Lewis Hamilton urged to use social media at right times


SEPANG, Malaysia (AP) Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton has been advised to use social media tactfully after posting a mock up aimed at U.S. President Donald Trump during the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Hamilton, the series leader chasing a fourth world championship, posted it on his Instagram account on Friday. It featured a Trump doll and a dog and was removed soon after.

“Lewis is very authentic and he expresses what he thinks. I have sympathy for being authentic and saying what your opinion is,” Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff said on Saturday in the team motorhome. “In hindsight, with a million following on Instagram, on a race weekend, (it) is a different story. We discussed it (and) Lewis was of the opinion that it wasn’t the right moment.”

Trump has vehemently condemned players who have knelt in protest during the U.S. national anthem at sports events, saying they should stand or be fired for their defiance.

“This is a very controversial and polarizing story. Lewis’ feelings about human rights are very strong and I think he wanted to show that,” Wolff said. “Probably Instagram as the communication channel is something that he needs to rethink. But I can relate to his feelings.”

Hamilton, a prolific user of Twitter and Instagram, posted twice more on Instagram this week, lending his support to protesters of racial injustive and police brutality.

One post was of Martin Luther King kneeling on a pavement, and the other was of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick who started the movement last year.

In brief comments on Thursday, Hamilton gave his unequivocal support to the protesters, alluding to Trump without directly naming him.

“We can all play a role in trying to make a difference in the world. Particularly if your leader is not helping in that area. There are opportunities all over,” Hamilton said. “It is open for anyone to have freedom of speech. It takes the people to try standing together, and I really feel I can identify with a lot of those individuals.”

NBC Sports Group, INDYCAR partner on new TV and digital rights agreement starting in 2019

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NBC Sports Group and INDYCAR officials this morning announced a new partnership beginning in 2019 that will take the sport in an exciting new direction.

The new all-encompassing agreement includes TV and digital rights to all INDYCAR races — including the legendary Indianapolis 500. NBCSN has been INDYCAR’s cable partner since 2009, but this new agreement is all-encompassing and includes broadcast, cable, digital, streaming, and direct-to-consumer rights for all INDYCAR races, qualifying, practices and more.

All races will be carried live, with eight races — including the Indy 500 — on NBC, while the remaining races will be televised on NBCSN.

Here is the official news release announcing the new partnership:



New Agreement Includes Rights to All Races, Qualifying, and Practices

Indianapolis 500 Moves to NBC in 2019

Indy 500 and Seven Additional Races on NBC Annually; Remaining Races on NBCSN; All Races Live Streamed on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app

NBC Sports Gold Direct-to-Consumer Package Includes Qualifying, Practices, Indy Lights, and Full-Event Replays

STAMFORD, Conn. – March 21, 2018 – NBC Sports Group and INDYCAR announced a new, multi-year media rights agreement today in which NBC Sports has acquired the rights to present all INDYCAR races, qualifying, practices, and Indy Lights races across its platforms beginning in 2019. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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.

“We’re excited to have NBC Sports serve as the exclusive home of INDYCAR, which represents the most competitive open-wheel racing in the world,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBCSN. “We’re honored to bring the Indianapolis 500, one of the most prestigious events in all of sports, to NBC, further enhancing NBC Sports’ Championship Season. We’ve seen consistent growth for INDYCAR on NBCSN in the past decade, and we hope to continue that growth throughout the series by leveraging the television, digital, production and marketing assets that make NBC Sports a powerful media partner.”

“This arrangement brings all of INDYCAR to one home, increases our exposure and includes our first direct-to-consumer offer for our fans,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, which owns INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “We couldn’t be happier to have start-to-finish coverage of INDYCAR’s season with the NBC Sports Group.”

The 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500, set for Sunday, May 26, 2019, will be the first ever on NBC. The Indy 500 will also be included every year in NBC Sports’ Championship Season marketing campaign, which touts numerous high-profile championship events that are presented across NBC Sports platforms from May to July, including the Triple Crown, The PLAYERS, Premier League Championship Sunday, French Open, Stanley Cup Final, Tour de France, and The Open Championship.

The entire Verizon IndyCar Series will receive unprecedented marketing and promotional support from NBC Sports, which will utilize not only its own assets, but many NBCUniversal assets as well. With the Indy 500 and seven additional races on NBC, INDYCAR will have the second-most races on broadcast television in all of motorsports.