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

Toro Rosso at crossroads after Kvyat’s point, Hartley’s strong debut

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In a weekend with something to prove at Circuit of The Americas, Daniil Kvyat rose to the occasion with what he called “his best race of the season for sure” at the United States Grand Prix.

But it may not be enough for the Russian to have saved his seat at Scuderia Toro Rosso for the three final races this year.

Meanwhile, New Zealander Brendon Hartley capped off his roller-coaster debut weekend in Formula 1 with a solid 13th place finish after starting from the rear of the grid, learning as the race went on and bringing home his Toro Rosso chassis to the flag.

Toro Rosso faces a dilemma of three drivers available but only two seats to fill for the final three Grands Prix, with the Mexican Grand Prix coming up just next week.

Frenchman Pierre Gasly will be back after missing Austin due to his Super Formula commitments at Suzuka in Japan, but ultimately that went for naught as the races were canceled due to a typhoon.

Kvyat qualified 12th, was promoted to 11th by way of grid penalties and ended 10th, scoring a point for only the third race this year and first time since coming ninth in the Spanish Grand Prix back in May.

It was a weekend where he would have been expected to outdo Hartley, and did so, but not by a massive margin. And he was already coming in with a track time disadvantage, losing out in FP1 as Indonesian Formula 2 driver Sean Gelael ran in his chassis.

As it was, he rated his weekend performance highly and didn’t do his chances of staying in the car any harm.

Speaking to NBCSN after the race, Kvyat said, “Yeah, it was a perfect race. I did everything well. Brought the points home. It was close with (Felipe) Massa.

“We had some energy release issues on the engine. But it was a massive weekend. It was great. I really enjoyed myself. It was a good job by the team to keep it together with very limited running.

Hartley built up confidence throughout the weekend as he learned the car, the Pirelli tires and how an F1 race races versus an endurance race that he’d been used to doing for several years.

Having coming into the weekend with no expectations and just taking the race session-by-session, he felt good at the end of it.

“There’s so many little things to reflect on,” he told NBCSN. “I’ll put the eyes at rest and process it all. I did the standing start and it wasn’t the best… it’s been a long time.

“But yeah, (you’re learning) in terms of following in traffic, what 20 laps on these tires means, how much you can push it. I’m pretty satisfied. The pace was pretty strong. I made the mistake of getting passed by (Lance) Stroll. I couldn’t pass him back. Lots of challenges. I hope I can get another shot at it.

“Up until this moment… I didn’t want to know. I just wanted to do the job. I’m really relaxed. Now there might be some conversations.”

Toro Rosso figures to reveal its Mexican Grand Prix driver lineup early this week.