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F1 Brazilian Grand Prix on NBCSN, NBC Sports App this week

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Brazilian Grand Prix coverage comes up this week on NBCSN and the NBC Sports App, the penultimate round of the Formula 1 season.

Friday practice sessions air live at 7 a.m. (app) and 11 a.m. (NBCSN) ET, with Saturday’s third practice at 8 a.m. and qualifying at 11 a.m. ET, both live on the app. A qualifying encore airs Saturday night at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Live race coverage begins with one hour of pre-race coverage from 10 to 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN before lights out at 11.

Various replays occur throughout the weekend, which you can see in the below chart.

Active Brazilian Grand Prix winners include Lewis Hamilton (2016), Sebastian Vettel (2010, 2013), Felipe Massa (2006, 2008) and Kimi Raikkonen (2007).

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have wrapped their respective championships in the last two races in Mexico City and Austin, respectively, but there’s still two more races to go where other minor placings can get swapped and a few remaining story lines are set to play out.

Williams becomes a story this week with Felipe Massa having announced his second retirement (this one should stick) in advance of the race, and Lance Stroll’s 2018 teammate still to be determined. Massa will now have another Brazilian Grand Prix home race sign-off, although one wonders if it’ll match last year’s on an emotion standpoint.

Second place in the driver’s standings is still up for grabs with Sebastian Vettel just 15 points ahead of Valtteri Bottas. Additionally, Daniel Ricciardo has only 14 points on Kimi Raikkonen for fourth. They’re not huge story lines but they could change hands over this race and Abu Dhabi. Mexican Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen sits sixth in points but has scored the most points of any driver over the last four races (80), and starred in the wet here last year to end third behind the Mercedes teammates.

More crucial to season-ending payouts are the minor placings in the constructor’s standings. Sixth-placed Scuderia Toro Rosso leads Renault by five points and Haas by six. So it’ll be worth noting if either of Toro Rosso or Renault’s refreshed lineups emerges ahead here, or if Haas can steal a position or two in its second season.

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

  • Practice 1: Friday, Nov. 10, 7 a.m.-8:30 a.m. ET (Streaming)
  • Practice 2: Friday, Nov. 10, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Practice 3: Saturday, Nov. 11, 8 a.m.-9 a.m. ET (Streaming)
  • Qualifying: Saturday, Nov. 11, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET (Streaming)
  • Qualifying (Replay): Saturday, Nov. 11, 9:30 p.m.-11 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Practice 2 (Replay): Sunday, Nov. 12, 7 a.m.-8:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Qualifying (Replay): Sunday, Nov. 12, 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Pre-Race: Sunday, Nov. 12, 10 a.m.-11 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Race: Sunday, Nov. 12, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Post-Race: Sunday, Nov. 12, 1 p.m.-1:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
  • Race (Replay): Sunday, Nov. 12, 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)*
  • Race (Replay): Monday, Nov. 13, 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)

*Subject to delay if Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race coverage from Phoenix runs long.

It’s official: Laguna Seca to host INDYCAR for at least next 3 seasons

Laguna Seca, from the 1991 CART race there. Photo: Getty Images
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INDYCAR made it official today: the 2019 season-ending race will move a couple of hours down the Northern California coast to WeatherTechRaceway Laguna Seca.

Sonoma Raceway, which has hosted INDYCAR since 2005 – including the last five season-ending races (that includes this year’s upcoming season finale) – will not be part of next season’s schedule.

Earlier today, the Monterey County (Calif.) Board of Supervisors, which oversees operation of the iconic racing facility, approved a three-year agreement with INDYCAR to host next year’s season finale on Sept. 20-22, 2019.

The remaining two race dates for 2020 and 2021 will be announced later, according to an INDYCAR media release.

The 2.238-mile permanent road course previously hosted CART and Champ Car World Series Indy car races from 1983 through 2004, including the season-ending races from 1989 through 1996.

“I can’t imagine a more attractive destination location for INDYCAR’s season finale,” Mark Miles, president and CEO of Hulman & Company, which owns INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, said in a statement. “Monterey is a place people want to be, and we will bring all of our guests. I think it’s a great choice for us.”

Bobby Rahal, former CART/CCWS driver and current INDYCAR team co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, won four of the prior 22 previous Indy car races at Laguna Seca, all consecutively (1984-87).

“It’s great news, but I might be biased,” Rahal said. “I personally won four Indy car races there and won my first Can-Am race there. Our Indy car team won with Bryan Herta and Max Papis and our sports car team won IMSA races there.

“So I would almost bet you that Laguna Seca is the site of more victories for me as a driver and team owner combined of any track I’ve ever raced on.

“There is nothing better than the Monterey Bay area, and it’s a great circuit that always drew great crowds. So I’m thrilled to have Indy car racing coming back to a circuit I love so much. We will put on a good show, for sure.”

In addition to Rahal as a multiple winner, two-time winners at Laguna Seca were fellow current INDYCAR team co-owners Michael Andretti and Bryan Herta, INDYCAR on NBCSN analyst Paul Tracy, Danny Sullivan and Patrick Carpentier.

“The return of INDYCAR to its spiritual road racing home of Laguna Seca is a tremendous honor and testament to the appeal of Monterey, and through the support of the County of Monterey will provide a significant economic benefit to our area businesses,” said Timothy McGrane, CEO of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, “We are looking forward to creating more memories in race fans’ minds like Bobby Rahal’s four consecutive Indy car wins from 1984-1987, Mario Andretti’s farewell race in 1994 and Alex Zanardi’s last-lap overtaking of Bryan Herta in the Corkscrew in 1996 that simply became known as ‘The Pass.'”

NBC Sports Group has secured exclusive domestic television and digital media rights for INDYCAR races beginning in 2019. Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports and NBCSN, agreed that Laguna Seca is an ideal venue to close out the schedule.

“We commend INDYCAR for returning to Laguna Seca, a historic track and an inspired place for the 2019 season finale,” Miller said. “The 2019 season will be our first as the exclusive media rights partner of INDYCAR, and we could not be more pleased to broadcast the championship from beautiful Monterrey.”

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