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Suzuka success gives Hamilton complete set of poles at every F1 track

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Lewis Hamilton may have been celebrating the 71st pole position of his illustrious Formula 1 career on Saturday, but it was a first for the Mercedes driver at Suzuka.

Hamilton is a three-time winner of the Japanese Grand Prix (2007, 2014, 2015), yet has never lined up on pole at Suzuka where the race has been since 2009. He did, however, take pole when the race was at Fuji in 2007.

Suzuka was the final circuit on Hamilton’s hit list, giving him a complete set of scoring pole at all 20 of the circuits currently on the F1 calendar.

“It’s interesting because every single time I’ve struggled here, struggled with finding the right balance, often not starting on the right foot and then just struggling where to find the placement,” Hamilton said.

“Sometimes I’ve started on the right foot and led the car in completely the wrong direction. Yeah, so it’s always been up and down. This is the first time, and I would say definitely the first car that I’ve really felt that it’s been underneath me all weekend. Small tweaks here and there but in the right direction.

“I think fundamentally a better job done globally. Particularly with my engineers. My engineer understanding what I need from the car and vice versa: what I need from my engineers and the car.

It’s worked out better this time. My knowledge of the car is better than it’s been before, which has enabled me then to go out and do the job.

“Ten years or whatever it is, my first pole position here. 10th time lucky, so I’m grateful for that.”

Here’s what Hamilton’s pole record looks like at all 20 of the tracks on the F1 calendar. His perfect record will only last until the start of next season, though, with the return of the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard giving him another new circuit to try and tame.

Lewis Hamilton F1 Pole Positions – 2017 Calendar Track-by-Track

Melbourne, Australia – 6
Shanghai, China – 6
Sakhir, Bahrain – 2
Sochi, Russia – 1
Catalunya, Spain – 3
Monaco – 1
Montreal, Canada – 6
Baku, Azerbaijan – 1
Spielberg, Austria – 2
Silverstone, Great Britain – 5
Hungaroring, Hungary – 5
Spa, Belgium – 4
Monza, Italy – 6
Marina Bay, Singapore – 3
Sepang, Malaysia – 5
Suzuka, Japan – 1
Circuit of The Americas, USA – 1
Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico – 1
Interlagos, Brazil – 2
Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi – 3

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 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 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.