F1 Paddock Pass: Belgian Grand Prix (VIDEO)

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Formula 1 makes its long-awaited return at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend after the summer break, meaning that we’re also back with another instalment of NBC Sports’ original digital series “Paddock Pass”.

This week, we have the Belgian Grand Prix, which is one of the most famous and popular on the calendar. In part one, NBCSN’s Will Buxton catches up with 16-year-old Max Verstappen, who is set to make his F1 debut next year, Caterham’s Andre Lotterer ahead of his F1 debut, and Williams duo Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa.

In part two, we speak to Daniel Ricciardo following his victory in Hungary, and also speaks with current points leader, Nico Rosberg and Lotus’ Romain Grosjean ahead of the latter’s ‘home’ race in the absence of a French Grand Prix.

We also talked to Alexander Rossi following Marussia’s initial announcement that he would be replacing Max Chilton for this weekend’s race. However, the team has since performed a u-turn, confirming that Chilton will indeed race.

Toyota victorious in Bahrain on Porsche’s LMP1 swansong

Toyota Motorsport GmbH
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SAKHIR, Bahrain – Toyota denied Porsche a swansong victory in its final LMP1 appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking a commanding win in the 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday.

Porsche started from pole in the last competitive outing for the three-time Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid car, only to lose out to Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi within the first half an hour of the race.

Porsche lost one of its cars from contention for victory after an errant bollard got stuck underneath Timo Bernhard’s No. 2 entry, leaving Nick Tandy to lead its charge in the No. 1 car.

Tandy moved into the lead just past half distance after a bold strategy call from Porsche to triple-stint the Briton after a fuel-only stop, vaulting him ahead of Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 Toyota.

Tandy’s win hopes were soon dashed when he tangled with a GTE-Am backmarker at Turn 1, sustaining damage that forced Porsche into an unplanned pit stop that put the car a lap down.

With the No. 7 Toyota losing two laps following a clash with a GTE-Pro car earlier on, Davidson, Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima went unchallenged en route to the car’s fifth victory of the season.

Porsche rounded out the podium with its cars, with the No. 2 leading home the No. 1, leaving Toyota’s No. 7 car to settle for P4 at the checkered flag.

Vaillante Rebellion clinched the title in LMP2 after a stunning fightback led by Bruno Senna, with the Brazilian securing his maiden motorsport championship win in the process.

GTE-Pro saw AF Corse complete a hat-trick of titles in 2017, with James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi wining the class’ first world championship recognized by the FIA, while Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda sewed up the GTE-Am title.