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WATCH LIVE: Italian GP on NBCSN, NBC Sports app from 7am ET

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Formula 1’s final race of the European season, the Italian Grand Prix from the historic and stunning Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, runs this morning on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 7 a.m. ET to kick off a busy day of motorsports, with IndyCar and NASCAR to follow.

F1 ITALIAN GRAND PRIX LIVE STREAM

Pre-race coverage runs for an hour from 7 a.m. ET through to 8 a.m. ET, with lights out at that point.

One of the more chaotic and random qualifying sessions in recent memory – and one which took more than three hours to complete with a rain delay – ended with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton on the pole position, a record 69th for his career.

While Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were second and third on the road during qualifying in their two Red Bulls, grid penalties for them and several others have rapidly jumbled the grid and dropped them down the order (the qualifying times were below).

It instead sets up an abnormal and fascinating situation where Lance Stroll in his Williams now moves up to the front row, with Esteban Ocon in his Force India moving up to third.

Valtteri Bottas will start fourth in the second Mercedes with the pair of Ferraris, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, rolling off from fifth and sixth, respectively.

Heading into today’s race, Vettel leads Hamilton just by seven points, 220 to 213.

If Hamilton wins, he’ll be the first driver with back-to-back victories this season ahead of Round 13.

You can watch the Italian Grand Prix live on NBC and the NBC Sports app from 7am ET. CLICK HERE for NBCSN live stream.

You can also try out a new ‘Mosaic View’ for the race that includes the race simulcast, in-car cameras, driver tracker and pit lane cam. CLICK HERE to watch the Mosaic View live stream.

Leigh Diffey, David Hobbs and Steve Matchett will be on the call, with pit reporter Will Buxton providing updates and interviews throughout the race from Monza.

Also be sure to follow the @F1onNBCSports Twitter account for live updates throughout the race.

New study surveys drivers’ opinions on crashes, concussions, more

James Black/IndyCar
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Auto racing safety has continued to improve through the decades, but the sport remains inherently dangerous, according to a new survey.

At the close of 2018, a new organization called Racing Safety United emerged with the intention of reducing drivers’ risk of being harmed.

RSU is made up of more than 30 members including former NASCAR Cup Series competitor Jerry Nadeau, two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Randy LaJoie, NHRA team owner Don Schumacher and motorsports journalist Dick Berggren.

One of RSU’s first initiatives was to determine what current drivers thought of racing safety. The organization developed a 14-question survey and promoted it on select motorsports websites and forums. 

Participants were given the opportunity to disclose their identity or remain anonymous, and those who provided contact information were entered to win a $500 prize (for anonymous participants, the prize funds would be donated to a motorsports charity). 

More than 140 individuals participated in the survey over the course of 12 months. Below are the results of the survey:

Driver status

The vast majority of survey participants (60%) were amateur racers, while 26% of the participants were classified as Semi-Pro/Professional racers. The remaining 14% consisted of other individuals involved in the sport such as team owners and crew chiefs. 

When asked how frequently they race, 58% of driver respondents averaged 10 or more times per year on track, while 42% averaged 10 times or less.

The top five tracks respondents said they raced most often: Road Atlanta (21 votes), Watkins Glen (17 votes), Virginia International Raceway (16 votes), Mid-Ohio (16 votes), and Road America (13 votes).

Vehicular damage, injuries common

Over a third of respondents said they had been injured while racing, and almost two-thirds sasid they had suffered severe vehicle damage while racing

Driver error was cited as the top cause of vehicle damage (42 mentions), followed by concrete walls (26 mentions), mechanical failures (24 mentions), and other drivers (19 mentions). The study concluded those results indicated a need for better driver training/coaching, energy absorbing walls, and more technical inspections.

Almost a quarter of drivers said they had experienced racing-related concussions, and nearly half the respondents said one or multiple concussions would affect their decision to race in the future. 

Drivers primarily influenced by peers 

Roughly half the drivers said they would consider adopting new safety equipment if influenced by another driver (51 total mentions) and/or if recommended by a sanctioning body (47 total mentions). The study concluded those results indicated a need for drivers to become safety advocates and educate other drivers and for sanctioning bodies to mandate safety equipment. 

Drivers concerned with concrete walls

Approximately three-quarters of the drivers surveyed said they believed certain race tracks were more dangerous than others. Nearly half the drivers surveyed believe that concrete walls were the primary cause of damage to drivers and vehicles. 

Drivers willing to help

Just more than three-quarters of the drivers surveyed said that they would be willing to join a safety alliance to advocate for safer tracks. Two-thirds of drivers said that they also would be willing to contribute to a motorsports safety fund.

Click here for the full results of RSU’s survey

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