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.

IndyCar’s Vasser-Sullivan expand into IMSA for 2019

James Sullivan and Jimmy Vasser. Photo IndyCar
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Not even one year after returning to the IndyCar ranks, Vasser-Sullivan Racing is taking AIM at the IMSA world, you might say.

While team co-owners Jimmy Vasser and James “Sulli” Sullivan will continue to partner with Dale Coyne Racing on the IndyCar side, they expanded their holdings Tuesday, announcing a partnership with AIM Autosport to campaign a new two-car Lexus-backed RC F GT3 effort in IMSA’s GT Daytona class.

The new team – named AIM Vasser-Sullivan – will replace 3GT Racing, which was part of Lexus’ sports car program launch in 2016. It will announce its two drivers in the coming weeks, the team said.

“Sulli and I are excited and looking forward to entering a new chapter in our racing careers,” Vasser said in a media release. “I have driven sports cars before, but my career was pretty much limited to the 24 Hours of Daytona, including a ‘class’ win in 1992 and second overall in 2008.

“The AIM Vasser Sullivan team, with the support of Lexus and our sponsors, has the tools to get the job done and we are looking forward to this new challenge.”

Lexus has made significant progress in its first two seasons in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition, having earned a combined two race wins, five poles and finished third in the 2018 GTD Manufacturer point standings.

Vasser and Sullivan were part of the ownership group of KVSH Racing in IndyCar from 2011 through 2016 before the organization folded.

They also owned Tony Kanaan’s 2013 Indianapolis 500-winning car.

After sitting out the 2017 season, Vasser, a former CART champion, and Sullivan rejoined forces this past February, just before the start of the 2018 IndyCar season, partnering with Coyne to form a satellite team led by driver Sebastien Bourdais, who previously drove for KVSH.

Bourdais kicked off the new team’s effort with a win in the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. He finished seventh in the overall season standings.

AIM Vasser Sullivan will have two home bases for its IMSA program: AIM’s current facility in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada, as well as a new U.S. shop in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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