F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Previews

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

Leave a comment

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.

F1 HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX – SUNDAY AT 7:30 A.M. ET ON CNBC

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.

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

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.

RED BULL HARE SCRAMBLE – SATURDAY AT 3:30 P.M. ET ON NBC

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.

MECUM AUCTIONS: HARRISBURG – THURSDAY-SATURDAY ON NBCSN

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.

LUCAS OIL PRO MOTOCROSS WASHOUGAL NATIONAL – SATURDAY AT 6 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

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

 

Lewis Hamilton escapes punishment for defying Mercedes team orders in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 27:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP prepares for the race on the grid  during the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 27, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
© Getty Images
Leave a comment

Lewis Hamilton will face no punishment for defying team orders from Mercedes during the Formula 1 title decider in Abu Dhabi last weekend.

Hamilton took his fourth straight win and 10th of the season at the Yas Marina Circuit last Sunday, but fell five points short of Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in the final drivers’ championship standings.

In a bid to make Rosberg lose places, Hamilton slowed the pack down in Abu Dhabi, causing concern on the Mercedes pit wall as Sebastian Vettel threatened to snatch victory away.

Hamilton ignored several calls from the Mercedes pit wall to pick up the pace, risking disciplinary action from the team after going against its orders.

However, Mercedes non-executive director Niki Lauda has confirmed that Hamilton will not be punished and that the team has moved on from the incident.

“There is no need to say anything to Lewis,” Lauda told The Mail on Sunday.

“We have no problem about how he raced in Abu Dhabi. We have drawn a line under it.”

Mercedes’ more pressing concern at the moment is finding a replacement for Rosberg after the German’s shock decision to retire from racing with immediate effect.

Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes runs for another two years, and without erstwhile rival Rosberg to battle against, is the early favorite for the championship in 2017.

Lauda claims half the F1 grid is chasing Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes seat

SUZUKA, JAPAN - OCTOBER 09: Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP Mercedes GP non-executive chairman Niki Lauda and Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff celebrate after winning the race and the constructors championship for 2016 during the Formula One Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka Circuit on October 9, 2016 in Suzuka.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
© Getty Images
Leave a comment

Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda says that “practically half of Formula 1” is chasing Nico Rosberg’s seat for the 2017 season after the World Champion’s sensational decision to retire on Friday.

Rosberg was crowned F1 drivers’ champion for the first time last weekend in Abu Dhabi, only to announce five days later that he would be retiring with immediate effect.

The decision stunned the F1 world, and gave the driver market for the 2017 season a late and unprecedented twist as speculation swirled over who would replace Rosberg at Mercedes.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy, Lauda said that over half the F1 grid has enquired about Rosberg’s drive.

“Practically half of Formula 1 and maybe more,” Lauda said when asked about the interest in Mercedes’ free seat.

“I am constantly taking calls.”

Mercedes said following Rosberg’s announcement that it would take its time to decide on a replacement, with options including junior drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon, or more established racers that would need their contracts to be bought out.

Lauda hinted that Wehrlein and Ocon were not first choices for Mercedes, though, saying: “Hiring a youngster is a risk and we don’t know how strong he would be.”

Lauda also revealed that he thought Rosberg was playing a joke on him when he first found out about the news, not long before the formal announcement.

“I took it badly. I was not expecting it,” Lauda said.

“At first I didn’t believe him. ‘Nico,’ I told him, ‘Are you pulling my leg? Is it a joke?’

“But he, seriously, said it was all true. Truly incredible.”

The Mercedes seat is one of just four free on the F1 grid for 2017. Manor is yet to sign any drivers for next year, while Sauber has one vacancy remaining.

FIA confirms remaining dates on 2017 WRC calendar, adds Poland

GAP, FRANCE - JANUARY 23:  Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia of France compete in their Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen Polo R WRC during Day Three of the WRC Monte Carlo on January 23, 2016 in Gap, France.  (Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images)
© Getty Images
Leave a comment

The FIA has confirmed the full calendar for the 2017 World Rally Championship season following the latest meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Vienna this week.

The WMSC had previously approved a 12-round calendar for the 2017 season, but only confirmed the dates for the opening six rounds of the year.

In a statement issued by the FIA on Wednesday, the dates were firmed up for the entire calendar, as well as adding a 13th round in Poland.

FIA World Rally Championship – 2017 Calendar

1. Monte Carlo – 20-22 January
2. Sweden – 10-12 February
3. Mexico – 10-12 March
4. France – April 7-9
5. Argentina – April 28-30
6. Portugal – 19-21 May
7. Italy – 9-11 June
8. Poland – 30 June – 2 July
9. Finland – 28-30 July
10. Germany – 19-20 August
11. Spain – 6-8 October
12. Great Britain – 27-29 October
13. Australia – 17-19 November

In its statement, the FIA also confirmed the following regarding WRC in 2017:

  • The start order for World Championship rallies from 2017 has been amended and is now based purely on performance:
    • Day 1: All cars start according to the actual Championship classification
    • Day 2: P1 drivers start in the reverse order of the actual rally classification after Day 1. Other drivers start in the order of the rally classification.
    • Day 3: P1 drivers start in the reverse order of the actual rally classification after Day 2. Other drivers start in the order of the rally classification.
    • P1 drivers re-starting in Rally 2 will start at the end of the P1 group.
    • The start order of the first rally of the Championship will be based on the Championship classification of the previous year.
  • A WRC Trophy has been created for drivers and co-drivers participating in pre-2017 specification WRC cars. The maximum number of qualifying rallies is seven and the driver and co-driver who have scored the highest total of points in six of the qualifying rallies will win the titles. If less than five competitors register, no titles will be awarded.
  • M-Sport has been awarded the contract to supply R2 cars for the FIA Junior WRC Championship for 2017 and 2018.
  • Michelin Competition and DMACK Tyres are the registered tire companies for the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship.

Following Volkswagen’s shock withdrawal from the WRC, defending champion Sebastien Ogier is currently without a seat, but is known to be in the running for drives with both Citroen and the Ford M-Sport team in 2017.

Porsche confirms Lotterer, Tandy, Bamber in LMP1 seats for 2017

low_919_hybrid_wec_bahrain_2016_porsche_ag
© Porsche
Leave a comment

Porsche has confirmed its line-up for the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship season, welcoming Andre Lotterer, Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber into its LMP1 ranks at its Night of Champions event.

Following Mark Webber’s retirement from racing at the end of the 2016, and the decision to relocate world champions Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb, Porsche had three free seats for next year between its two LMP1 cars.

Audi’s decision to end its LMP1 program following the 2016 season left Lotterer without a drive, with the three-time Le Mans winner being picked up by Porsche.

The German marque has also promoted 2015 Le Mans winners Bamber and Tandy up into full-time LMP1 seats, the pair having raced in GTs for Porsche over the past 12 months after no third car was run last year at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

“Lotterer and Tandy will share driving duties in the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid with the reigning World Endurance Champion Neel Jani,” a statement from Porsche reads.

“Joining the two New Zealanders Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley in the cockpit of the #2 vehicle is Timo Bernhard from Germany.

“Thanks to continuing development, next year’s 919 represents another step in its technological evolution, featuring a completely new colour design, an optimised aerokit, and the complete overhaul of almost all components.

“The vehicle will be officially unveiled on 23 March at the WEC prologue, which is held for the first time in Monza, Italy.”

Porsche also confirmed its plans for its expanded GT program in 2017, when it will enter a pair of new 911 RSRs to the GTE Pro class of the WEC and aim for the championship.

“In addition to its LMP1 commitments, Porsche will also send a factory squad to the 2017 FIA WEC rounds to tackle the GT world championship titles for the best driver and the most successful manufacturer, which will be awarded for the first time,” the statement adds.

“This is a significant boost for our motorsport involvement and underlines that we have chosen the right platform with the WEC,” said Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche AG.

“The Porsche Motorsport GT team will campaign a pair of new 911 RSR in the GTE-Pro class. The drivers confirmed so far for these seats are Michael Christensen, Frédéric Makowiecki and Richard Lietz.”

Porsche will also continue with its factory entry in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2017, once again fielding the new 911 RSR car.

“For the fourth season, Porsche will take on the competition with a factory entry in America’s most important sports car series, the IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship.

“As in the FIA WEC, Porsche Motorsport GT fields two brand-new 911 RSR. Sharing the cockpit of the #911 vehicle are Patrick Pilet and Dirk Werner. At the particularly long events such as the Daytona 24 Hours, the 12 Hours of Sebring, Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans, the duo will receive support from Frédéric Makowiecki.

“The regular drivers in the number 912 vehicle are Kévin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor, with Richard Lietz joining them for the four long-distance classics. The season-opening race is the 24 Hours of Daytona on 28 January.”