WATCH LIVE: FP1 for the Austrian Grand Prix

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After eleven years away, a full grid of Formula 1 cars will grace the Red Bull Ring today as first practice for the Austrian Grand Prix takes place.

The session begins at 4am ET online on Live Extra. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

So far this season, Mercedes has been the dominant force within Formula 1, but in Canada that all changed as both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton suffered a problem on their car. Hamilton had to retire as a result, with Rosberg limping home in second place.

This allowed Daniel Ricciardo to claim his maiden Formula 1 victory in Montreal, passing Rosberg with two laps to go. The Australian driver’s endearing smile grew even bigger on Sunday evening after his win, and thanks to him, Red Bull arrives at its first ever home race with a huge amount of momentum.

For the latest from the paddock so far this weekend, be sure to read our Paddock Notebook from Thursday in Austria.

Remember, you can watch FP1 for the Austrian Grand Prix live on Live Extra from 4am ET. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Please note that there will be no commentary from the NBCSN team for this session, but it will instead purely be the FOM world feed.

Alonso would be ‘very happy’ to finish F1 career with McLaren

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Fernando Alonso says he would be “very happy” to see out his Formula 1 career with McLaren after signing a new multi-year contract with the British team, announced on Thursday.

Alonso, 36, ended speculation about his future by agreeing a new deal with McLaren, hopeful of returning to the front of the field next year when the team swaps Honda power for Renault engines.

Alonso admitted to considering options outside of F1 before agreeing to stay at McLaren, and was thought to only be chasing a one-year extension in order to be in a position to snap up a more attractive seat in the volatile 2019 market.

However, Alonso confirmed in an interview with the official F1 website that the deal with McLaren stretched beyond the end of next year, adding he would be content to see out his time in the sport with the team.

“I never talk about contracts, but one thing I can say is it is a long-term partnership,” Alonso said.

“I am very happy to finish my career at McLaren. So I don’t think it is going to be only one year.”

Alonso also revealed he had options with teams high up the field in F1 for 2018 just a couple of months ago, but was always leaning to staying at McLaren despite not scoring a podium with the team in almost three years.

“There were some other options in F1. In the summer there were still some options at the top teams, but my desire was to stay with McLaren,” Alonso said.

“But at that time they were in conversation with different engine suppliers, so I had to give them time to sort out their situation.

“Then McLaren opted for a Renault engine which delayed my decision, because I had to understand what Renault’s plans were for next years.

“But when I had everything on the table, everything was pretty clear.”