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F1 returns to Europe with Austrian Grand Prix on CNBC, NBCSN

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After flyaway rounds in Canada and Azerbaijan, Formula 1 returns to Europe this weekend with the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, the first in a double-header to kick-start July.

Live coverage from Austria will be broadcast across the NBC Sports Group’s networks this weekend, NBCSN and CNBC, with every session live on the NBC Sports app.

Raceday coverage begins live on Sunday at 7:30am ET on CNBC, with qualifying being shown on Saturday live at 8am ET on NBCSN.

Second practice will be shown live on the NBC Sports app from 8am ET on Friday before being replayed on NBCSN at 3pm ET.

FP1 and FP3 will also be live on the NBC Sports app on Friday at 4am ET and Saturday at 5am ET respectively.

F1’s return to Europe comes at a critical point in the fight for the drivers’ championship following Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton’s clash last time out in Baku, the pair coming to blows behind the safety car.

Vettel was deemed to have driven dangerously towards Hamilton, but controversially avoided further punishment earlier this week when the FIA announced it would not take any further action.

While Vettel has apologized, it is likely to offer much comfort to Hamilton, who still sits 14 points adrift of his Ferrari rival in the championship after only finishing fifth last time out.

The Austrian Grand Prix also acts as Red Bull’s home race, with the team arriving in Spielberg on a high after an unlikely victory in Baku thanks to Daniel Ricciardo.

While Ferrari and Mercedes are expected to vie for top honors at the front of the pack once again, Red Bull will be lurking to try and pick up any chance it gets to jump ahead.

Here’s the schedule for the Austrian Grand Prix including the network and time:

  • Austrian GP Free Practice 1 – Friday July 7, 4am-5:30am ET (StoryFull replay)
  • Austrian GP Free Practice 2 – Friday July 7, 8am-9:30am ET (Story; Full replay)
  • Austrian GP Free Practice 2 replay – Friday July 7, 3pm-4:30pm ET (NBCSN)
  • Austrian GP Free Practice 3 – Saturday July 8, 5am-6am ET (Full replay)
  • Austrian GP Qualifying – Saturday July 8, 8am-9:30am ET (NBCSN)
  • Austrian GP Race – Sunday July 9, 7:30am-10:30am ET (Story; Full replay)
  • Austrian GP Race replay – Sunday July 9, 2pm-5pm ET (NBCSN)

Andretti Autosport picks James Hinchcliffe for last 3 races of season

Andretti Autosport James Hinchcliffe
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James Hinchcliffe will finish the NTT IndyCar Series season for Andretti Autosport, replacing Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda.

The team made the announcement Friday afternoon that Hinchcliffe will return after racing for Andretti at Texas Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Indianapolis 500.

Hinchcliffe, who also has worked as an IndyCar on NBC analyst and pit reporter, will race in the Oct. 2-3 doubleheader race weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

“It’s always unfortunate to have to change drivers this far into a season, but we have to look at finishing the year the best we can for the 26 team and start evaluating and looking at options for 2021,” team owner Michael Andretti said in a release. “James has an existing relationship with our team that we’d love to build on and it makes the most sense for him to step in for these last three races. We are looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

Hinchcliffe has a season-best finish of seventh in the Indy 500. He had been working on trying to put together a deal for next season after scrambling to secure a partial schedule this year when he lost his ride at Arrow McLaren SP after 2020 with a year left on his deal.

VEACH OUT: Driver elects to vacate seat for rest of season

“I know, probably better than most, what Zach is feeling right now, and I have to say that he has handled everything about as class act as you can,” Hinchcliffe said. “I’ve known Zach as a teammate, before that as a colleague and even before that as a friend, and he is a guy that I respect in every way. I know he is a fighter and will fight back to where he wants to be.

“For me now, my focus is 100% on racing the Harvest GP and getting the best possible results for Gainbridge, for Honda, for Michael and for the team. I obviously haven’t been on a road course in a while, but at least the last time I was, it was here at IMS! Hopefully that puts us in a good position to go out there and have a strong weekend.”