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.

Michael Andretti looking forward to new Australian Supercars venture

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If it seems like Michael Andretti is out to conquer the world, he is – kind of.

The former IndyCar star turned prolific team owner has won three of the last four Indianapolis 500s and five overall, second only to Roger Penske’s 16 Indy 500 triumphs.

Along the way, in addition to expanding his own IndyCar and Indy Lights operation, the son of Mario Andretti and the primary shareholder of Andretti Autosport has also branched out into Global RallyCross and Formula E racing in recent years.

And now, Andretti has further expanded his brand internationally, following Penske to the world down under — as in the world of Australian V8 Supercars.

Andretti has teamed with Supercars team owner Ryan Walkinshaw, along with veteran motorsports marketer and executive director of McLaren Technology Group and United Autosports owner and chairman, Zak Brown.

Together, the three have formed Walkinshaw Andretti United, based in suburban Melbourne, Australia. The new team kicks off the new season with the Adelaide 500 from March 1-4.

“It’s just extending our brand and putting it out there,” Andretti told NBC Sports. “The Supercars are such a great series.

“It all started with Zach Brown calling me and said ‘You have to talk to Ryan Walkinshaw. He’s got something interesting to talk to you about.’

“We talked and literally in like a half-hour, we said, ‘Let’s figure out how we’re going to make this work.’ And then Zack was like, ‘Hey, what about me?’ And then Zack came in as a partner and it’s cool now that we have the Walkinshaw Andretti United team.

“I’m really excited about that program, the guys at the shop are excited about it, we’ve been doing a lot of things to try and help it because it’s such a cool series and the cars are so cool.

“I went down there to Bathurst, which was to me one of the coolest tracks in the world. I wish I could have driven it, I really do. It looks like a blast.

“It’s amazing how big that series is when you go down there. It’s one of the biggest sports in Australia. It was just a great opportunity for us to extend our portfolio.”

Admittedly, Andretti had some extra incentive to want to get involved in the Supercars world: Penske joined forces with legendary Dick Johnson Racing in September 2014.

The organization came together quickly and the rebranded DJR Team Penske went on to win the 2017 V8 Supercars championship.

“Roger was down there the last few years,” Andretti said, adding that fact as incentive to get his own organization into the series. “So it’s cool to go race head-to-head with Roger. That was also in the back of our minds.”

This is no start-up venture for Andretti. The roots of the new venture began in 1990 as the Holden Racing Team, which went on to become one of the most successful organizations in Australian V8 Supercar racing, having won the drivers’ championship six times and the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship’s top race, the Bathurst 1000 (essentially Australia’s version of the Indy 500), seven times.

Last season, Holden Racing team morphed into Triple Eight Race Engineering and was renamed Mobil 1 HSV Racing.

And now the company has been renamed once again for the 2018 campaign under the Walkinshaw Andretti United banner.

The team will be composed of two Holden ZB Commodores with drivers James Courtney and Scott Pye, as well as a Porsche 911 GT3-R in the Australian GT championship.

What’s next for Andretti’s motorsports portfolio? Right now, it’s pretty full, but you can bet running for championships from Australia (Supercars) to globally (GRC) to Indianapolis (Indy 500) to the U.S. (Verizon IndyCar Series) are at the top of this year’s list.