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Buemi cruises to Beijing ePrix victory for Renault e.dams

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Sebastien Buemi kicked off the second FIA Formula E season in the best possible fashion by winning the Beijing ePrix on Saturday.

After heading up a Renault e.dams front-row lock-out in the series’ first Super Pole session earlier in the day, Buemi retained his lead at the start before controlling proceedings throughout the race en route to his fourth Formula E victory.

Teammate Nicolas Prost lost second place off the line to Nick Heidfeld, and was unable to put the pace advantage of the Renault e.dams car to good use thanks to the tight confines of the Beijing street circuit, leaving him to toil with Lucas di Grassi behind the Mahindra car ahead.

An early full course yellow – another new concept in Formula E – was thrown after Simona de Silvestro crashed out on lap three, giving the drivers a chance to save energy and push for a longer first stint.

Buemi used this to great effect, pulling out a lead of more than ten seconds over the field before making his mandatory pit stop at the end of lap 13. Most of the teams followed suit, with only Loic Duval, Jerome d’Ambrosio, Oliver Turvey, Nathanael Berthon and defending champion Nelson Piquet Jr. opting to stay out for an extra lap.

When a second FCY was called after Antonio Felix da Costa’s car was left stranded at turn two following a tangle with Jacques Villeneuve, the late-stoppers were able to vault up the order and into the top ten, handing the likes of Turvey, Berthon and Piquet an unlikely reprieve.

However, this high lasted just moments for Piquet as an issue caused him to stop out on track. Although he was able to get the NEXTEV TCR car going again, the Brazilian dropped all the way to last. He would eventually finish two laps down, marking a rough start to his title defence.

At the front, di Grassi and Prost had both managed to get the jump on Heidfeld for second place through the pit stops, and soon fired into the distance to begin their own battle.

Pushing hard, Prost overstepped the mark and clipped the wall, causing damage to his rear wing. Despite attempting to continue and, in his defence, keeping with di Grassi, the stewards soon forced Prost to pit, bringing his race to an end with three laps to go.

As Buemi and di Grassi eased home in P1 and P2 respectively, for the second Beijing ePrix in a row, Heidfeld was left with a tight battle on the last lap as Duval and d’Ambrosio tried to pass. Heidfeld managed to hold on, finishing just three-tenths of a second ahead to score Mahindra’s first podium in Formula E.

Duval and d’Ambrosio were forced to settle for fourth and fifth, but their combined result gives Dragon an early lead in the teams’ championship.

Oliver Turvey salvaged sixth place from a rough weekend for NEXTEV TCR, finishing ahead of Sam Bird and debutant Nathanael Berthon. Daniel Abt and Stephane Sarrazin rounded out the points in Beijing.

Formula E returns in two weeks’ time with the Putrajaya ePrix in Malaysia.

NBC Sports presents IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama Sunday live at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

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From NBC Sports Group PR:

* Sunday’s Pre-Race Coverage Begins with IndyCar Live Presented by Verizon at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN

* Pre-Race Coverage Includes Robin Miller Feature on Rookie Zach Veach, Following Career-Best Fourth-Place Finish at Long Beach

* CNBC Presents Live Qualifying Saturday at 4 p.m. ET, Airs on NBCSN at 6:30 p.m. ET

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 19, 2018 – NBC Sports continues its coverage of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series this weekend from Barber Motorsports Park with live coverage of the Grand Prix of Alabama on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Pre-race coverage begins with IndyCar Live presented by Verizon at 3 p.m. ET.

NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs — will provide live streaming coverage of the Grand Prix of Alabama.

Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport) delivered a dominant performance at the Grand Prix of Long Beach last weekend, winning the pole and leading wire-to-wire for his third career victory, and third consecutive podium finish to start the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series campaign. Rossi currently leads Josef Newgarden (Penske) in the driver standings by 24 points. Newgarden won last year’s Grand Prix of Alabama, his second career win at Barber, while Rossi finished fifth.

This weekend’s live coverage from Barber Motorsports Park begins Saturday at 4 p.m. ET with qualifying on CNBC. NBCSN will air qualifying on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET. Sunday’s pre-race coverage begins at 4 p.m. ET with IndyCar Live presented by Verizon and will take place from the grid in the lead up to the command, bringing viewers even closer to the action prior to the race.

Pre-race coverage will include a feature by IndyCar on NBC pit reporter Robin Miller on rookie driver Zach Veach, who’s coming off a career-best fourth place finish at the Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Lead IndyCar play-by-play commentator Leigh Diffey will call this weekend’s Grand Prix of Alabama, analysts Paul Tracy and Townsend BellMarty Snider, Robin Miller, Kevin Lee, and Katie Hargitt will report from the pits.

NBCSN will also present coverage of the Indy Lights race from Alabama late night on Monday, April 23, at 1:30 a.m. ET. Current IndyCar driver Conor Daly will join the NBCSN booth for the race broadcast, alongside Kevin Lee and Anders Krohn, with Katie Hargitt reporting from the pits.

Following is this weekend’s IndyCar schedule on NBCSN and CNBC:

Date Coverage Network Time (ET)
Sat., April 21 Grand Prix of Alabama – Qualifying LIVE CNBC 4 p.m.
Grand Prix of Alabama – Qualifying (Encore) NBCSN 6:30 p.m.
Sun., April 22 IndyCar Live presented by Verizon NBCSN 3 p.m.
Grand Prix of Alabama NBCSN 3:30 p.m.
IndyCar Post-Race NBCSN 5:30 p.m.
Mon., April 23 Grand Prix of Alabama (Encore) NBCSN 12 p.m.
Indy Lights – Alabama NBCSN 1:30 a.m.

NBC SPORTS GROUP AND INDYCAR PARTNER ON COMPREHENSIVE, MULTI-YEAR MEDIA RIGHTS AGREEMENT

On March 21, NBC Sports Group and INDYCAR announced a new, multi-year media rights agreement in which NBC Sports acquired the rights to present all INDYCAR races, qualifying, practices, and Indy Lights races across its platforms beginning in 2019.

The Indianapolis 500 and seven additional Verizon IndyCar Series races will be broadcast annually on NBC, with all remaining races televised on NBCSN. All races will be live streamed to authenticated subscribers on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Details of NBC Sports’ 2019 INDYCAR schedule will be announced at a later date.

NBC Sports Gold – NBC Sports Group’s direct-to-consumer product – will offer a package to INDYCAR fans that features all qualifying and practices not televised live, all Indy Lights races, and full-event replays. Additional details, including the cost of the Gold offering, will be announced at a later date. Click here for more information.


VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES ON NBCSPORTS.COM AND THE NBC SPORTS APP

NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs — will provide live streaming coverage of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value to their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.

NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app are powered by Playmaker Media and available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.