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WATCH LIVE: Australian GP on NBCSN, Live Extra from 12am ET

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The new Formula 1 season is finally upon us. After a long winter without any grand prix racing, Sunday’s race in Australia marks the beginning of a record campaign for the sport.

As the first of 21 races, the opening round is technically less important than ever in regards to the championship, but title fighters Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel will all be keen to get off to a good start.

Hamilton enters 2016 going in search of his fourth world title, while Rosberg will be hoping to end his run of being the bridesmaid and finally topple his teammate from his perch.

Somewhat predictably, the title-tipped trio locked out the top three positions on the grid in qualifying on Saturday ahead of the race.

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

The opening race of 2016 offers a number of ‘firsts’. It was the first race where the new quickfire elimination format was used for qualifying, albeit to somewhat disastrous ends, prompting the sport’s major figures into a possible rethink.

Elsewhere, the race marks the first starts for Jolyon Palmer, Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto, as well as the first grand prix for the new Haas F1 Team.

NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas will realize a long-running dream today as his eponymous squad becomes the first to race in F1 under the American flag in 30 years.

You can read our complete run-down of what to watch for in today’s race by clicking here.

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

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.