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Australian Grand Prix on NBCSN set to kick off 2017 F1 season

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In a little more than a week, the 2017 Formula 1 season will be underway with the Australian Grand Prix from the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne. This not only serves as the kickoff to the 2017 season, but also to the NBC Sports Group’s fifth season of coverage of Formula 1.

Nico Rosberg won last year’s Australian Grand Prix, which saw him set sail for his first World Championship run with Mercedes AMG Petronas. But Rosberg stunned the F1 world when he retired shortly after winning the title in December, leaving Mercedes to fill the seat alongside three-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton, who looks to resume on top at a race he’s won twice before (2008, 2015).

F1 Australian Grand Prix – Watch a live stream on NBCSports.com

Hamilton enters as the presumptive preseason title favorite, while his new teammate Valtteri Bottas will look to impress in his debut with the team. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo races in his home Grand Prix alongside teammate Max Verstappen, while Ferrari looks to convert preseason testing pace shown by Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen into results next weekend.

All sessions will be live streamed on NBC Sports or via the NBC Sports App. FP2, qualifying and the race also will air on NBCSN. Leigh Diffey, David Hobbs and Steve Matchett are on the call with Will Buxton reporting from the pits and paddock.

Here’s the schedule with where to watch on TV on digital platforms.

  • Practice 1: Thursday, March 23, 9 p.m.-10:30 p.m. ET (digital only)
  • Practice 2: Friday, March 24, 1 a.m.-2:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Practice 3: Friday, March 24, 11 p.m.-12 a.m. ET (digital only)
  • Qualifying: Saturday, March 25, 2 a.m.-3:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Race: Sunday, March 26, 12 a.m.-3:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN)

The next race is the Chinese Grand Prix, on April 9.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”