WATCH LIVE: Formula 1’s new era begins in Australia

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A brand new era of Formula 1 is set to get underway in less than an hour’s time in Australia at the beginning of the 2014 season, and you can watch live on NBCSN and Live Extra. CLICK HERE to tune in via the live stream.

In qualifying yesterday, Lewis Hamilton managed to excel in the wet conditions to claim his 32nd career pole position and the 100th for a Mercedes-powered car. However, the Briton – chasing his second win down under – was nearly denied by home favorite Daniel Ricciardo, who fought back after a disastrous winter to put his Red Bull on the front row of the grid.

On debut, Kevin Magnussen was the star of qualifying to finish fourth, whilst fellow rookie Daniil Kvyat qualified eighth.

However, it was a difficult session for defending world champion Sebastian Vettel, who failed to qualify inside the top ten and will start from P12 today.

With new rules, new engines and a number of driver changes, the new era of Formula 1 that is beginning here today in Australia is hotly anticipated. It is hard to remember a grand prix being so looked forward to by fans, teams and drivers, meaning that this race is a must watch.

Our coverage starts at 1:30am ET on NBCSN and Live Extra. CLICK HERE to watch the live stream.

Here’s who were picking to win the Indy 500 — who are YOU picking?

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Several members of the NBC Sports motorsports staff have made their predictions on who will win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Of the six voters, two are going with 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden, while two others are going with Helio Castroneves to win a fourth 500, which would tie him with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

Here’s our picks. Who are YOU picking?

Leigh Diffey: Helio Castroneves — He drives the place better than anyone else. For me (for what its worth) he deserves a fourth 500 ring for the frustration he went through never getting the IndyCar title!

Townsend Bell: Josef Newgarden

Nate Ryan: Simon Pagenaud — All of his 2018 misfortune on the track has disappeared in May, and it culminates in the biggest victory of his career.

Jerry Bonkowski: Helio Castroneves – There’s no pressure as he pursues his fourth Indy 500 win. All Helio has to do, as late NFL owner Al Davis would say, is “Just win, baby!” (But if Helio falls short, watch for Marco Andretti)

Kyle Lavigne: Josef Newgarden — I think he has everything he needs to get it done this year.

Dan Beaver: Robert Wickens – Has driven like anything except a rookie and his second-place finish at Phoenix proves he’s just as good on an oval as the road courses.

Follow: Jerry Bonkowski