NBCSN 2:30 p.m.
F1 Extra NBCSN 5 p.m.

Pippa Mann, breast cancer survivors paint IMS’ start/finish line pink

Photo: IndyCar
Photo: IndyCar
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We’ve written a fair bit on MotorSportsTalk about the efforts Pippa Mann has done in working with the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer awareness. Susan G. Komen has supported Mann’s last two runs at the Indianapolis 500, when she’s driven the No. 63 Honda for Dale Coyne Racing.

This being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the awareness hit a new level with Mann working alongside breast cancer survivors to paint the start/finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s iconic Yard of Bricks pink for the day.

IMS president Doug Boles also joined in the opportunity.

View a selection of photos and social posts below. More is linked here, via IndyCar.com.

Mercedes set to clinch F1 constructors’ championship in Russia

SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 08:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP speaks with members of the media in the paddock during previews to the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on October 8, 2015 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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For the second year in a row, Mercedes is poised to wrap up the Formula 1 constructors’ championship in Sochi at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

Mercedes won its first F1 teams’ title in Russia last year, having returned to the sport as a works constructor in 2010. When it last enjoyed such status in the 1950s, there was no championship for the teams.

Just as it did in 2014, Mercedes has dominated proceedings in F1 this season, winning all but three races and sweeping to eight one-two finishes to leave drivers Lewis Hamilton (pictured) and Nico Rosberg battling for the drivers’ title for the second straight year.

Now, Mercedes seeks the knock-out blow in the constructors’ title race by officially wrapping it up in Sochi this weekend.

To do so, the team must simply outscore rivals Ferrari by three points this weekend. The lead currently stands at 169 points, with 215 still on offer. After Sochi, there will be 172 remaining.

“We return to Russia with positive memories from last season, when the team sealed the first constructors’ title for Mercedes-Benz with a one-two finish,” team boss Toto Wolff said.

“A repeat performance in Sochi would be fantastic and this is absolutely the target – but we are under no illusions that it will come easy. The job is not done yet.”

The tire allocation for this weekend’s race could pose problems to Mercedes just as it did in Singapore, potentially allowing Ferrari to spoil the party and delay the victory celebrations at Brackley.

However, if the form book is to be trusted, Sochi could be playing host to another Mercedes party on Sunday night with a second world title in the bag for the Silver Arrows.