Return to Austria highlights more than 35 hours of NBC/NBCSN motorsports this week

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NBC Sports Group continues its Formula One coverage this weekend with the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN, highlighting more than 35 hours of motorsports coverage across NBC and NBCSN this week. NBC’s motorsports coverage features Red Bull Global Rallycross action from Washington, D.C. on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.

NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will provide comprehensive streaming coverage of the F1 Austrian Grand Prix and Red Bull Global Rallycross from Washington, D.C.

F1 AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX – SUNDAY AT 7:30 A.M. ET ON NBCSN

Formula One makes its return to Austria for the first time since 2003, and 50 years since F1 held the first World Championship Austrian Grand Prix. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) enters this week’s race looking to carry the momentum of his victory at the Canadian Grand Prix on June 8, the first win of his F1 career. Ricciardo overtook Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) with three laps remaining and held on for the checkered flag, snapping Mercedes’ six-race winning streak to open the 2014 season. Defending World Champion and Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel finished third in Montreal, notching his second podium of the campaign.

Live Austrian Grand Prix coverage begins on NBC Sports Live Extra with Practice 1 on Friday at 4 a.m. ET, followed by Practice 2, which will also air live on NBCSN at 8 a.m. ETLive Extra will stream exclusive coverage of Practice 3 on Saturday at 5 a.m. ET, prior to NBCSN’s live coverage of qualifying at 8 a.m. ET. NBCSN live race presentation airs Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET, followed by F1 Extra, NBC Sports Group’s pre- and post-race studio show, at 10 a.m. ET.

NBCSN will also air an encore presentation of the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET. In addition, NBCSN will air coverage of both GP2 races from Austria. Race 1 will be shown at 5:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, followed by Race 2 on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.

Lead F1 announcer Leigh Diffey will call the Austrian Grand Prix, and will be joined by veteran analyst and former race car 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 Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, and will also call this week’s GP2 races.

RED BULL GLOBAL RALLYCROSS – SUNDAY AT 2 P.M. ET ON NBC

NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship continues weekend on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET from Washington, D.C. Scott Speed (Volkswagen Andretti) will look to earn his third consecutive win to start the 2014 campaign after victories in Barbados and Austin.

Veteran motorsports play-by-play announcer Tes Sewell will call the action on Sunday on-site from RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., joined by motorsports analyst Townsend Bell and reporter Kristen Kenney.

NASCAR AMERICA – WEEKDAYS AT 5 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

NASCAR AMERICA, NBCSN’s 30-minute daily show dedicated to the nation’s longstanding fascination with speed and stock car racing, airs weekdays at 5 p.m. ET. Host Rick Allen is joined by analyst and former driver Kyle Petty, and special guest and former NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd.

In addition, NBCSN will present encore presentations of Mecum Auctions and KURT BUSCH: 36. Following is this week’s motorsports coverage schedule on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra:

Date Program Time (ET) Network
Wed., June 18 NASCAR AMERICA 5 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR: The List 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR: The List 7 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR: The List 7:30 p.m. NBCSN
KURT BUSCH: 36 8 p.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross – Glen Helen (Encore) 9 p.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross – Hangtown (Encore) 11 p.m. NBCSN
Thu., June 19 Motocross Highlight Series 1 a.m. NBCSN
NASCAR: The List 2 a.m. NBCSN
NASCAR: The List 2:30 a.m. NBCSN
NASCAR AMERICA 5 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., June 20 Austrian Grand Prix – Practice 1 4 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Mecum Auctions: Kansas City (Encore) 7 a.m. NBCSN
Off The Grid: Barcelona (Encore) 7:30 a.m. NBCSN
Austrian Grand Prix – Practice 2 8 a.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Motorsports Hour 4 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR AMERICA 5 p.m. NBCSN
Mecum Auctions – Indianapolis (Encore) 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
/DRIVE on NBC Sports 9:30 p.m. NBCSN
Austrian Grand Prix – Practice 2 (Encore) 10:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., June 21 Pirelli World Challenge – Detroit 12 a.m. NBCSN
Austrian Grand Prix – Practice 3 5 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Austrian Grand Prix – Qualifying 8 a.m. NBCSN
GP2 Austria – Race 1 5:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., June 22 Austrian Grand Prix – Qualifying (Encore) 1:30 a.m. NBCSN
Austrian Grand Prix 7:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra 10 a.m. NBCSN
Red Bull Global Rallycross – Washington, D.C. 2 p.m. NBC
Austrian Grand Prix (Encore) 2:30 p.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra (Encore) 5 p.m. NBCSN
RACER TV 5:30 p.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Motorsports Hour 6 p.m. NBCSN
GP2 Austria – Race 2 7 p.m. NBCSN
“1” – F1 Documentary 9 p.m. NBCSN

McLaren unveils 2018 F1 car, the MCL33

Photo: Getty Images
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McLaren F1 Team became the latest to launch their 2018 challenger on Friday, taking the covers off their new MCL33 chassis early on Friday morning.

McLaren endured a difficult 2017 season of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, with their partnership with Honda eventually dissolving after a troublesome power unit saw them plagued by unreliability and low power.

A switch to Renault power units is expected to see them get an uptick in form, and the MCL33 chassis itself is actually an evolution on last year’s MCL32. Still, the team highlighted areas to improve upon, and aims for a return to prominence in 2018.

“The McLaren team was created by a brave pioneer, and has had bravery at its core ever since. Whether it’s been with brave drivers, brave leaders or brave fortune, this team has always fought back. And we definitely view 2018 as the year when McLaren will move closer to the front, fighting teams and drivers as we improve our fortunes,” said Zak Brown, executive director of McLaren Technology Group.

Brown also highlighted the car’s new papaya orange livery, a throwback to some of the most popular color schemes that have adorned McLaren entrants in a variety of disciplines. Brown indicated that this came about from requests of fans who wanted to see such a livery return to the McLaren marque.

“Our return to a papaya orange livery for this year wasn’t simply an emotional decision; it demonstrates that we are listening to our fans, building deeper engagement with them and the Formula 1 community as a whole. We want McLaren to earn respect on and off the track, and this felt like a good starting point. We want to show everyone what makes this team special, whether that’s our fans or our partners – there’s room for more on our journey.”

The team’s racing director Eric Boullier expressed optimism about the team’s potential for 2018, but also acknowledged the season will be sure to see its fair share of challenges.

“I think the whole team feels proud of this car,” he asserted. “The design, engineering and aerodynamic departments have done an incredible job delivering a new car with a new power unit in an extremely short timeframe. We never took the easy route or looked to shortcut a process or a solution; and the result is a car that is neat and well-resolved.

“That said, we are under no illusions that it will be difficult to splinter the hegemony at the front; and that the midfield will be full of well-funded, experienced outfits with plenty to prove. We are humble about the challenge ahead, but feel we’ve prepared well, have a solid package that we can build upon and exploit as the season progresses, and have two excellent drivers who will make the difference in races.”

The MCL33 took to the track on Friday for filming at a test track in Spain, and will be run in anger for the first time when testing begins next week at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

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