Davey Hamilton back with Schmidt; team under one name

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Davey Hamilton has renewed his partnership with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, where the former driver will continue as co-owner of the No. 77 Honda driven by Simon Pagenaud.

“Working with Simon Pagenaud and the entire Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team has been fun because we know that each time the car hits the track we have the opportunity to win,” Hamilton said. “This is a true team sport, and having continuity in personnel for the third year in a row will enable us to not only win more races but also contend for a championship.”

This is doubly good news for SPM and for IndyCar observers, for multiple reasons.

For one, Hamilton was the driving force behind the HP sponsorship that adorned Pagenaud’s car the last two seasons. With Hamilton’s known business savvy – he put together deals with HP and other brands to race in the Indianapolis 500 five straight years from 2007 through 2011 with multiple teams – and co-owners Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson, the trio should be well on their way to finding new backers to replace HP for 2014.

Second, this removes the awkward, clunky nomenclature that SPM had in 2013. The Pagenaud entry was labeled as the Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports No. 77, while the second car, Tristan Vautier, was the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports No. 55. For good measure, the team’s third car at Indianapolis, driven by Katherine Legge, was officially the No. 81 Schmidt Peterson Pelfrey Motorsports entry.

For 2014, Hamilton’s still there, but his name isn’t in the team name, which saves us all the trouble of remembering which car had which ownership structure for naming rights. Pagenaud and teammate Mikhail Aleshin (now No. 7) will both run under the single Schmidt Peterson Motorsports banner, and Hamilton’s presence is a plus to the team and the paddock.

Additional commercial announcements should come, if not before IndyCar media day on Feb. 18 in Orlando, likely before IndyCar’s official preseason test at Barber Motorsports Park next month.

Recapping the proper Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel rivalry (VIDEO)

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Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).

However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.

However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.

Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.

 

Take a look behind the scenes of Fernando Alonso’s Indy 500 qualifying runs (VIDEO)

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In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth. 

Simulator ride tells what Fernando Alonso can expect in Indianapolis 500 (VIDEO)

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On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.

They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).

Check out the above video.  

Legendary announcer Ken Squier gets you ready for Sunday’s big day of racing (VIDEO)

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Sunday is the biggest day of the year in motorsports, starting in the morning with Formula 1’s legendary Monaco Grand Prix.

Then, at Noon ET, it’s the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The final part of the tripleheader of racing is NASCAR’s longest race of the season, the 400-lap, 600-mile Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Newly-named NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductee Ken Squier gives you a great primer for what promises to be a memorable day around the world (see video above).