Indian GP on NBCSN could be site of Vettel’s fourth straight title

2 Comments

Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) will look to win his fourth consecutive Formula One World Championship at the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday at 5 a.m. ET on NBCSN, needing only a top five finish to secure the season title.

Vettel has a commanding 90-point lead over Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) in the points standings with just four races remaining. Sunday’s race marks the third running of the Indian Grand Prix. Vettel has won both previous races, and has led every single lap in the two-year history of the event. Vettel has dominated the F1 landscape this season, winning nine of 15 Grands Prix, including five consecutive races dating back to the Belgian Grand Prix on August 25.

With a fourth consecutive World Championship, Vettel would tie Alain Prost (4) and trail only Juan Manuel Fangio (5) and Michael Schumacher (7) for the most career F1 World Championships. Vettel’s resume currently includes numerous F1 records, including youngest polesitter, youngest race winner, and youngest world champion.

Live coverage of the Indian Grand Prix begins with practice on Friday at 4:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN, followed by qualifying on NBCSN on Saturday at 4:30 a.m. ET. Live race coverage of the Indian Grand Prix begins on Sunday at 5 a.m. ET. NBCSN will also air an encore presentation of the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET. F1 Extra, NBC Sports Group’s half-hour post-race show, will air immediately following the conclusion of NBCSN’s Indian Grand Prix coverage.

Live coverage of practice, qualifying, and the Indian Grand Prix can also be seen on NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets.

NBCSN will also re-air last Saturday’s MAVTV 500 IndyCar World Championships, where Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi) finished fifth to win his third career IZOD IndyCar Series championship, on Saturday at 12 a.m.

Date Coverage Network Time (ET)
Fri., October 25 F1 Indian Grand Prix – Practice NBCSN 4:30 a.m.
F1 Indian Grand Prix – Practice (Encore) NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Sat., October 26 MAVTV 500 IndyCar World Championships (Encore) NBCSN 12 a.m.
TRANSLOGIC NBCSN 2:30 a.m.
F1 Indian Grand Prix – Qualifying NBCSN 4:30 a.m.
Sun., October 27 F1 Indian Grand Prix – Qualifying (Encore) NBCSN 1 a.m.
TRANSLOGIC NBCSN 2:30 a.m.
F1 Indian Grand Prix NBCSN 5 a.m.
F1 Extra NBCSN 7:30 a.m.
F1 Indian Grand Prix (Encore) NBCSN 2:30 p.m.

COMMENTATORS: Lead F1 announcer Leigh Diffey will call the Indian 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 the Buddh International Circuit in India.

FORMULA ONE ON NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA: NBC Sports Live Extra — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets — will provide live comprehensive streaming coverage of the Indian Grand Prix, as well as practice and qualifying in the days preceding the race . Coverage will be streamed via “TV Everywhere,” the media industry’s effort to make quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of home and on multiple platforms.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play.

Coverage airing on NBCSN will live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra, and to the digital platforms of participating cable, satellite, and telco services, via “TV Everywhere,” which is available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of participating MVPDs.

Click here for the participating cable/satellite/telco companies offering NBC Sports Live Extra 
http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/2013/08/16/nbc-sports-live-extra-providers/

INDYCAR: Zach Veach ready for stronger second half of season

Getty Images
Leave a comment

If you hear Zach Veach humming or even singing The Beatles’ “Penny Lane” this weekend at Road America, there’s a jolly good reason for it, as they say in England.

Much like the way teammate Alexander Rossi has nicknamed his car “Baby Girl,” Veach has nicknamed his road and street course car “Penny Lane,” thanks in part to his girlfriend being a huge Beatles fan who has helped Veach also become a fan.

The Stockdale, Ohio native also has a nickname for his speedway car: “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.”

Veach has had a tough rookie season in the Verizon IndyCar Series. He comes into this weekend’s Kohler Grand Prix in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, ranked 15th in the standings with 147 points, but an already massive 210 points behind series leader Scott Dixon.

He could easily sing The Beatles’ “Help!”, given how the season has gone so far.

The 23-year-old Veach’s best finish – and only top-10 showing thus far in 2018 – has been fourth at Long Beach – in “Penny Lane” of course, a finish he hopes to equal, if not improve upon, Sunday in central Wisconsin.

He’s struggled since Long Beach, though, failing to finish higher than 12th in the following six races: 13th at Birmingham, 23rd in both the Indianapolis Grand Prix and Indy 500, 12th and 13th at Detroit’s Belle Isle and 16th at Texas.

He also finished 16th in each of the season’s first two races at St. Petersburg and Phoenix.

But Veach hopes to be singing another Beatles song on the 4.048-mile road course: “Twist and Shout” in hopes of having a strong finish on the twisting 14-turn kettle moraine course.

Zach Veach, driver of the #26 Relay Group 1001 Honda, practices for the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 8, 2018. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

Veach has a good reason to be optimistic for success at Road America.

“Road America has actually been pretty good to us in USF 2000 and Indy Lights,” Veach said. “I think we have four or five podiums there. In 2016 (racing for Belard Auto Racing), we set the track record in Lights, won the first race and finished third in the second. I’m hoping that speed continues (in Sunday’s IndyCar race).”

While he acknowledges this season’s struggles thus far, Veach also knows he’s learning and improving.

“I think the biggest thing is the braking capabilities of the Indy car,” he said. “You’re going from steel rotors (in Lights) to carbon pads. Honestly, it feels like you can brake 150 feet deeper going into a corner with an Indy car, but at the same time, you’re also going into that corner 40 to 50 mph faster in an Indy car than in a Lights car.

“Our first year in Indy Lights wasn’t anything spectacular, and then we came back and almost won a championship. I think that’s just the way I go about things. I take inches at a time instead of miles, but I feel like we’re getting to that point where we need to be in IndyCar.”

Veach is no stranger to Andretti Autosport, having raced with the team from 2010 to 2014 and then signed a three-year contract to drive in the Verizon IndyCar Series last fall.

“To have the opportunity to race with Andretti is almost perfect for me as far as growth and development,” Veach said. “With the three teammates I have and the skill and experience they have, it’s allowed my learning curve to accelerate that much quicker.

“That’s the tough thing. It’s a rookie season and when I look back at it and look at numbers, you may say things didn’t look good at certain races. But when I look back at them, I say to myself where that’s when I did my best fuel save, or that’s when I figured out how to fix an issue with braking. There’s so much I’ve picked up.

“But I feel like these last two race weekends have been arguably the most comfortable I’ve felt. Detroit, I was looking so great for 12th and 13th, and Texas, racing from 16th to 3rd and then I made a mistake (finished 16th). I finally feel confident enough to say I can race these guys and can race them hard and the car is finally starting to feel small, if you want to say that, like I’m driving the car instead of being stuck behind somebody else.”

While he’s learned from all of his Andretti Autosport teammates — Rossi, Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay — Veach feels he is closest to fellow young driver, Rossi.

“We’re both on the younger side of the spectrum of our teammates,” Veach said of Rossi. “And he’s the newest guy learning IndyCar, so he got that experience a little sooner than the other guys as far as time.

“For me, I’m in much the same position he was in two years ago. He’s been real helpful in helping me get up to speed.”

With eight more races remaining in the season, Veach’s primary goal is to finish his first full IndyCar season in the top-10. He’s currently 66 points behind the 10th-ranked driver, teammate Marco Andretti.

“If we could be top-10 in the championship, that’d be great, that’s what we’re hoping for,” Veach said. “We want to try and be consistently in the top-10 in the second half (of the season) in race results, too. And if we could get some top-fives, that would be fantastic.

“We just have to keep improving on qualifying, which shows how well you understand the car and how you can get the most out of it. I feel our race speed has been good, but when you’re starting at or near the back, it’s hard to move forward.”

Even so, there’s still good reason for optimism for Veach.

“Andretti always gives its drivers some of the best cars, so at the end of the day, it comes down to you learning as much as you can and learning as much as you can get out of a race-winning car,” he said. “I’ve just been lucky. This is my sixth season with Andretti if you count the ladder series, and it always has felt like a family.”

And if he has a strong finish Sunday at Road America, don’t be surprised if Veach hums or sings another Beatles song, “I Feel Fine,” as he leaves the legendary road course.

Follow @JerryBonkowski