Japanese GP coverage highlights NBCSN weekend motorsports lineup

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Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg continue their battle atop the F1 driver standings at the Japanese Grand Prix this Sunday at 1:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN. NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will live stream the Japanese Grand Prix.

NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive coverage of the F1 Japanese Grand Prix begins Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra with Practice 1, followed by Practice 2 on Friday at 1 a.m. ET on NBCSN. Live Extra will carry Practice 3 on Friday at 10 p.m. ET, followed by live qualifying coverage on Saturday at 1 a.m. ET on NBCSN.

Live Japanese Grand Prix coverage begins Sunday at 1:30 a.m. ET, followed by F1 Extra at 4 a.m. ET. NBCSN will air an encore presentation of the Japanese Grand Prix Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Hamilton is looking to build off of momentum from his victory at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sept. 21, which vaulted him into first place in the driver’s standings ahead of Rosberg, after Rosberg was only able to complete 13 laps before retiring due to an electronics issue. Hamilton (241) now holds a slim three-point lead over Rosberg (238) with five races remaining on the schedule. Hamilton won the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji Speedway, but neither driver has taken the checkered flag at Suzuka Circuit, where the race has been held since 2009.

Lead F1 announcer Leigh Diffey will call the Japanese Grand Prix, and will be joined by veteran analyst and former racecar driverDavid 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 Suzuka Circuit.

In addition, NBC Sports Group’s F1 telecast team will preview the race weekend on F1 Countdown tomorrow afternoon at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN. F1 Countdown will include an interview with Toto Wolff, Executive Director of Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team, and recap the Singapore Grand Prix with extended radio communications from various drivers and teams.

2014 FORMULA ONE SEASON ON NBCSN AVERAGING 390,000 VIEWERS, UP 92% FROM 2013

Through nine races, NBCSN’s coverage of the 2014 Formula One season has averaged 390,000 viewers, up 92% from the average viewership through the same number of races in 2013 (203,000), with three races remaining on the network (Japan, Russia and Abu Dhabi).

The Singapore Grand Prix on NBCSN on Sunday, Sept. 17 (7:30-10:07 a.m. ET), averaged 406,000 viewers, up 58% from the same race in 2013.

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

Date Program Time (ET) Network
Thurs., October 2 NASCAR AMERICA 5 p.m. NBCSN
F1 Japanese Grand Prix – Practice 1 9 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
/DRIVE on NBC Sports (Encore) 10 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., October 3 F1 Japanese Grand Prix – Practice 2 1 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Countdown 5 p.m. NBCSN
F1 Japanese Grand Prix – Practice 3 10 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Sat., October 4 F1 Japanese Grand Prix – Qualifying 1 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Japanese Grand Prix – Qualifying (Encore) 12:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., October 5 F1 Japanese Grand Prix 1:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra 4 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Japanese Grand Prix (Encore) 2:30 p.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra (Encore) 5 p.m. NBCSN

 

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).