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WATCH LIVE: Chinese GP on NBCSN, Live Extra from 1:30am ET

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Nico Rosberg enters Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix with a golden opportunity to extend his early lead at the top of the Formula 1 drivers’ championship after picking up his first pole position of the season in qualifying.

After seeing Mercedes teammate and perennial rival Lewis Hamilton suffer an engine issue in Q1 that resigned him to the back of the grid, Rosberg saw off the challenge from Red Bull and Ferrari to take the 23rd pole position of his F1 career.

With Rosberg at the front and Hamilton at the back, the scales are tipped heavily in the German’s favor as he looks to add to the 17-point advantage he already has over his teammate.

Should Rosberg win, it would mark his sixth victory in a row and third from the start of the season. No driver has achieved either of those feats and not won the championship.

That said, the weight of expectation is heavy on Rosberg’s shoulders, setting the stage for a thrilling race in China on Sunday.

You can watch the Chinese Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 1:30am ET on Sunday. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Hamilton suffered a failure on his MGU-H in qualifying that prevented him from posting a lap time, meaning he will start 22nd.

The last time Hamilton began the race at the back came in Hungary two years ago, and ended up being a hugely successful weekend as he beat Rosberg despite seeing his teammate start on pole.

Will history repeat itself on Sunday? Throw Ferrari’s growing threat into the mix and a wide array of tire strategies, and you can see why many are expecting a classic in China.

You can watch the Chinese Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 1:30am ET on Sunday. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”