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.

F1 ITALIAN GRAND PRIX – SUNDAY AT 7:30 A.M. ET ON NBCSN

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
NASCAR AMERICA 5 p.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

Recap: Green Bay Packers QB Brett Hundley takes in Kohler Grand Prix

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When professional athletes decide to experience sports outside of the one where they make their living, it never ceases to entertain. Case and point: Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Hundley.

The 24-year-old Hundley spent the weekend at Road America, taking in the Kohler Grand Prix. His time at the facility began on Thursday, where he first paid a visit to Team Penske driver Will Power, who gave him a quick tutorial.

Will Power shows Brett Hundley a steering for a Verizon IndyCar Series machine. Photo: IndyCar

The next part of Hundley’s day saw him take a two-seater ride with none other than Mario Andretti. And, unsurprisingly, it left a big impression.

Mari Andretti takes Brett Hundley around Road America in the Verizon IndyCar Series two-seater. Photo: IndyCar

“The first lap, I’m screaming, and it’s the warm-up lap! And then the second lap: I’m just bright-eyed, going through corners. I give so much respect, that’s an awesome sport, man!” Hundley said in a media debrief afterward.

However, the day was not finished. Later on, Hundley showed off his arm strength and throwing accuracy by attempting to throw a football through the passenger side window of a moving Chevrolet Corvette. And while it took a few attempts, he eventually hit his mark.

Hundley stayed through Sunday and dawned a photographer’s bib in order to take in more of the action.

In fact, he even inadvertently photobombed second-place finisher Josef Newgarden during his post-race interview.

A video chronicling Hundley’s visit can be viewed here and additional photos from his weekend can be found on his Instagram page.

 

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Merhi confirmed for WEC return with Manor at the Nürburgring

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CEFC Manor TRS Racing has confirmed that Roberto Merhi will return to the FIA World Endurance Championship for next month’s 6 Hours of Nürburgring, replacing Jean-Eric Vergne.

Merhi previously raced for Manor in both Formula 1 and the WEC, making his most recent appearance with the British marque at last November’s 6 Hours of Bahrain.

Merhi’s last racing outing came in the Formula 2 double-header in Spain and has flirted with a move into Formula E, but was confirmed on Wednesday to be making his racing return at the Nürburgring on July 16.

Merhi will deputize for Vergne in the No. 24 Oreca 07 Gibson while the Frenchman is in New York for the city’s inaugural Formula E event.

FIA to re-examine Vettel/Hamilton Baku F1 clash

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The FIA has confirmed that it will re-examine the clash between Formula 1 title rivals Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton in Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix to see if further action is warranted.

Vettel and Hamilton made contact twice behind the safety car in Baku, with the second incident deemed to be an act of dangerous driving on Vettel’s part.

The FIA stewards in Baku handed Vettel a 10-second stop/go penalty for the clash – the harshest available penalty besides disqualification – but faced calls to issue a stricter punishment post race.

Hamilton said that the incident set a dangerous precedent for F1 and wider motorsport, but Vettel believed his rival deserved a penalty for allegedly brake testing him.

On Wednesday, the FIA confirmed that it would be re-examining the incident in a meeting on July 3, with a verdict set to be delivered ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.

“Following the recent incident at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in which Car 5 (Sebastian Vettel) was involved in a collision with Car 44 (Lewis Hamilton), on Monday 3rd July, the FIA will further examine the causes on the incident in order to evaluate whether further action is necessary,” a short statement from the FIA read.

“A statement regarding the outcome of this process will be made available before the upcoming Austrian Grand Prix (7-9 July).”

Wickens not interested in full-time IndyCar switch despite practice run

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Robert Wickens is not interested in making a full-time switch to the Verizon IndyCar Series in the near future despite his practice run-out at Road America last weekend for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

Mercedes DTM driver Wickens was called up for Friday practice at the KOHLER Grand Prix in the No. 7 Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda after Mikhail Aleshin was unable to make it in time due to immigration issues.

Aleshin was able to return to the United States in time for Saturday’s final practice and qualifying at Road America, with Wickens stepping back down.

The Canadian got his first taste of an Indy car in a car swap with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ James Hinchcliffe in March, paving the way for his practice appearance at Road America.

However, Wickens is not looking to make a full-time move over to IndyCar anytime soon despite enjoying his run-out, with his focus lying with DTM.

“Not really, to be honest,” Wickens said when asked if IndyCar was something he would like to move into in Mercedes’ ‘Tales from the Paddock’ press newsletter.

“I just want to race cars. That’s the main thing. I have no urge to leave the DTM at the moment.

“Everything is going well, and I’m really happy with Mercedes.”

Wickens also went into detail about how rapidly things moved with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, having only been told the day before practice that he was required for the running.

“I planned on having a relaxing weekend at home, but on Thursday afternoon I got a call from Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, which is the team that we did the ride swap with involving James Hinchcliffe back in April,” Wickens said.

“They asked if I could go to Road America and fill in for Mikhail Aleshin who had immigration issues. Fortunately, Toto [Wolff] was happy for me to do it and I was able to jump on a plane and get to Wisconsin.

“We didn’t get to the hotel until about 10pm on Thursday, and Free Practice 1 was on Friday morning very early. It took some getting used to.

“The practice itself was fun. The track was really good. It would be amazing to have a DTM race there one day.

“I definitely wanted to do the full weekend, but the full-time driver got his immigration stuff sorted and he made it to the race track by Friday night. My duties were finished, but it was still a really fun Friday.”