F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Qualifying

WATCH LIVE: Hungarian GP Race Day; can Rosberg cash in?

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Lewis Hamilton is staring down the barrel of a sizeable deficit to teammate Nico Rosberg at the top of the championship after the drivers enjoyed contrasting fortunes in Hungary yesterday.

While Rosberg stormed to his fifth pole position in six races, Hamilton saw his Mercedes engine go up in flames after a fuel leak. He will start today’s race from the pit lane.

You can watch Hungarian Grand Prix live on CNBC and Live Extra from 7:30am ET. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Following his win in Germany, Rosberg currently leads the drivers’ championship by fourteen points, but most expected that figure to be cut in half in Hungary. Hamilton’s record at the Hungaroring is very impressive, with the Briton claiming four wins in seven years. However, he stands little chance of making in five from the pit lane.

The weather gods could yet smile on those further back. Rain is due to hit the Hungaroring one hour before the race begins, which would undoubtedly put a spin on the grid. Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas appear to stand little chance of catching Rosberg in normal conditions from second and third on the grid, but in the rain, it could all change.

There are also a few other storylines to keep an eye out for. Kimi Raikkonen will be hoping to bounce back from a shock Q1 exit, whilst Kevin Magnussen also faces a pit lane start alongside Hamilton following his Q3 crash. Sauber enjoyed its best qualifying of the season and will start 11th and 13th, and Jules Bianchi impressed once again for Marussia in 15th.

However, there is one main question to answer: can Rosberg cash in on Hamilton’s misfortune and extend his championship lead ahead of the summer break?

Join us at 7:30am ET on CNBC and Live Extra to find out. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Ecclestone has ‘no doubts’ Monza will remain on F1 calendar

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MILAN (AP) Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone is confident the Italian Grand Prix in Monza can find the needed cash to stay on the calendar.

Ecclestone tells the Gazzetta dello Sport, “We will find the right solution – I no longer have doubts – to provide a future for the Italian GP.”

No circuit has hosted more F1 racing than Monza, but officials at the track outside Milan have had trouble producing the estimated 25 million euros ($26.6 million) per year that Ecclestone seeks to keep the race in place after the current contract expires next year.

Ecclstone says, “Things have been cleared up and there is only one go between, (Angelo) Sticchi Damiani, the president of the Italian Automobile Club.”

The Italian GP next year is scheduled for Sept. 4.

Alternative engine solution rejected by F1 Commission

Nico Rosberg

Plans to introduce a new alternative, cheaper engine into Formula 1 for 2017 – hypothetically a 2.2-liter V6 similar to what is seen in IndyCar – will at least temporarily go on the backburner.

The F1 Commission has rejected the so called “alternative engine solution,” where several companies submitted proposals to be that alternative supplier.

“The F1 Commission voted not to pursue this option at this stage — however, it may be reassessed after the Power Unit manufacturers have presented their proposal to the Strategy Group,” the FIA said on Wednesday.

“The parties involved have agreed on a course to address several key areas relating to Power Unit supply in Formula One,” the statement added.

Meanwhile the statement outlined four things the current manufacturers – Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda – would be tasked with improving on the current 1.6-liter formula:

Those are:

  • a guarantee of supply to teams
  • the need to reduce the engines’ cost
  • simplification of the specification
  • “improved noise”

Further meetings between the manufacturers and the governing body are scheduled, including one this weekend at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix season finale.

As F1 heads into the final weekend of the season, political/paddock items such as Red Bull and Toro Rosso’s respective power unit futures, whether Renault’s takeover of Lotus will finally become official and what will happen with Manor’s team leadership stake – this marks Graeme Lowdon and John Booth’s final weekends although ex-McLaren man Dave Ryan has been hired as the team’s new racing director – are among the talking points.

Stoffel Vandoorne’s Super Formula test hampered by engine woes

Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne
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You couldn’t make this stuff up.

Dominant GP2 Series champion Stoffel Vandoorne had his first go in a Super Formula car at Suzuka on Wednesday, but the engine woes that have hampered his Formula 1 team’s efforts (McLaren) all season appear to be equal opportunity woes.

Vandoorne only completed a limited day of running due to technical issues; naturally, and in an unfortunate coincidence, the Super Formula cars also have Honda power.

The Belgian is now en route from Japan to Abu Dhabi, where this weekend’s final round of the GP2 season will be held alongside the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

FIA Formula E to remain at Battersea Park following vote

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Wandsworth Council’s Community Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee voted seven to four late Tuesday night, in favor of retaining the FIA Formula E event in Battersea Park.

This will see the London ePrix – the season finale for the electric open-wheel championship – continue at the site for at least the next two seasons.

The 2016 race will run July 2-3, to avoid a direct head-to-head clash with the British Grand Prix a week later in Silverstone.

Battersea Park’s race faced local opposition in recent weeks, which put the race under threat.