F1 Grand Prix of Italy - Race

Italian Grand Prix highlights NBCSN’s weekend motorsports coverage

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NBC Sports Group presents more than 30 hours of motorsports coverage this weekend on NBCSN, highlighted by live coverage of the Formula One Italian Grand Prix this Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ETNBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will stream all F1 Italian Grand Prix and Mecum Auctions coverage this weekend.


NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive coverage of the F1 Italian 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 on NBCSN. Live Extra will carry Practice 3 on Saturday at 5 a.m. ET, followed by live qualifying coverage at 8 a.m. ET on NBCSN.

Live Italian 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 the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET, following coverage of the Italian GP2 race at 2 p.m. ET.

This weekend’s coverage will also feature an on-track segment with racing legend Mario Andretti, who won the Italian Grand Prix in 1977 and witnessed his first ever F1 race at Monza.

Two weeks ago, Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) held off Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) at the Belgian Grand Prix for his third victory of the season, but the big story out of the race was the collision between Rosberg and teammate Lewis Hamilton. Rosberg contacted Hamilton early in the race, slicing into Hamilton’s tire, which forced an eventual retirement for Hamilton, as Rosberg pushed his points lead to 29 over his teammate and rival.

The Italian Grand Prix is one of the longest running events on the F1 circuit, and has been held every year since 1950. Last year, Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) took the checkered flag at Monza, but Hamilton will look to draw upon his 2012 victory at the Italian Grand Prix to trim his deficit to Rosberg in the standings.

Lead F1 announcer Leigh Diffey will call the Italian Grand Prix, and will be joined by veteran analyst and former race car 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 Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Monza, Italy, and will also call the GP2 race.

In addition to the Italian Grand Prix, NBCSN will also feature the TORC series championship from Crandon, Wisc., as part of its race coverage, airing Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

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

Date Program Time (ET) Network
Thurs., September 4 NASCAR AMERICA 5 p.m. NBCSN
Mecum Auctions – Dallas 7:30 NBCSN
Off The Grid – Barcelona (Encore) 9:30 p.m. NBCSN
Mecum Dealmakers: Harrisburg 10 p.m. NBCSN
/DRIVE on NBC Sports 11 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., September 5 Pirelli World Challenge: Sonoma 12:30 a.m. NBCSN
Mazda Road to Indy: Sonoma 2 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Italian Grand Prix – Practice 1 4 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Mecum Dealmakers: Harrisburg (Encore) 7 a.m NBCSN
F1 Italian Grand Prix – Practice 2 8 a.m. NBCSN
Mecum Auctions – Dallas 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., September 6 F1 Italian Grand Prix – Practice 3 5 a.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
F1 Italian Grand Prix – Qualifying 8 a.m. NBCSN
/DRIVE on NBC Sports (Encore) 9:30 a.m. NBCSN
Mecum Dealmakers: Seattle (Encore) 10 a.m. NBCSN
Mecum Auctions: Dallas Noon NBCSN
TORC: Crandon Championship 3:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., September 7 F1 Italian Grand Prix 7:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra 10 a.m. NBCSN
Off The Grid: Budapest (Encore) 10:30 a.m. NBCSN
GP2 – Italy 2 p.m. NBCSN
F1 Italian Grand Prix (Encore) 3 p.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra (Encore) 5:30 p.m. NBCSN

Formula E: Team Aguri confirms da Costa for second season

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Antonio Felix da Costa has been confirmed for a second season with Team Aguri for the 2015-2016 FIA Formula E Championship, which begins later this month in Beijing.

He won once this past year at Buenos Aires and finished eighth in the points despite missing both the season opener and season finale due to clashes with his DTM schedule.

Said the 24-year-old Portuguese driver, “I am really happy to continue with Team Aguri and Formula E for season two. This championship is earning its respect in the world of motorsport and I am honoured to be involved. Regarding the season, I am really looking forward to getting started.”

Team Aguri team principal Mark Preston added, “It is a great pleasure to have Antonio continuing with the team for season two of Formula E. Antonio brought us our maiden win in Buenos Aires and helped to develop the team from scratch, he will continue to build on that success for season two and beyond.”

The team that bares the name of ex-Formula 1 driver and team owner Aguri Suzuki has not yet confirmed its second driver, which is the last outstanding seat to be filled on the Formula E grid.

Amlin, which had partnered with Aguri last year, is now present with the Andretti Formula E team and its drivers, Robin Frijns and Simona de Silvestro.

Hulkenberg leads shorter than normal FP1 in Russia

Nico Hulkenberg
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Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg posted a 1:44.355 lap of the of the Sochi Autodrom to lead a fairly abnormal, and shorter than usual, first free practice for the Russian Grand Prix.

Hulkenberg posted the time to conclude the usual 90-minute session, to pip Nico Rosberg at 1:44.407 on his final lap. The usual 90-minute session was shortened due to a track delay for cleanup of diesel fuel on course.

Sebastian Vettel, Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo completed the top five.

While the clock started on time for the full 90-minute session, track activity was halted for the opening 30 minutes to clean up diesel spillage on the track at Turn 8.

It left teams and drivers with just a 60-minute first free practice to tackle the Sochi Autodrom, but did not push the session later or affect the timetable for the rest of the day. However, with a damp if not entirely wet track, it made things difficult in FP1.

The delay also meant that teams weren’t able to use an extra set of Pirellis handed out at the start of FP1. Supersofts can be used for the first time in FP2.

During the delay, it did offer a chance for sarcasm, and Manor seized the opportunity following a comment from McLaren Honda’s Fernando Alonso noting that even with Mercedes engines next year, Manor wouldn’t move ahead of them.

NBC’s Will Buxton explained the track surface dilemma drivers would face in this session.

With just under one hour to go in the session, Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson was the first to head out on course, leading several others. Ericsson made the first laps of the weekend at the track where he made his final start for Caterham a year ago.

Both Williams drivers went on course on Pirelli’s wet weather tires for their installation laps. Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg tried the intermediates, and Alonso was first on course in slicks.

No official times were registered until there were less than 40 minutes remaining in the session, with Alonso registering a 2:00.736 time, while putting down a bevy of sparks. He quickly lowered the mark to 1:56.327, and 1:53.854 after that. Ericsson was next in at a 1:58.926, although dropped into the 1:54 range not long after.

Alonso’s teammate Jenson Button clocked in at 1:50.920 with just under 20 minutes remaining and for the first time this year, we could say we had a McLaren Honda 1-2 on track, albeit under abnormal circumstances.

The trsck got busy in the final 15 minutes, with Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen posting a 1:50.870 to lead before Alonso clocked in a 1:49.240.

A 1:47.959 from Williams’ Valtteri Bottas, then a 1:45.987 from Hulkenberg followed in the final 10 minutes as times firmly began to drop. Vettel got down to a 1:45.491 shortly thereafter, and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton came up two tenths shy of the mark at a 1:45.691.

Ericsson reported a power cut near the end of the session down at Sauber but otherwise there were no issues through the field, other than a handful of spins, including one from Hamilton on his final flier at the second-to-last corner.

FP2 begins from 7 a.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.