IndyCar

NBC Sports’ live coverage of IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach — Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

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From: NBC Sports Group PR/Media Relations

  • Sunday’s Pre-Race Coverage Begins with IndyCar Live Presented by Verizon at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN
  • Pre-Race Coverage Includes Robin Miller Essay on American Racing Icon Dan Gurney, Founder of Grand Prix of Long Beach
  • NBCSN Presents Live Qualifying Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 12, 2018 – NBC Sports continues its coverage of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series this weekend from one of America’s most iconic street circuits with live coverage of the Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Pre-race coverage begins with IndyCar Live presented by Verizon at 4 p.m. ET.

NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs — will provide live streaming coverage of the Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Reigning IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden (Penske) took the checkered flag in Phoenix last week, capitalizing on the decision to make a pit stop for fresh tires during a caution with 18 laps remaining in the race. Newgarden passed rookie Robert Wickens (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports) with four laps to go to earn the victory. The podium was rounded out by Alexander Rossi(Andretti Autosport), his second consecutive podium finish to start the 2018 season.

The Grand Prix of Long Beach has seen six different winners in the last six years, including last year’s winner James Hinchcliffe (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports), who sits in sixth place in the driver standings following finishes of fourth and sixth to start the season.

This weekend’s race is the second of three consecutive weekends of IndyCar on NBCSN, following the network’s season debut last weekend in Phoenix. NBCSN will showcase the Grand Prix of Alabama next Sunday, April 22.

This weekend’s live coverage from Long Beach begins Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET with qualifying, leading into pre-race coverage on IndyCar Live presented by Verizon on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET. This season’s pre-race coverage will take place from the grid in the lead up to the command, bringing viewers even closer to the action prior to the race. Pre-race coverage will include:

  • An essay from IndyCar on NBC pit reporter Robin Miller on legendary American driver Dan Gurney, who was instrumental in the creation of the Grand Prix of Long Beach and passed away earlier this year;
  • A look at NBC analyst Paul Tracy’s first-career IndyCar win, which came 25 years ago at Long Beach, the first of his four victories at the circuit;
  • A feature on James Hinchcliffe during his visit to the Aquarium of the Pacific, which is located within the race course, where he conducted an underwater press conference;
  • A feature on Charlie Kimball, who came out to the Southern California area to assist his family in battling wildfires that affected the area, including Ventura County, where Kimball grew up and where his family currently still resides and operates a family ranch.

Lead IndyCar play-by-play commentator Leigh Diffey will call this weekend’s Grand Prix of Long Beach, alongside four-time Grand Prix of Long Beach champion Paul Tracy, who won his first-ever IndyCar race in Long Beach in 1993, and analyst and veteran driver Townsend BellMarty Snider, Robin Miller, Kevin Lee, and Katie Hargitt will report from the pits.

Following is this weekend’s IndyCar and motorsports schedule on NBCSN:

Date Coverage Network Time (ET)
Sat., April 14 American Flat Track – Atlanta Short Track (taped) NBCSN 5:30 p.m.
Grand Prix of Long Beach – Qualifying NBCSN 6:30 p.m.
Sun., April 15 IndyCar Live presented by Verizon NBCSN 4 p.m.
Grand Prix of Long Beach NBCSN 4:30 p.m.
IndyCar Post-Race NBCSN 6:30 p.m.

NBC SPORTS GROUP AND INDYCAR PARTNER ON COMPREHENSIVE, MULTI-YEAR MEDIA RIGHTS AGREEMENT

On March 21, NBC Sports Group and INDYCAR announced a new, multi-year media rights agreement in which NBC Sports acquired the rights to present all INDYCAR races, qualifying, practices, and Indy Lights races across its platforms beginning in 2019.

The Indianapolis 500 and seven additional Verizon IndyCar Series races will be broadcast annually on NBC, with all remaining races televised on NBCSN. All races will be live streamed to authenticated subscribers on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Details of NBC Sports’ 2019 INDYCAR schedule will be announced at a later date.

NBC Sports Gold – NBC Sports Group’s direct-to-consumer product – will offer a package to INDYCAR fans that features all qualifying and practices not televised live, all Indy Lights races, and full-event replays. Additional details, including the cost of the Gold offering, will be announced at a later date. Click here for more information.


VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES ON NBCSPORTS.COM AND THE NBC SPORTS APP

NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs — will provide live streaming coverage of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value to their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.

NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app are powered by Playmaker Media and available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.

F1 Preview: 2018 German Grand Prix

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The German Grand Prix continues its biennial presence on the Formula 1 calendar – it’s hosted F1 events in even numbered years since 2014 – as Formula 1 returns to the Hockenheimring this weekend.

The German fans will undoubtedly be joyful in Sebastian Vettel entering his home race in the championship lead, by nine points over Lewis Hamilton. Yet, somewhat surprisingly, Vettel despite being one of the most successful and decorated drivers of his generation, Vettel has won in Germany only once (2013, at the Nurburgring) and he has never won at Hockenheim.

Conversely, Hamilton has won in Germany three times, including twice at Hockenheim (2008 and 2016).

As such, Vettel will hope to add to his points lead over Hamilton with a win on home soil, though Hamilton may be equally as motivated after watching Vettel his own home race at Silverstone two weeks ago.

Nevertheless, their 2018 championship duel will most certainly continue to be closely fought.

Talking points ahead of the German Grand Prix are below.

A Different World in 2018 vs. 2016

Nico Rosberg during the Formula One Grand Prix of Germany at Hockenheimring on July 31, 2016 in Hockenheim, Germany. Photo: Getty Images

The Formula 1 landscape looked completely different back in 2016, the last time Formula 1 visited the Hockenheimring. Bernie Ecclestone was still the chief executive of Formula 1.

Nico Rosberg was partnering Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes team, and was on his way to a driver’s championship that year.

Vettel and teammate Kimi Raikkonen were in the midst of a slump as Ferrari went winless in 2016.

The world was still getting to know a then 18-year-old Max Verstappen, the young Dutchman having won the Spanish Grand Prix in May that year.

And the cars looked completely different, with skinnier and taller rear wings and taller rear tires highlighting the appearance differences.

In 2018, Vettel and Ferrari might be the strongest combination. Rosberg is long from Mercedes, and Valtteri Bottas is doing his best to shine in the wake of Hamilton’s enormous shadow.

Verstappen is still a rising star, though he has come under fire at times for overly aggressive driving and his Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo has garnered more headlines this year, with a pair of race wins alongside his status as an F1 free agent after 2018.

In short, the Formula 1 landscape is hardly recognizable from what it was back in 2016. And even though Hamilton won that year, followed by Ricciardo and Verstappen in second and third, very little will carry over from that race two years ago.

Hamilton, Mercedes Look to Take Back Momentum from Vettel, Ferrari

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JULY 08: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes WO9 leads Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF71H on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 8, 2018 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

The seesaw championship fight has tilted back in the favor of Ferrari, with Vettel leading Hamilton after finishes of third and first in Austria and England. Hamilton, meanwhile, DNF’ed in Austria and came home second in England after spinning on Lap 1.

Hamilton trails by nine points, but this is hardly an unfamiliar position for Hamilton in 2018 – he started the year trailing Vettel until he took the championship lead for the first time after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Both teams have had multiple swings of momentum this year – Vettel won the opening two races before finishes of eighth in China (he spun after contact with Verstappen) and a pair of fourth place efforts in Azerbaijan and Spain before getting two more wins in Canada and England.

Hamilton, meanwhile stumbled out of the gates somewhat with finishes of second and third before taking a fortuitous win in Azerbaijan and two dominant wins in Spain and France before the misfortune in Austria.

All told the ebb and flow of the 2018 season seems to change with every race, and while Vettel now leads Hamilton again, things could change this weekend.

Raikkonen Trying to Fend off Ricciardo, Bottas

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JULY 06: Kimi Raikkonen of Finland driving the (7) Scuderia Ferrari SF71H on track during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 6, 2018 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Kimi Raikkonen is somewhat of a forgotten man this Formula 1 season, but he does rank third in the championship at the moment, 10 points ahead of Ricciardo and 12 points ahead of Bottas.

However, both Ricciardo and Bottas are likely thought to have had better seasons – Ricciardo has the aforementioned wins (at China and Monaco) and the only thing that has kept Bottas from the top step of the podium is a string of horrendous luck.

However, Raikkonen, to his credit, has picked up the pieces whenever others around him have faltered, and he has six podium finishes through 10 races.

However, in order to fully silence any critics, and maybe even keep his Ferrari drive, Raikkonen would do well to get a win in 2018.

Misc.

  • The driver challenging Raikkonen’s position within Ferrari is Sauber’s Charles Leclerc. The Ferrari junior driver has five points finishes, and that could have been six if not for a pit stop error at Silverstone that caused him to leave his pit stall with a loose wheel – it forced him to retire. Leclerc’s star is on the rise, and he could shine again in Germany.
  • Nico Hulkenberg is the “other” German driver on the grid. And though he has a 24 Hours of Le Mans win to his name, he is yet to finish on the podium in an F1 race. The Renault package may not be a podium threat in usual circumstances, but if he stays clean and others falter, he could sneak in there…and doing so in his home race would make that overdue podium even sweeter.
  • After a pair of eighth place finishes, Fernando Alonso has helped McLaren at least stop the bleeding after a dismal stretch of races from Monaco through France in which the team scored zero points. However, the team still has a long way to go, and Germany could be another weekend of struggles.

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