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What to watch for: Brazilian GP (NBCSN, NBC Sports app from 10am ET)

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Both Formula 1 championships may have already been settled for 2017, but there is still plenty to play for at Interlagos on Sunday in the Brazilian Grand Prix (NBCSN, NBC Sports app from 10am ET).


An uncharacteristic error from Lewis Hamilton saw the recently-crowned four-time F1 world champion crash out early in qualifying, resigning him to a pit lane start on Sunday.

It was left to Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas to pick up the mantle and charge to his third F1 pole, edging out Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel with a last-gasp lap in Q3.

With Hamilton fighting his way through the field and the likes of Bottas, Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen all poised to scrap for victory, the stage is set for a thrilling race in Brazil.

You can watch the Brazilian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 10am ET on Sunday. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Here’s what to watch for in today’s race.

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix – What to watch for

Bottas, Vettel seek to end barren run

Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel’s fight for pole in Brazil was a thriller, with just 0.038 seconds separating the pair come the checkered flag in Q3.

Both drivers are in need of a big result in the race, with neither having won since July as their championship bids fell apart, allowing Lewis Hamilton to stream clear at the top of the championship standings.

Mercedes and Ferrari both looked strong through the long runs in practice on Friday, meaning we should be set for a close fight at the front. A straightforward one-stop race is expected, so barring any out-of-the-norm incidents, it may descend into a real dogfight for victory.

How far can Hamilton make his way up the order?

Hamilton’s Q1 crash came as a big surprise to the F1 paddock, acting as the Briton’s first major error in what has otherwise been arguably his most impressive season in the sport to date.

The shunt left his Mercedes car with a sizeable amount of damage, with the team confirming it would be starting Hamilton from the pit lane so it could make a number of changes, including fitting a new power unit, requiring a breach in parc ferme conditions.

With a fresh power unit in the car that needs to only complete two races, Hamilton can turn things up and push hard in his fightback, making a top-five finish definitely within reach.

But could he go even further than that, and capture a remarkable result to cap off a remarkable season?

Red Bull left to think outside the box

Red Bull has arguably been the team to beat in F1 recently, with Max Verstappen’s emphatic victories in Malaysia and Mexico breathing fresh life into the team’s season.

Despite high hopes heading to Brazil, Red Bull has found itself struggling to match the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari for pace, with Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo taking P4 and P5 in qualifying.

Verstappen will need to do all he can to try and produce a display akin to his stunning charge at Interlagos last year, with the Red Bull RB13 car seemingly not up to the task in Brazil over the long-runs.

Ricciardo faces an even greater task, starting 14th on the grid following a penalty for an engine change. Look for how he fares compared to Hamilton when rising up the field.

Can Force India or McLaren deliver a shock result?

With Hamilton’s crash and Ricciardo’s penalty, the midfield runners were given the opportunity to break into the ordinarily impenetrable front three rows of the grid in Brazil, with Force India and McLaren being up to the task.

After seeing their teammates drop out in Q2, Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso were able to turn in remarkable displays to secure P5 and P6 on the grid respectively, leading the close-knit midfield runners.

Perez has been chasing a breakthrough podium for Force India all year long, while Alonso stands a good chance of bagging a good haul of points, even if he is 16 km/h slower on the straights than the pace-setters.

Can Alonso produce a flying start like he did in Singapore to give McLaren-Honda a boost at the end of a rough season?

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix – Starting Grid

1. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes
2. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
3. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
4. Max Verstappen Red Bull
5. Sergio Perez Force India
6. Fernando Alonso McLaren
7. Nico Hulkenberg Renault
8. Carlos Sainz Jr. Renault
9. Felipe Massa Williams
10. Esteban Ocon Force India
11. Romain Grosjean Haas
12. Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren
13. Kevin Magnussen Haas
14. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull*
15. Pascal Wehrlein Sauber
16. Marcus Ericsson Sauber
17. Lance Stroll Williams*
18. Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso*
19. Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso*
PL. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes*

Here’s what drivers said after Sunday’s INDYCAR race was postponed until Monday

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Here’s what several drenched drivers had to say after Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama was postponed until Monday morning (11:30 a.m. ET, LIVE on NBCSN):

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, 2017 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama winner, 2018 pole winner): “It’s tough because we have so many people that come out here to watch us. We want to put on a good race. We want to put on a show. So calling the race, running around behind the pace car not running, it’s tough, it’s tough to do that. But I think it was the right thing in the end. When we started the race, the conditions were OK. You could run at that level of rain. Then, it intensified right before that first caution. I think when the caution came out, it got to a point where it was just too much. There was too much puddling and pooling of water on every straightaway. Then the rivers started flowing, high-speed compressions in Turns 1 and 2, fast corner, 12 and 13, fast corner where the river starts to form. Just tough. I mean, look, we love racing in the rain. It’s got nothing to do with not wanting to run in the rain, not being able to do that. It’s that this type of track with this water level was too much to race today. We’ve run here in the rain before, but it intensified to the point where you’re starting to get in a situation where it’s going to take it out of the drivers’ hands. What happened with Will (Power), I don’t think is a driver error. I don’t know how anyone is going to drive hydroplaning on the front straightaway. I think you would have had that for the rest of the track, too. A tough situation. Thanks for the fans that came out and supported us. Hopefully we’ll get some people back tomorrow and we’ll get the show in and put on a great event.”

MATHEUS “MATT” LEIST (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet):
“Tough day so far. We had some problems with our radio and fuel alarm, but otherwise the car was alright. It was just too dangerous out there, we couldn’t see anything, so I think they made the right call. Hopefully we’ll have a good race tomorrow.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “It’s just a real shame for everyone on the Verizon Chevy team. The car was good and we were doing our best out there, but it was really hard to see anything in front of me. The conditions were just so bad. As soon as I got to the frontstraight, the car just came around, and I tried to keep it off the wall, but it was hydroplaning and there was nothing I could do. I feel bad for the team and for the fans in this weather. Just too bad. Hopefully our luck can turn around when we get to Indianapolis.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Very difficult day for us. In the race we were 13th at the time and we had some electrical issues, so that caused us to pit and we lost a lap. Not the ideal situation, but we don’t give up. There’s still a race tomorrow and we’re going to go for the most points. Anything can happen.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Mi-Jack Honda): “It was a tough beginning, but when we kind of got going it was OK and kind of fun to challenge for a while, but visibility was a major issue today, no doubt. I’m glad that the series postponed it. I would have like to get it in today, but that’s life. We will go racing tomorrow.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 Kerauno / Honda, Verizon IndyCar Series points leader): “I think definitely the right decision was made to red flag the race. It’s a very difficult position for everyone to be in. It’s never the result that you want, but safety is obviously a priority. I think everyone did a good job considering the conditions of looking out for each other. Not being able to see is not doing anybody any good. It is hard for everyone, but glad that we’re all in one piece and try again later.

TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Honda): “As you could see on TV, if you couldn’t see the car, it was probably three times worse in the cockpit on the main straight or any straight. You had to completely trust the guys that they were accelerating. Never the less, I made good progress on the short stint and I made up a few positions.  The car was working well, but also was aquaplaning a lot, too, so I have to respect INDYCAR’s decision for everyone’s safety. Now we really need to concentrate on having a good car for tomorrow. I’m sorry for the fans that sat in rain all day, but thank them for their support.”

RENE BINDER (No. 32 Binderholz tiptop timber Chevrolet): “It was a short day. In the beginning the conditions were not that good, but afterwards the conditions started to improve. The race was stopped, then restarted, and I think the conditions were not too bad at that point. Unfortunately, it was red flagged again and then cancelled for the day. It would have been nice to get halfway, but we will come back and try again tomorrow.”