Australian Grand Prix on NBCSN set to kick off 2017 F1 season

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In a little more than a week, the 2017 Formula 1 season will be underway with the Australian Grand Prix from the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne. This not only serves as the kickoff to the 2017 season, but also to the NBC Sports Group’s fifth season of coverage of Formula 1.

Nico Rosberg won last year’s Australian Grand Prix, which saw him set sail for his first World Championship run with Mercedes AMG Petronas. But Rosberg stunned the F1 world when he retired shortly after winning the title in December, leaving Mercedes to fill the seat alongside three-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton, who looks to resume on top at a race he’s won twice before (2008, 2015).

F1 Australian Grand Prix – Watch a live stream on

Hamilton enters as the presumptive preseason title favorite, while his new teammate Valtteri Bottas will look to impress in his debut with the team. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo races in his home Grand Prix alongside teammate Max Verstappen, while Ferrari looks to convert preseason testing pace shown by Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen into results next weekend.

All sessions will be live streamed on NBC Sports or via the NBC Sports App. FP2, qualifying and the race also will air on NBCSN. Leigh Diffey, David Hobbs and Steve Matchett are on the call with Will Buxton reporting from the pits and paddock.

Here’s the schedule with where to watch on TV on digital platforms.

  • Practice 1: Thursday, March 23, 9 p.m.-10:30 p.m. ET (digital only)
  • Practice 2: Friday, March 24, 1 a.m.-2:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Practice 3: Friday, March 24, 11 p.m.-12 a.m. ET (digital only)
  • Qualifying: Saturday, March 25, 2 a.m.-3:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Race: Sunday, March 26, 12 a.m.-3:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN)

The next race is the Chinese Grand Prix, on April 9.

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.