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Here are your Abu Dhabi GP TV Times on NBCSN, CNBC, Live Extra

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It’s the final Grand Prix of the year, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from the Yas Marina Circuit.

Here’s the TV times and game plan for the weekend across NBCSN, CNBC and NBC Sports Live Extra:

NBC Sports Group presents the season finale of the 2015 Formula One season this weekend with live coverage of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – F1’s only twilight race – from Yas Marina Circuit this Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN.

NBC Sports Group is on pace to deliver its most-watched Formula One season to date, with just Sunday’s season finale in Abu Dhabi remaining on the schedule. Through 18 races, NBC Sports Group’s F1 coverage has averaged 533,000 viewers, up 17% vs. the same point of the 2014 F1 season. Last week, NBCSN delivered the most-watched live cable telecast of the Brazilian Grand Prix since 2010, averaging 493,000 viewers.

Lead F1 announcer Leigh Diffey will call the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and will be joined by veteran analyst and former racecar driver David Hobbs, and analyst and former race mechanic for the Benetton F1 team Steve Matchett. F1 insider Will Buxton will serve as the team’s on-site reporter from Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) is looking to close out the 2015 campaign with a third consecutive victory, following wins in Mexico and Brazil. Rosberg has also earned the pole position in five consecutive races. Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton clinched his second consecutive Drivers’ Championship with a victory at the United States Grand Prix in October. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has won the race in Abu Dhabi three times (2009, 2010 & 2013), followed by Hamilton’s two victories (2011 & 2014). The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix debuted in 2009 and holds the distinction as F1’s only twilight race, beginning in the sun of the afternoon and concluding after dusk under the lights.

Coverage of this weekend’s season finale in Abu Dhabi begins Friday at 4 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra with Practice 1, followed by NBCSN’s live coverage of Practice 2 at 8 a.m. ET. Live Extra will carry Practice 3 on Saturday at 5 a.m. ET, and CNBC will present live qualifying on Saturday at 8 a.m. ET.

NBCSN’s race day coverage begins Sunday at 7 a.m. ET with F1 Countdown, followed by NBCSN’s live presentation of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at 7:30 a.m. ET. F1 Extra will provide post-race analysis at 10 a.m. ET, and NBCSN will air an encore presentation of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET. NBCSN will also air coverage of the GP2 race in Abu Dhabion Sunday at 10 p.m. ET, with Alex Jacques calling the action.

Motorsports Coverage This Week on NBCSN, CNBC & NBC Sports Live Extra (subject to change):

Date Program Time (ET) Network
Fri., November 27 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Practice 1 4 a.m. Live Extra
Off The Grid – Talladega (Encore) 7 a.m. NBCSN
Off The Grid – Austin (Encore) 7:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Practice 2 8 a.m. NBCSN
“1” – F1 Documentary 9:30 a.m. NBCSN
Sat., November 28 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Practice 2 (Encore) 1:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Practice 3 5 a.m. Live Extra
F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Qualifying 8 a.m. CNBC
F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Qualifying (Encore) 12:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., November 29 F1 Countdown 7 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 7:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra 10 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Encore) 4:30 p.m. NBCSN
GP2 – Abu Dhabi 10 p.m. NBCSN

Haas F1 Team finishes its first pit wall gantry

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 30:  Haas F1 Team logos during the press conference for their driver announcement on October 30, 2015 in Mexico City, Mexico.  (Photo by Andrew Hone/Getty Images for Haas)
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As Haas F1 Team continues to prepare for its debut season in the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship, it’s putting together all the pieces it needs to compete.

It’s got a driver lineup – Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez have now finally, formally been confirmed within the last month – and now it has the pit wall equipment complete for the strategists to call their respective drivers’ races.

Here’s a video of how the team’s first pit wall gantry was assembled, and finished today:

And here’s some still shots:

Jordan King, Rio Haryanto to run for Manor at Pirelli test

Alexander Rossi
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As the 2015 Formula 1 regular season concludes this weekend at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, so too does the testing calendar with a post-season Pirelli test occurring next Tuesday, December 1.

Manor will run youngsters Jordan King (Great Britain) and Rio Haryanto (Indonesia) for half a day apiece. The GP2 drivers also conclude their own seasons this weekend; Haryanto enters fourth in points with King in 12th. This will be King’s first day in an F1 car while Haryanto has had a couple previous tests.

Meanwhile Manor has Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi in the F1 cars for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Merhi back for the first time since the Russian Grand Prix, and Stevens making his first return appearance to a GP after his one-off debut last year in what was Caterham’s last ever start.

“For Jordan, this is a planned part of his 2015 role as development driver, following a season spent with the team in an educational capacity,” soon-to-be-departed Manor team principal John Booth said.

“Rio has of course driven two of our cars in previous tests. In 2010, he was considered to be at the very tender age of 17 years old, but we knew he had an exciting future ahead of him.”

Haryanto has been rumored in recent days to be in the frame for a race seat in 2016, but has the slight discrepancy of not having enough points to qualify for an FIA Superlicense under the new points system established this year.

NBCSN insider/pit reporter Will Buxton pointed out the “curious case” of young Haryanto below:

Preparations continue at Haas’ UK base (VIDEO)


Preparation for the Haas team’s Formula 1 debut continues apace, with the latest step being the completion of the race bays at its factory in the UK.

Haas moved into the old Marussia HQ in Banbury, Oxfordshire earlier this year that will work in tandem with bases in Italy and Kannapolis, North Carolina.

Earlier this week, Haas released a short video showing the completion of its race bays where Romain Grosjean (no. 8) and Esteban Gutierrez’s (no. 21) cars will be built and worked on throughout the course of the team’s debut F1 season.

The video perhaps offers a hint regarding the color scheme that the cars will be running with in 2016, given that everything is decked out in black, red and white.

Grosjean will take part in his final race for Lotus next weekend in Abu Dhabi ahead of his move to Haas.

In Lotus’ pre-race preview, the Frenchman was jokingly asked what he knew about operating CNC machines, given that Haas is the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world.

“I’ve learnt quite a bit about CNC machines during my time in the factory at Enstone, but certainly I’m going to learn a whole lot more in the future!” Grosjean joked.

Alonso confident of “big actions” at McLaren for 2016

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 13:  Fernando Alonso of Spain and McLaren Honda walks away from his car after he stopped on track during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 13, 2015 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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Fernando Alonso is confident that McLaren can bounce back from its miserable 2015 Formula 1 season by making “big actions” that will prevent a repeat next year.

Since reforging its partnership with Honda in 2015, McLaren has scored just 27 points to sit ninth in the constructors’ championship only ahead of Manor.

Issues with the Honda power unit have resulted in countless grid penalties for both Alonso and teammate Jenson Button across the course of the year, restricting the Spaniard to a best finish of fifth place in Hungary.

In an interview with the official F1 website, Alonso expressed his belief in McLaren’s ability to make drastic changes to remedy the issues of 2015, giving him hope of an improved season next year.

“If we can turn all our frustration into inspiration it should definitely help our learning curve,” Alonso said. “For big problems you need big actions, and that is what we are doing for next year. I am still optimistic.

“In Abu Dhabi, if we are out in Q1 it will no longer be a disappointment but bitter reality. But we know it, so we have to put things in place for next season. For big problems you need big actions, and that is what we are doing for next year.

“It is still early days for next year’s project. All our weaknesses are identified and we are working on them. We will work flat out to make sure that 2015 never happens again.”

Alonso’s most recent issues in Brazil did however spark one of the biggest social media memes that F1 has known as Twitter users photoshopped the Spaniard into a variety of different scenes with the hashtag #PlacesAlonsoWouldRatherBe.