Red Bull GRC: NBC Sports Group confirms TV deal through 2015

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NBC Sports Group has announced a multi-year partnership with Red Bull Global Rallycross today through the 2015 season, presenting up to nine Red Bull Global Rallycross races annually the next two years. Coverage begins Saturday, May 24 at 1 p.m. ET on NBC with the first race of the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross season from the Top Gear Festival in Barbados. The NBC confirmation post is linked here.

Additional race locations this year include New York, Washington D.C., Daytona, Detroit, Charlotte, Los Angeles Seattle, and the season finale in Las Vegas in November. Red Bull Global Rallycross features some of the world’s premier rallycross drivers, including Ken Block,Tanner Foust and Scott Speed.

“We are thrilled to partner with Red Bull Global Rallycross and present more than 10 hours of original motorsports content on NBC,” saidGary Quinn, Vice President, Programming and Owned Properties, NBC Sports Group. “NBC Sports Group is one of the premier destinations for motorsports coverage, and the addition of Red Bull Global Rallycross to the NBC Sports family reiterates our commitment to the category.”

“Our fan base is growing exponentially, and being on NBC is an important step in meeting the demand out there for our Red Bull Global Rallycross motor sports platform.” said Colin Dyne, CEO, Red Bull Global Rallycross. “This partnership gives our fans incredible flexibility in how they view our races and we look forward to introducing the non-stop action of our sport to millions more households this season.”

Veteran motorsports play-by-play announcer Tes Sewell will call the action this season, joined by NBC Sports Group motorsports analyst and active driver Townsend Bell.

In addition to NBC’s coverage of the Red Bull Global Rallycross series, NBCSN will air encore presentations of all nine events this season, and all content will be streamed via NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets.

2014 RED BULL GLOBAL RALLYCROSS SCHEDULE ON NBC

Date Coverage Network Time (ET)
Sat., May 24 Top Gear Festival – Barbados* NBC 1 p.m.
Sun., June 22 Red Bull Global Rallycross – Washington D.C. NBC 2 p.m.
Sun., July 20 Red Bull Global Rallycross – New York NBC 2 p.m.
Sat., July 26 Red Bull Global Rallycross – Charlotte NBC 2 p.m.
Sun., August 3 Red Bull Global Rallycross – Detroit NBC 2 p.m.
Sat., August 23 Red Bull Global Rallycross – Daytona NBC 3:30 p.m.
Sat., September 20 Red Bull Global Rallycross – Los Angeles NBC 5 p.m.
Sun., September 28 Red Bull Global Rallycross – Seattle* NBC 2:30 p.m.
Sun., November 16 Red Bull Global Rallycross – Las Vegas* NBC 2 p.m.

*Denotes tape-delayed presentation

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.