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F1 Japanese GP on NBCSN, NBC Sports app


One of the classic races on the Formula 1 schedule occurs this weekend, with the Japanese Grand Prix from the Suzuka International Circuit. It’s the second race of a back-to-back after Malaysia and third race in the Singapore-Malaysia-Japan early fall Asian swing on the calendar.

Additionally, the Formula 2 series has a standalone race weekend in Jerez, Spain as it closes on the end of its season.

You can see all the action of both races this weekend on NBCSN and the NBC Sports App from Suzuka and Jerez.


Live coverage of Sunday’s race begins at midnight ET with an hour of pre-race in F1 Countdown, with lights out at 1 a.m. ET. Additional live TV coverage occurs for qualifying at 2 a.m. ET on Saturday, October 7 and free practice two at 1 a.m. ET on Friday, October 6 – all these on NBCSN. Free practices one and three will air on the NBC Sports App.

Since the Japanese Grand Prix returned to Suzuka in 2009 after a two-year detour to Fuji Speedway in 2007 and 2008, Mercedes AMG Petronas and Red Bull Racing have won seven of the eight races – the lone exception being Jenson Button in a McLaren Mercedes in 2011.

Sebastian Vettel won four times for Red Bull in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013, winning the World Championship in each of the last three years.

Meanwhile at Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton won in 2014 and 2015 and Nico Rosberg here last year, and each has gone onto win the championship that year.

That means it’s been five years on the trot that the winner in Suzuka has gone on to win the World Championship.

With Hamilton on a 34-point lead with five races remaining, he can move even closer to his fourth title – which would match Vettel – if he can win this weekend.

Vettel and Scuderia Ferrari will be looking to stop the bleeding after two brutal races in Singapore and Malaysia for the team. The start line crash at Singapore saw Vettel’s deficit in the championship increase from three points to 28, while it grew a further six points last weekend after engine issues in qualifying and a rally back to fourth place from last on the grid. Kimi Raikkonen didn’t even get that far, unable to start, and after two races where he hasn’t completed a single race lap the Finn will be keen to get back on the board this weekend.

Ferrari hasn’t won here since Michael Schumacher did so in 2004. Raikkonen won a year later, one of his most famous victories in 2005, from 17th on the grid and after a last lap pass of Giancarlo Fisichella.

Malaysia Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen was second here last year to Rosberg, Hamilton third after a brutal start saw him drop back. Verstappen made his Grand Prix weekend debut here as a Friday driver in 2014. Somewhat surprisingly, Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo has never stood on a podium in Suzuka, his best finish here only fourth in 2014.

As ever, Fernando Alonso is the only other active Japanese Grand Prix winner in the field, having won for Renault at both Suzuka (2006) and Fuji (2008). But for Alonso and McLaren Honda together, Suzuka’s been a site of agony the last two years, and the site of Alonso’s infamous “GP2 engine” radio transmission on the manufacturer’s home soil. Teammate Stoffel Vandoorne has been on excellent form of late with back-to-back seventh place finishes, and has experience in Japan from his time racing in Super Formula.

Here’s the F1 schedule, with stream links and TV network if applicable:

  • Practice 1: Thursday, Oct. 5, 9 p.m.-10:30 p.m. ET (Streaming)
  • Practice 2: Friday, Oct. 6, 1 a.m.-2:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Practice 3: Friday, Oct. 6, 11 p.m.-12 a.m. ET (Streaming)
  • Qualifying: Saturday, Oct. 7, 2 a.m.-3:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Pre-Race: Sunday, Oct. 8, 12 a.m.-1 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Race: Sunday, Oct. 8, 1 a.m.-3 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Post-Race: Sunday, Oct. 8, 3 a.m.-3:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Race (Replay): Sunday, Oct. 8, 9 p.m.-11 p.m. ET (NBCSN)

The next race is the United States Grand Prix, on October 22.


Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria.
Saturday 8 July 2017
Charles Leclerc (MCO, PREMA Racing)
Photo: Mauger/FIA Formula 2
ref: Digital Image _56I3213

Formula 2’s lone standalone round of the season comes this weekend from Jerez in Spain, nearly 20 years on exactly from when the 1997 Formula 1 World Championship was decided in dramatic fashion after Michael Schumacher contacted Jacques Villeneuve at the Dry Sac corner, and Villeneuve won his first and only title on October 26, 1997.

A driver who could one day become an F1 World Champion, Monegasque star Charles Leclerc of Prema Racing, is poised to wrap the F2 title this weekend in Jerez, as he enters with a 59-point lead over Oliver Rowland.

Leclerc has won five times this season although hasn’t done so since Silverstone in July. He was disqualified at the Spa feature race after winning, following a technical infringement found in post-race inspection.

Both races will be streamed live via the NBC Sports App, with TV coverage occurring Saturday night, October 7 at 11 p.m. ET on NBCSN. This will be the lead-in to live Japanese Grand Prix race coverage on NBCSN at midnight ET.

F2 has this doubleheader race in Jerez, and then is off until the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend November 25-26, concluding its season along with F1.

Here’s the F2 schedule, with stream links and TV network if applicable:

  • Race 1: Saturday, Oct. 7, 8 a.m.-9:05 a.m. ET (Streaming)
  • Race 2: Sunday, Oct. 8, 8 a.m.-8:50 a.m. ET (Streaming)
  • TV coverage: Saturday, Oct. 7, 11 p.m.-12 a.m. ET (NBCSN)

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans

LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.