Getty Images

Italian Grand Prix set to cap European season this week on NBCSN

Leave a comment

The Italian Grand Prix concludes Formula 1’s European season this weekend on NBCSN, as the second leg of a back-to-back trip for the series after last week’s Belgian Grand Prix.

NBCSN will feature live coverage for free practice two, qualifying and the race this weekend at the traditional European race time slots of 8 a.m. ET both Friday and Saturday for practice and qualifying, and a full hour of pre-race coverage Sunday for the race.

Usual free practice one and three coverage airs live exclusively on the NBC Sports App, which streams all sessions.

The Autodromo Nazionale di Monza is the spiritual home of F1, and the official home for Ferrari’s fan base – the tifosi – where nothing less than victory will do.

Ferrari has won the Italian Grand Prix 19 times, but hasn’t won there since 2010 when Fernando Alonso did so in his first year with the team. That’s been Ferrari’s lone win in the last decade at Monza since Michael Schumacher’s emotional, memorable 2006 win when he announced his first retirement from the sport the same weekend.

Sebastian Vettel’s won at Monza three times, in 2008 with Toro Rosso in both his and the team’s first career victory, then with Red Bull in 2011 and 2013. With Ferrari, Vettel finished second in 2015 and third last year.

Mercedes has won the last three races at Monza with Nico Rosberg winning last year and Lewis Hamilton winning in 2014 and 2015. Hamilton also has a 2012 Monza win with McLaren on his resume.

A pole for Hamilton this weekend would be his 69th in his career, and set the all-time mark, breaking a tie with Schumacher.

A win for Hamilton would see him become the first driver to win back-to-back races in the 13th round of the season and would, at worse, see him move into a tie with Vettel for the championship lead. Vettel leads Hamilton by seven points, 220-213, the same gap as the difference between first and second in a single race (25 to 18 points).

Alonso, twice a winner at Monza as he also won in 2007 with McLaren, is the only other active Italian Grand Prix winner in the field. Kimi Raikkonen has never won at Monza for Ferrari.

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

  • Practice 1: Friday, Sept. 1, 4 a.m.-5:30 a.m. ET (Story; Watch replay)
  • Practice 2: Friday, Sept. 1, 8 a.m.-9:30 a.m. ET (Story; Watch replay)
  • Practice 2 (Replay): Saturday, Sept. 2, 6:30 a.m.-8 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Practice 3: Saturday, Sept. 2, 5 a.m.-6 a.m. ET (Watch replay)
  • Qualifying: Saturday, Sept. 2, 8 a.m.-9:30 a.m. ET (Watch replay)
  • Qualifying (Replay): Sunday, Sept. 3, 1:30 a.m.-3 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Pre-Race: Sunday, Sept. 3, 7 a.m.-8 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Race: Sunday, Sept. 3, 8 a.m.-10 a.m. ET (Full storyWatch replay)
  • Post-Race: Sunday, Sept. 3, 10 a.m.-10:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Formula 2: Sunday, Sept. 3, 6 a.m.-7 a.m. ET (Watch replay)

The next race is the Singapore Grand Prix, on September 17.

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
1 Comment

Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.