If not a win, McLaren could improve further at Hungary

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Don’t bet on McLaren pulling off its sixth win in seven years at the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend. But if they’ve made ground from the Silverstone test last week and have their car work better with the revised construction Pirellis this weekend, a solid result might not be out of the question.

The German weekend was a successful one for Jenson Button and Sergio Perez. For only the third time this season, and first since Spain in May, were both McLaren drivers in the points.

“Of course, a win in 2013 is going to be difficult, but I actually think the team is working very well right now,” Button said in the team’s advance release. “In Germany, our tire-usage, strategy and management of the race was as good as it’s ever been. It would be good to have a car with a little more pace to enable those calls to have a bit more impact at the front of the pack, but, for the moment, we can be satisfied by doing the best possible job in qualifying and on Sunday afternoon.”

Button is a two-time Hungary winner, with an authoritative triumph in 2011 and his first ever Grand Prix win in the wet-dry Hungarian Grand Prix of 2006.

Perez has failed to score in two prior Hungary starts, but does have a GP2 podium on his resume here. Not that that means anything other than he’s due.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).