Getty Images

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

1 Comment

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)

NHRA: Dodge/Mopar unveils new Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car in Denver

Photos/video courtesy Dodge/Mopar
Leave a comment

If you’re a fan of NHRA Funny Car racing and Dodge/Mopar, you may notice something different at this weekend’s Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in suburban Denver, Colorado.

Two-time (2011 and 2014) NHRA Funny Car champ Matt Hagan – who has won the last two NHRA national events in the last four weeks – will be piloting a newly-designed 2019 Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, a 10,000-horsepower Funny Car that was unveiled this morning ahead of Dodge/Mopar’s premier NHRA national event.

The new Charger SRT Hellcat succeeds the former Mopar Dodge Charger R/T, which had been in use since 2015.

“We improved on the body design,” Hagan said of the new Charger Hellcat. “It was already a great design, a great body. But now, we’re going to have a little more downforce, a little more traction on these racetracks and it will be a huge performance advantage.”

The new Hellcat includes a number of innovations, including a new front splitter to increase downforce. Just like its predecessor, the R/T, the Hellcat will go head-to-head with Chevrolet’s Camaro in the NHRA Funny Car ranks.

“We will be able to press harder with more downforce on the nose, which translates into huge amounts of downforce on the run,” Hagan said.

According to a media release, the new Hellcat features major design changes in three key areas: the front end, bodysides and burst panel placement:

* “At the front, the shape of the nose has been tweaked and a new splitter (photo), built of carbon fiber and Kevlar like the rest of the Funny Car body, has been added. The splitter substantially mimics the look and shape of the production vehicle’s splitter while generating greater downforce to help plant the Funny Car to the track.

* “Bodyside scallops have been redesigned to more closely identify with the production Hellcat while also enhancing on-track function and performance. The deeper character lines provide greater visual ties to the street version of the Hellcat, while also helping to mitigate the “body burn” common on all Funny Cars due to the close positioning of the exhaust headers.

* “The location of the burst panel on the hood has also been reworked. The panel is now centered over the top of the engine to more efficiently release energy and pressure in the event of engine issues, a common occurrence in race cars that are pushed to the razor’s edge of performance.”

Since the R/T was first introduced into the Don Schumacher Racing corps, it has gone on to 50 wins, 42 runner-up finishes and 40 No. 1 qualifiers in NHRA national events and one NHRA Funny Car World Championship (Ron Capps, 2016).

The new Charger SRT Hellcat, which can exceed 330-plus mph and covers 1,000 feet in under four seconds, is the drag strip version of the supercharged, 707-horsepower production Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, the quickest, fastest and most powerful sedan in the world.

While Hagan will drive the first Hellcat, his other three Dodge-powered DSR teammates – Capps, Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr. – will soon take delivery of their own versions of the car over the remaining 11 races of the 2018 season.

One day after winning two weeks ago at Norwalk, Ohio, Hagan and crew chief Dickie Venables put the new Hellcat through its paces with several test runs. The results were so strong that it was decided to debut the car at Denver and run all qualifying and elimination rounds with it.

“We made four good, solid runs in testing at Norwalk,” said Hagan. “We put the body through a lot of different things and were really, really pleased with it.

“I really think it’s going to translate over to performance on the race track, and hopefully more win lights in the future.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski