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Bahrain Grand Prix completes F1’s April back-to-back on CNBC

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Formula 1 completes the second leg of its first back-to-back stretch of races this weekend with the Bahrain Grand Prix, which this week runs on CNBC instead of NBCSN.

Sebastian Vettel won in Melbourne to kick off the 2017 season while Lewis Hamilton countered with an authoritative victory last weekend in Shanghai, to leave the Ferrari and Mercedes driver square on 43 points heading into the third round of the season.

Nico Rosberg won last year which leaves the door open for either of them to regain their Bahrain crown. Hamilton won in 2014 and 2015 while Vettel won in 2012 and 2013. So a win for either driver would be his third at the track.

Kimi Raikkonen has never won at Bahrain but the Ferrari driver has traditionally run well there. Since the race premiered in 2004, Raikkonen has eight podium finishes there (second in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 and third in 2005, 2006, 2007).

All sessions will be broadcast on CNBC, NBCSN or via the NBC Sports App. Leigh Diffey, David Hobbs and Steve Matchett are on the call with Will Buxton reporting from the pits and paddock. Times shift to a morning hour after the two late night races to start the year.

Here’s the schedule, with stream links and TV network if applicable:

Formula 2 will also be streamed this weekend online via NBCSports.com, and here’s those links:

The next race is the Russian Grand Prix, on April 30.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.