WATCH LIVE: Canadian GP Race Day on NBCSN and Live Extra from 1:30pm ET, NBC from 2pm ET

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The fight at the top of the Formula 1 drivers’ championship between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg is set to rage on in Montreal on Sunday after the Mercedes teammates locked out the front row of the grid at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Bouncing back from his disappointing defeat in Monaco, Hamilton proved himself as the man to beat in qualifying by going three-tenths of a second faster than Rosberg in Q3 to secure his fourth pole position in Montreal.

More importantly for Hamilton – driver no. 44 –  it was the 44th of his career at the site of his first pole and win back in 2007 for McLaren.

Eight years and two world titles later, the Briton is now looking to extend his advantage over Rosberg at the top of the championship standings with victory in the race on Sunday.

You can watch F1 Countdown for the Canadian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 1:30pm, before switching over to NBC at 2pm ET for the race start. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Hamilton’s record in Montreal is the most impressive on the grid, boasting more victories in Canada than any other active driver. However, as he learned last year, he will need a reliable car and the edge on Rosberg if he is to clinch a fourth victory in Montreal on Sunday.

Rosberg is currently riding the crest of a wave after scoring back-to-back wins for the first time in his F1 career. He could complete a hat-trick this weekend with victory and make more inroads on Hamilton’s championship lead, but the German will know that is far easier said than done.

Ferrari’s hopes of getting in the mix for the race win were dealt a big blow on Saturday when Sebastian Vettel suffered an engine failure, leaving him 18th on the grid after taking a penalty. Felipe Massa, Max Verstappen and Jenson Button are three other surprise names lurking at the back of the pack, suggesting we could be treated to a fight or two through the field in the race.

You can watch F1 Countdown for the Canadian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 1:30pm, before switching over to NBC at 2pm ET for the race start. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Rinus VeeKay to drive for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020

Doug Mathews/IndyCar
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Ed Carpenter Racing has signed 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay to drive the full 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, the team announced Wednesday.

VeeKay will drive the No. 21 Chevrolet previously occupied by Spencer Pigot.

“I’m so happy!” the 19-year-old driver from the Netherlands said in a press release. “It’s a dream come true and something we have worked extremely hard for over the last couple of years. To step up from USF2000 to the NTT IndyCar Series in three years is really special.”

In his maiden Indy Lights season this year, VeeKay collected six race victories and seven pole potions. VeeKay previously won the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 championship, and finished second in the 2017 USF2000 standings.

VeeKay’s success in the ladder series caught the attention of Carpenter, who gave VeeKay the opportunity to first test for the team at Portland International Raceway in August.

“I have been following Rinus’s path through the Road to Indy, especially the past two years,” Carpenter said. “It was clear to me that he deserves to be in an Indy car. After his first day in a car at Portland this past season, that feeling became even more apparent. His pace, feedback and demeanor inside the car was very impressive for such a young driver.”

As a driver, Carpenter will be VeeKay’s teammate during the five oval races in 2020, once again returning to the team’s No. 20 entry. An announcement on which driver will pilot the No. 20 on the road and street circuits will be made at a later time.

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