WATCH LIVE: Australian GP Race Day live on NBCSN from 12:30a ET

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With practice and qualifying now in the books, the 2015 Formula 1 season gets fully underway on Sunday with the Australian Grand Prix, giving the drivers their first wheel-to-wheel action of the year.

Lewis Hamilton looks to begin his championship defence in the best possible fashion by claiming a second victory at Albert Park on Sunday.

Starting from pole position, the Briton will fancy his chances after outclassing Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in qualifying.

You can watch the Australian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 12:30a ET today. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

The breaking news heading into the race on Sunday is that Williams’ Valtteri Bottas will not be taking part in the grand prix, having sustained an injury to his back during qualifying on Saturday.

As a result, just 17 cars will line up on the grid at Albert Park following Manor’s failure to qualify and subsequent rap over the knuckles from the stewards.

Behind the all-Mercedes front row, Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel share the second row of the grid as the battle to be the ‘best of the rest’ hots up. There was very little to separate Williams and Ferrari throughout pre-season, and this looks set to continue in Australia on Sunday.

The other big point of interest in Australia is how the rookie drivers fare. Roberto Merhi had been due to make his debut for Manor, only for the team to not complete a single lap in practice or qualifying and therefore fail to qualify.

That leaves just three drivers – Carlos Sainz Jr, Max Verstappen and Felipe Nasr – making their debuts on Sunday, and all will be hoping to impress.

Only 17 cars may be starting, but this year’s Australian Grand Prix promises to be a thriller to kick off the 2015 season.

You can watch the Australian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 12:30a ET today. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.