Oct 10, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT
At the age of 26, Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) can clinch his fourth consecutive Formula One World Championship on Sunday at the Japanese Grand Prix, highlighting 15 hours of motorsports coverage this weekend on NBCSN.
Vettel can clinch his fourth consecutive F1 title with a win this weekend, coupled with a finish of ninth or worse by Fernando Alonso(Ferrari), who trails Vettel by 77 points in the F1 points standings with five races remaining. Vettel is a three-time winner at the Japanese Grand Prix, earning victories in three of the last four seasons at Suzuka International Racing Course, while Alonso has won the Japanese Grand Prix twice. Vettel clinched his second World Championship in 2011 at the Japanese Grand Prix with a third-place finish.
Vettel enters the Japanese Grand Prix following back-to-back “Grand Slams” at the Singapore and Korean Grands Prix, where he won the pole position, led every lap, and recorded the fastest lap en route to victory. It was only the third time ever a driver has achieved a Grand Slam in consecutive F1 races, and the first time in 50 years.
With a fourth consecutive World Championship, Vettel would tie Alain Prost (4) and trail only Juan Manuel Fangio (5) and Michael Schumacher (7) for the most career F1 World Championships. Vettel’s resume currently includes numerous F1 records, including youngest polesitter, youngest race winner, and youngest world champion.
Live coverage of the Japanese Grand Prix begins with practice on Friday at 1 a.m. ET on NBCSN, followed by qualifying on NBCSN on Saturday at 1 a.m. ET. Live race coverage of the Japanese Grand Prix begins on Sunday at 1:30 a.m. ET. NBCSN will also air an encore presentation of the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. F1 Extra, NBC Sports Group’s half-hour post-race show, will air immediately following the conclusion of NBCSN’s Japanese Grand Prix coverage.
Live coverage of practice, qualifying, and the Japanese Grand Prix can also be seen on NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets.
NBCSN will also air episodes of TRANSLOGIC as part of NBC Sports Group’s motorsports coverage.
|Fri., October 11||F1 Japanese Grand Prix – Practice||NBCSN||1 a.m.|
|Sat., October 12||F1 Japanese Grand Prix – Qualifying||NBCSN||1 a.m.|
|Sun., October 13||TRANSLOGIC||NBCSN||1 a.m.|
|F1 Japanese Grand Prix||NBCSN||1:30 a.m.|
|F1 Extra||NBCSN||4 a.m.|
|F1 Japanese Grand Prix – Qualifying (Encore)||NBCSN||11:30 a.m.|
|F1 Japanese Grand Prix (Encore)||NBCSN||1 p.m.|
|F1 Extra (Encore)||NBCSN||3:30 p.m.|
|Mon., October 14||IndyCar Grand Prix of Houston – Race 1 (Encore)||NBCSN||1 a.m.|
COMMENTATORS: Lead F1 announcer Leigh Diffey will call the Japanese Grand Prix and will be joined by veteran analyst and former racecar driver David Hobbs, and analyst and former race mechanic for the Benetton F1 team Steve Matchett. F1 insider Will Buxton will serve as the team’s on-site reporter from the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, Japan.
Following are quotes from Hobbs on Vettel:
Hobbs on what sets Vettel apart: “He has a genius feel for the car – how it grips going into the corner. He has an unmatched ability to get the maximum amount out of the car on the first lap, which is incredibly hard to do.”
Hobbs comparing Vettel and Michael Schumacher: “We said when Michael Schumacher was around that it would never happen again. Well, now we’re seeing it again…I’m in total awe of him.”
Hobbs on historical context of Vettel’s performance: “We are watching something that has never happened in 60 years of grand prix racing. With his age and the team he’s driving for, the possibility of him winning seven World Championships and reaching Schumacher is very likely.”
The rest of the release can be found on the NBC Sports Group Press Box website.