F1 heads to Montreal with Canadian GP Sunday on NBC

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Formula 1’s first of two trips to North America in 2017 takes place with this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, which you can see live from 2 p.m. ET on Sunday on NBC.

Coverage occurs this weekend across all NBC Sports Group networks, NBC, CNBC and NBCSN, for live coverage with streaming on the NBC Sports App.

TV times for live sessions are free practice two, Friday at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN, qualifying Saturday at 1 p.m. ET on CNBC and the race Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBC.

Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel will look to become the first driver to win multiple races consecutively this year in the seventh race of the year. Vettel took an authoritative victory at Monaco, with his third of the year, which now sees him 25 points clear of Lewis Hamilton for the World Championship lead.

A Ferrari win in Montreal would be the first for the team since Michael Schumacher’s in 2004. Vettel’s Monaco win was the team’s first there since 2001.

Hamilton, by contrast, is in search of his third straight Canadian Grand Prix victory and sixth overall at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Prior to that, Red Bull won twice as Daniel Ricciardo won his first career Grand Prix there in 2014 and Vettel won his first and thus far only Canadian Grand Prix a year earlier in 2013.

Of note, 2006 Montreal winner Fernando Alonso returns to his usual McLaren Honda after his Indianapolis 500 odyssey where he was named Sunoco Rookie of the Year there. And Kimi Raikkonen is the other past Canadian Grand Prix winner in the field, having done so in 2005 with McLaren.

Here’s the schedule, with stream links and TV network if applicable:

  • Practice 1: Friday, June 9, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. ET (Story; Full replay)
  • Practice 2: Friday, June 9, 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. ET (Story; Full replay)
  • Practice 3: Saturday, June 10, 10 a.m.-11 a.m. ET (Story; Full replay)
  • Qualifying: Saturday, June 10, 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ET  (Story)
  • Qualifying (Replay): Sunday, June 11, 12 a.m.-1:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Pre-Race: Sunday, June 11, 1:30 p.m.-2 p.m. ET (Streaming)
  • Race: Sunday, June 11, 2 p.m.-4 p.m. ET (Story; Full replay)
  • Race (Replay): Sunday, June 11, 8 p.m.-10 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Race (Replay): Monday, June 12, 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)

The next race is the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, on June 25.

 

Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Formula One embrace the United States

Verstappen Perez United States
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Last week, Red Bull Racing revealed its new car, the RB19, and a new relationship with Ford Motor Co. in an event in New York City complete with drivers Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and team principal Christian Horner.

It’s the first Formula 1 team to launch in the United States for 2023, but even that small move of the needle reflects a major shift in the attitude of both F1’s management and their teams – and the extent to which the American audience has fully embraced the sport.

“It’s something fantastic and unique, for the sport to be able to break it into the U.S,” Perez told NBC Sports. “The market is huge and it’s a huge opportunity for everyone involved, for the drivers, for the team. It’s always a huge market.”

Verstappen Perez United States
Sergio Perez finished fourth in the Unites States Grand Prix, but he was first with the fans.  – Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

In 2023, Formula 1 will race three times in the United States and five times in North America. The Circuit of the Americas will host their 11th consecutive race in October before heading south to Mexico City. Miami returns for a second time in May on a temporary street course around the Hard Rock cafe and the third addition is in downtown Las Vegas in November.

With the Canadian Grand Prix on the schedule for June and the Brazilian Grand Prix in November, American fans are now in the ballpark of Europeans, who have eight events on the continent and one in England.

In 2022, Verstappen won every race in North America. He was kept from sweeping the hemisphere only by George Russell, who won in Brazil. That fact is less remarkable when one considers that Verstappen won 15 times in the season – nearly two-thirds of the races on the schedule.

By the time Formula arrived in Austin, Texas, for Round 20 of 23, Verstappen already had wrapped up his second consecutive championship.

“Sometimes it can be hard to replicate the season, but I think it’s the same as with the car, right? You always try to improve it,” Verstappen told NBC Sports. “And I always look at the little details that even when you have had a good race, you could have done better. And then of course you also learn from the bad races. So we always try to look for these little improvements and general experience you gain year after year.

“You try to do better, but of course it also depends a lot on the package you have.”

Verstappen Perez United States
Max Verstappen United States Grand Prix win was one of 15 for the drivers and 17 for Red Bull.
(Gongora / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Now Verstappen’s thoughts inevitably will turn to establishing a dynasty, and America will again play a pivotal role.

“I just enjoy what I’m doing,” Verstappen said.  “After the years in Formula One, when you have to be on top of your game and you gain a lot on your experience – in that sense nothing really can get to you anymore. Every year you just try to do the best you can. But a lot depends on the material around you. It’s always a bit of a guess. Start the season as fit as you can be and be well prepared. But if you don’t have the car, you’re not going to win the championship.”

Perez added two wins to Red Bull’s total, at Monaco and the Marina Bay Street course. With two of the US 2023 races on street courses, Perez hopes to close the gap on Verstappen and potentially be his chief rival for the championship.

“The strategy is clear; it is to maximize the potential of the car – and we believe we have a good car, but how good?,” Perez said “We don’t know what the competition is doing. We just give our best in building this car and we hope that it’s good enough to get us to win races.

“I think we have to work together as a team. At the same time. We both want to win the championship. It’s just having good compromise. The competition will be really strong out there, so we really need everything we possibly can get from each other.”

Formula One returns to the United States for Round 6 and the Miami Grand Prix on May 7.