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TV times for this weekend’s Australian GP on NBCSN, Live Extra

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The waiting is finally over. Formula 1 makes its triumphant return this weekend with its traditional curtain-raiser: the Australian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton enters the 2016 season chasing a fourth world championship that would see him join an elite club of just four drivers with more than a trio of titles.

Mercedes has powered the Briton to consecutive championships in the past two years, but with Scuderia Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel hungry to topple the German manufacturer and end its domination, Hamilton may face a sterner test in 2016.

Hamilton will also once again have to be wary of the enemy within the team: teammate Nico Rosberg, who will want to go one better than finishing as runner-up as in 2014 and 2015.

This weekend’s Australian Grand Prix will kick off what promises to be the biggest season yet for F1 on NBC Sports, comprising 21 races and over 200 hours of coverage over the year.

FP1, FP2, qualifying and the race will all be shown live on NBCSN, while all sessions (including FP3) will be live on NBC Sports Live Extra.

As well as the on-track sessions, this week also marks the premiere of Haas F1: America’s Return to the Grid, a new documentary charting the arrival of Haas F1 Team to the sport for 2016.

Here is the full schedule for motorsport on NBCSN and Live Extra this weekend. All times are ET.

Date Coverage Time Network
Tues.-Thurs. NASCAR AMERICA 5 p.m. NBCSN
Wed., March 16 Haas F1: America’s Return To The Grid 11:30 p.m. NBCSN
Thurs., March 17 NASCAR K&N Pro Series – Mobile 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
NASCAR Whelen Modified Series – Carraway 7:30 p.m. NBCSN
Haas F1: America’s Return The Grid 8:30 p.m. NBCSN
F1 Australian Grand Prix – Practice 1 9:30 p.m. NBCSN
APEX: The Story of the Hypercar 11 p.m. NBCSN
Fri., March 18 Off The Grid – Melbourne 1 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Australian Grand Prix – Practice 2 1:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Australian Grand Prix – Practice 3 10 p.m. NBC Sports Live Extra
Sat., March 19 F1 Australian Grand Prix – Qualifying 2 a.m. NBCSN
Haas: America’s Return To The Grid 11 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., March 20 F1 Countdown 12 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Australian Grand Prix 12:30 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Extra 3 a.m. NBCSN
F1 Australian Grand Prix (Encore) Noon NBCSN
F1 Extra (Encore) 2:30 p.m. NBCSN
Mon., March 21 F1 Australian Grand Prix (Encore) 2:30 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).