F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Previews

Hungarian GP highlights 30+ hours of motorsports coverage across NBC, NBCSN and CNBC this weekend

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The final grand prix before the mid-season break in Formula 1 is set to highlight over 30 hours of motorsports coverage across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC and NBC Sports Live Extra this weekend.

The Hungarian Grand Prix is a favorite among the fans and the drivers in the sport, and will see Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg do battle once again for the lead of the drivers’ championship.


NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive coverage of the F1 Hungarian Grand Prix begins Friday at 4 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra with Practice 1, followed by Practice 2 at 8 a.m. ET, which NBCSN will present at Noon ET. Live Extra will carry Practice 3 on Saturday at 5 a.m. ET, followed by live qualifying coverage at 8 a.m. ET on CNBC.

CNBC’s live Hungarian Grand Prix coverage begins Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET, followed by F1 Extra at 10 a.m. ET. NBCSN will air an encore presentation of qualifying on Saturday at Noon ET, and an encore of the Hungarian Grand Prix at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday. NBCSN will also air the GP2 race from Hungary on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.

Last week, Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) ran away with the German Grand Prix for his fourth victory of the season to increase his lead over teammate Lewis Hamilton to 14 points, as Hamilton finished in third position. Hamilton will look to rebound at Hungaroring where he’s won four times in his F1 career, including the past two Hungarian Grands Prix.

Lead F1 announcer Leigh Diffey will call the Hungarian 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 Hungaroring in Mogyorod, Hungary, and will also call the GP2 race.


NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Red Bull Global RallyCross Championship continues on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET from Charlotte, N.C. Last week, Tanner Foust (Volkswagen Andretti) snapped a 12-race winless streak with a win in New York. Nelson Piquet Jr. (SH Racing) finished second in New York to maintain his 35-point lead over Scott Speed (Volkswagen Andretti) in the point standings.

Veteran motorsports play-by-play announcer Tes Sewell will call the action on Saturday on-site from The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway, joined by motorsports analystTownsend Bell and reporter Kristen Kenney.


Following Red Bull Global RallyCross coverage on Saturday, NBC will present the Red Bull Hare Scramble, one of the world’s most difficult off-road motorcycle races, at 3:30 p.m. ET.Sal Masekela, the definitive voice in action sports, will call the event alongside Leigh Diffey, analyst and off-road driver Cameron Steele and reporter Tina Dixon.


NBCSN’s Mecum Auctions coverage continues this week from their Harrisburg auction today at 5:30 p.m. ET. NBCSN will present its second day of Mecum Auctions: Harrisburg coverage on Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET, followed by live coverage on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Scott Hoke will host NBCSN’s Mecum Auctions coverage on-site at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pa., alongside analysts John Kraman,Stephen Cox, and Bill Stephens. Mecum Auctions is led by Dana Mecum, Founder and President of Mecum Auctions for the past 27 years.


NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will combine to present five hours of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Washougal National coverage from Washougal, Wash. on Saturday. Coverage starts on Live Extra at 1:30 p.m.. ET with practice, followed by the pre-race show at 3:15 p.m. ET. Race coverage begins at 4 p.m. ET on Live Extra with 1st Motos, followed by live coverage of 2nd Motos at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Last weekend, Eli Tomac took the 450 Class at Spring Creek National for his first career win, while Millville native Jeremy Martin won the 250 Class for his fourth podium of the season.

Veteran play-by-play voice Jason Weigandt, analyst and two-time AMA Pro Motocross Champion Grant Langston, and pit reporter Georgia Lindsay will call the action from Washougal National in Washougal, Wash.

Motorsports Coverage This Week on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra (subject to change):

Date Program Time (ET) Network
Thurs., July 24 NASCAR America 5 p.m. NBCSN
Mecum Auctions – Harrisburg 5:30 p.m. NBCSN
Red Bull Global RallyCross New York (Encore) 11 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., July 25 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix – Practice 1 4 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
F1 Hungarian Grand Prix – Practice 2 8 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Fri., July 25 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix – Practice 2 (Encore) Noon NBCSN
NASCAR America 5 p.m. NBCSN
Mecum Auctions – Harrisburg 5:30 p.m. NBCSN
Motocross Highlight Series 11 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., July 26 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix – Practice 3 5 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
F1 Hungarian Grand Prix – Qualifying 8 a.m. CNBC
F1 Hungarian Grand Prix – Qualifying (Encore) Noon NBCSN
Mecum Auctions – Harrisburg 1:30 p.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Washougal – Practice 1:30 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Red Bull Global RallyCross Charlotte 2 p.m. NBC
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Washougal – Pre-Show 3:15 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Red Bull Hare Scramble 3:30 p.m. NBC
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Washougal – 1stMotos 4 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
GP2 Hungary 5 p.m. NBCSN
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Washougal – 2nd Motos 6 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., July 27 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix 7:30 a.m. CNBC
F1 Extra 10 a.m. CNBC
F1 Hungarian Grand Prix (Encore) 2 p.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra (Encore) 4:30 p.m. NBCSN


DiZinno: Engine drama dominates 2015 silly season thus far

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So it’s mid-October, and in both Formula 1 and IndyCar, the story of silly season 2015 is not about the drivers behind the wheel, but more about the lumps giving the drivers the power with which to do so.

The war in IndyCar has gone on more behind-the-scenes between Honda and Chevrolet as it relates to performance clauses and what can or can’t be updated for 2016.

However F1’s engine battle has been a very public spat, and been the dominant silly season storyline this fall.

F1’s driver silly season never really got going for next season. As my MotorSportsTalk colleague Luke Smith has chronicled, the one potential domino that could have made things interesting – Kimi Raikkonen’s status at Ferrari – will go unchanged into 2016.

As such, it leaves with a grid where the lineups at Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams, Force India, Sauber and most recently McLaren are confirmed to stay the same for 2016.

The only driver switch at present is Romain Grosjean leaving the unsettled, fluid situation at Lotus to lead Haas F1 Team’s charge in its maiden season.

This brings us then, simply, to the Red Bull teams.

Red Bull may give you wings, and wings right now are all that’s confirmed to power the teams into 2016.

A season-long row, spat, disagreement or whatever word you want to call it has occurred between Red Bull and Renault to the point where Red Bull has threatened to pull out of Formula 1 – which would leave its quartet of talented youngsters, Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr. – all sidelined. Let alone all its talented mechanics and crew.

Mercedes has already moved its fourth engine supply from Lotus to Manor, and Ferrari has proposed offering a 2015 power unit, neither of which were really feasible solutions for Red Bull and by default, Toro Rosso as well.

It’s then left the two parties in a proverbial stalemate, where Red Bull needs Renault more than Renault needs Red Bull.

And in social terms, it’s a case of Red Bull needing to go back to the girl they want to dump, because it’s their only option. Perhaps it’s no coincidence the term “F1 booty call” was occasionally used on social media over the weekend to describe the situation.

The Red Bull quit threat, unfortunately, continues to persist. Adrian Newey, the sport’s most successful designer, has reiterated the concerns in an interview with Reuters over the weekend.

“Unfortunately, our relationship with Renault is pretty terminal — there’s been too much of a marriage breakdown, so we have no engine,” Newey told Reuters while in Abu Dhabi to judge the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy.

“Red Bull should not be put in a position where they’re only there to make up the numbers,” he added, noting the desired need for improvement from Renault.

One could argue, of course, that Newey’s departure has had a psychological effect on the team, perhaps as much if not a greater impact than Renault’s engine woes. And easy as it is to forget, Ricciardo still won three Grands Prix a year ago and was in mathematical championship contention until the final few races of the season.

Think in Renault’s case as well, that as a sole constructor and owner of Lotus as it is shaping up to be next year, it would behoove them to have a second set of data at its disposal, rather than going solo without another team. See Honda and McLaren for how that’s gone this year…

The fact that Red Bull has opted to go for the nuclear threat in print of quitting when all it’s really had is a bad year – something it’s experienced plenty both early in its own team lifespan, and in its prior guises as Jaguar and Stewart dating to the Stewart team’s inception in 1997 – really smacks of poor professionalism, unbecoming of the brand.

Red Bull didn’t get the top of the mountain in the business world, and in F1, without a desire to be the best.

But in the interest of becoming a true fabric of the F1 community through both thick and thin – as teams like Ferrari, Williams and McLaren have done for decades – it needs to take a step back, chalk 2015 up as a year to forget and figure out a way to bury the hatchet so it doesn’t leave all the affected individuals high and dry.

IndyCar 2015 Driver Review: Ryan Briscoe

Ryan Briscoe
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MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda

  • 2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
  • 2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish

For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.

Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.

The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.