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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.

Hamilton hails ‘greatest day’ after USGP victory, Mercedes title win

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Lewis Hamilton made no secret of his jubilation after taking a giant step towards his fourth Formula 1 championship win with victory in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix that also saw Mercedes clinch the constructors’ title.

Hamilton recovered from an early pass by F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel to take his sixth victory on American soil, five of which have come at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, to extend his lead to 66 points.

With just 75 left on offer this season, Hamilton needs just one top-five finish in the final three races to clinch his fourth world title, with the enormity of the victory not being lost on the Mercedes driver.

“Today has been amazing. It’s been the greatest day,” Hamilton told NBCSN after the race.

“I woke up a bit tired, felt the rain, then was like, ‘What the hell?’ But I didn’t mind. I won here in the rain in the past. Then it dried up, clear blue skies, amazing opening at the beginning of the GP.

“I lost first place into Turn 1. It was OK. That first section, we got through there, and it felt very reminiscent of 2012: ‘Game on. You have to save the tires’, and he wasn’t doing that. I kind of kept my cool.”

“I saw I got a good exit of Turn 1, this was the lap and it was. His tires were dropping off anyway.”

Hamilton’s victory saw Mercedes wrap up its fourth consecutive F1 constructors’ title with three races to spare, with the Briton having played a key part in each of its successes.

“I’m so proud of this team. Big congratulations to the guys, people don’t know the amount of work they do,” Hamilton said.

“It’s over 1,500 people in two factories, so much brainpower and a lot of people to manage to extract the best from each of those.

“To come into a new era of car and perform as we have. There’s been a newfound love within the team. Ferrari, we want to beat them, thrash them.

“So they put more hours of working in to do that. That’s for all their hard work.”