With shot at a fifth straight win, Lewis Hamilton could join illustrious company

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If Lewis Hamilton can win his fifth consecutive Grand Prix this Sunday in Monaco (7:30 a.m. ET, NBC), he’ll join only six other drivers in Formula One history who have accomplished that feat.

Four drivers have compiled a streak of “just” five in a row: the late Sir Jack Brabham and the late Jim Clark in 1960 and 1965, respectively; Nigel Mansell and Michael Schumacher each won the first five races to open their 1992 and 2004 seasons.

All four drivers with that five-peat went on to win the World Championship that season.

Schumacher also has runs of six (2000-2001) and seven (2004) in a row. The record is of course nine in a row, set last year by Sebastian Vettel, a mark equaled by the late Alberto Ascari from 1952 to 1953 as he won nine straight races he entered.

Hamilton, now the championship leader, has a solitary won at Monaco in 2008 with McLaren, but hasn’t finished on the podium here since. He’s obviously keen to change that this weekend.

“Monaco is just incredible to drive and any driver will tell you that’s the race they want to win. So many great names become legends around this circuit,” Hamilton said in the team’s pre-race advance. “It’s an honor to fight for your place amongst them and a real test of your skills behind the wheel.

“The last few races have been just incredible,” he added. “I honestly never expected I’d win four consecutive Grands Prix in my career and I’d love to continue that run here. I’ve had some work to do in terms of getting the car exactly as I want it after the weekend in Spain: it was so close between our cars at the end and I need to keep pushing to find any extra edge I can.”

Practice starts on Thursday with Practice 1 live streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra at 4 a.m. ET, with Practice 2 on NBCSN at 8 a.m. ET.

Williams confirms Kubica and Sirotkin for Abu Dhabi F1 test

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Williams has confirmed that Robert Kubica will enjoy his third Formula 1 test outing with the team at the end-of-season running in Abu Dhabi next week as rumors grow regarding a possible race seat for 2018.

Almost seven years after his last F1 start, Kubica’s remarkable return from severe injuries sustained in a rally accident saw him enjoy two private tests with Renault before completing running with the team in a 2017-spec car in Hungary over the summer.

Reservations over Kubica’s capabilities prompted Renault to pass on giving him a seat, instead opting to hire Carlos Sainz Jr. for next year, only for Williams to become an alternative for the Pole.

Kubica tested a 2014-spec Williams at both Silverstone and the Hungaroring in recent months, and will now sample a 2017 car when he tests at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kubica will share track time with regular Williams racer Lance Stroll and Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin, who has worked with Renault over the past two years but also missed out on a 2018 seat.

“Williams Martini Racing is pleased to confirm it will run Robert Kubica and Sergey Sirotkin for the Abu Dhabi Pirelli tire test, alongside current race driver Lance Stroll,” a statement from the team reads.

“The Pirelli tire test will take place over two days at the Yas Marina circuit during the week following the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“On day one Robert Kubica will drive the FW40 in the morning session, before Lance Stroll takes over in the afternoon.

“On day two Sergey Sirotkin will drive in the morning and afternoon sessions before handing over to Robert in the late afternoon.

“The test is aimed at evaluating 2018 candidate tires on behalf of the Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli.

“Williams is excited to have this opportunity to assess the new tyres across such an interesting range of drivers: Lance, as confirmed race driver for 2018, Robert with his huge experience, and Sergey as a very promising young talent in Formula 1.”

Williams denied earlier this week it has signed Kubica to partner Stroll for 2018, but indications are the deal looks very likely to go ahead, subject to the relevant paperwork and contracts being finalized.