Top five stats from the United States Grand Prix

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One special achievement stood out in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix: Sebastian Vettel became the first driver to win eight consecutive rounds of the world championship. Here are the top five stats from Sunday’s race.

Vettel’s record eight-in-a-row…

Vettel may have won eight races in a row but Alberto Ascari went one better, winning nine consecutive races from 1952 to 1953. However during that time Ascari did not enter the 1953 Indianapolis 500, which counted towards the world championship.

Note also that none of these races were run to F1 rules, as the world championship used F2 regulations in 1952 and 1953.

…and eighth hat-trick

Win, pole position, fastest lap: Vettel had them all in Austin, for the eighth time in his F1 career. Only three drivers racked up more during their careers: Michael Schumacher (22), Jim CLark (11) and Juan Manuel Fangio (9).

No points for Kovalainen

Heikki Kovalainen failed to score for Lotus on his F1 comeback. This meant he increased the record for most consecutive starts by an F1 driver without scoring a point to 61. Kovalainen went three seasons without scoring a point while driving for the previous Lotus team (2010-2011) which became Caterham (2012).

Bottas on the board

Valtteri Bottas became the 323rd different driver to score a point in F1 and the seventh Finnish driver to do so.

Vettel can equal wins record

Heading into this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, Vettel could tie Schumacher’s record of winning 13 races in a season. However Schumacher did so in 2004 when there were 18 races – this year’s calendar has 19.

Read more stats and facts from the United States Grand Prix

Here’s who were picking to win the Indy 500 — who are YOU picking?

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Several members of the NBC Sports motorsports staff have made their predictions on who will win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Of the six voters, two are going with 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden, while two others are going with Helio Castroneves to win a fourth 500, which would tie him with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

Here’s our picks. Who are YOU picking?

Leigh Diffey: Helio Castroneves — He drives the place better than anyone else. For me (for what its worth) he deserves a fourth 500 ring for the frustration he went through never getting the IndyCar title!

Townsend Bell: Josef Newgarden

Nate Ryan: Simon Pagenaud — All of his 2018 misfortune on the track has disappeared in May, and it culminates in the biggest victory of his career.

Jerry Bonkowski: Helio Castroneves – There’s no pressure as he pursues his fourth Indy 500 win. All Helio has to do, as late NFL owner Al Davis would say, is “Just win, baby!” (But if Helio falls short, watch for Marco Andretti)

Kyle Lavigne: Josef Newgarden — I think he has everything he needs to get it done this year.

Dan Beaver: Robert Wickens – Has driven like anything except a rookie and his second-place finish at Phoenix proves he’s just as good on an oval as the road courses.

Follow: Jerry Bonkowski