“He is metronomically perfect.” – Analyst Steve Matchett on Sebastian Vettel
“We have run out of superlatives for this guy. He is just the best of his generation.” – F1 Insider Will Buxton on Vettel
STAMFORD, Conn. – November 17, 2013 – NBC Sports presented live coverage of the United States Grand Prix from Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on Sunday. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) led wire-to-wire to win the U.S. Grand Prix, his F1 record eighth consecutive victory this season.
Coverage began with F1 Countdown, NBC’s 60-minute, on-site pre-race show, at 1 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Group’s lead F1 commentator Leigh Diffey opened the show live on-site at COTA, and was joined by David Hobbs (analyst), Steve Matchett (analyst) and Will Buxton (reporter).
Highlights from F1 Countdown included:
- Leigh Diffey’s sit-down interview with 2013 F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel, who clinched his fourth straight F1 title three weeks earlier at the Indian Grand Prix.
- NBC’s The Tonight Show host Jay Leno driving laps around COTA in a McLaren MP4-12C.
- An essay from former driver and motorsports analyst Sam Posey, celebrating Sebastian Vettel’s historic ascension to the top of Formula One™.
- Will Buxton’s live interviews from the grid with Bernie Ecclestone, President and CEO of Formula One™, and Niki Lauda, a three-time F1 champion and the subject of Universal Pictures’ recent biographical F1 drama Rush.
- Live coverage of the national anthem sung by Danielle Bradbery, Season Four winner of NBC’s The Voice.
- Rush director Ron Howard voiced the show open for NBC’s broadcast of the 2013 U.S. Grand Prix.
Immediately following Sebastian Vettel’s victory at the U.S. Grand Prix, his eighth consecutive win this season, NBC Sports carried a live radio transmission from Vettel to his Red Bull team.
Sebastian Vettel’s radio transmission to the Red Bull team: “Speechless. I’m speechless. We have to remember these days…we have to remember these days, because there’s no guarantee they will last forever….enjoy them as long as they last. I love you guys. We have an incredible team spirit – incredible. I’m so proud of you. I love you.”
Following are notes and quotes from Sunday’s coverage:
Leigh Diffey on Circuit of the Americas: “Some drivers say, ‘I do like this track, I don’t like this track.’ Circuit of the Americas is universally loved by all 22 drivers.”
Jay Leno on Circuit of the Americas after driving laps around the track: “This is really a great track. It’s designed to be one of the best tracks in the world, and it is. It has just the right number of corners and turns. It’s exciting…I’m not used to going that fast without a cop behind me.”
Will Buxton on Sebastian Vettel: “We have run out of superlatives for this guy. He is just the best of his generation.”
Steve Matchett: “He is metronomically perfect. Lap after lap…in a way, Sebastian Vettel is a part of the machine – the Red Bull machine, and it’s a fantastic thing to behold.”
David Hobbs on possible team and driver changes heading into 2014: “If I were Sergio Perez, only told last week that I was out on my ear, I’d be pretty ticked off. Nico Hulkenberg, they don’t know where he’s going, and in my mind he’s one of the best drivers out there.”
Matchett on Pastor Maldonado: “We know that he’s very, very unhappy with his current team, Williams, to the point where he’s suggested that the team has actually tried to jeopardize his race. I don’t believe that for a second.”
Diffey as cars line up on grid: “They are rockets on the ground, and their pilots are simply magnificent.”
Hobbs on Vettel: “He is just extraordinary on restarts. Every time there’s a safety car and a restart, he catches them off-guard – every, single time.”
Hobbs on quick pit stops in F1: “It really is fabulous to watch. The car hardly comes to rest. If you were the average cop, and you saw that and thought it was a stop sign, you’d call it a rolling stop.”
Hobbs on Romain Grosjean: “Romain Grosjean has had a bit of a bad rap the couple of years, but he’s driving impeccably…if he can hang on to this second spot, it’s going to be a massive feather in his cap.”
Matchett on Vettel: “He wants everything. He’s a very calm guy out of the car, but in the car he’s a killer.”
Hobbs on Vettel following victory at U.S. Grand Prix: “He really appreciated what he’s achieved, what he’s achieving and how he’s achieved it. He’s saying, ‘these things don’t last forever, these things don’t go on, so let’s take the opportunity while it’s here,”…you never know when things are going to change.”
Diffey to Hobbs: “I just can’t help but think back to the words that we heard from Sebastian Vettel post-race when he was doing the donuts. Incredibly deep and profound, and he’s really realizing his place in the sport’s history, isn’t he?”
Hobbs: “Absolutely, and he’s also realizing his place in life. That things don’t always stay the same, and when you’re on a roll like he’s on, he’s just bound and determined to continue the winning, because you never know when it’s all going to come to an end.”
Matchett: “He struck me as being very mature as well. Emotional, controlled, but very mature…you’ve got to enjoy these days while they’re around…Red Bull are experiencing this wonderful period of domination for them, but we all know that in Formula One, these periods of domination don’t last forever.”
Lewis Hamilton to Will Buxton on U.S. Grand Prix: “I still love the Silverstone (British) Grand Prix because it’s my home grand prix, but I have to say that the U.S. has taken over. The city is so vibrant during the weekend, and the atmosphere is incredible. I’ve never seen so many people…usually, Montreal is a really good event, but I think this has topped Montreal as well. The track is really nice to drive…it provides great racing.”
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–