F1: Lewis Hamilton keeps laying groundwork for career in music

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Music is one of Lewis Hamilton’s hobbies but as time has gone by, the two-time Formula One World Champion appears to have been taking it more seriously.

His main focus remains racing for Mercedes, of course. But in the not-too-distant past, he’s discussed being in the recording studio for days leading up to a race weekend and then returning once his at-track duties were complete – all in the hopes of completing what would be his first album.

Now comes word that Hamilton, whose girlfriend is ex-Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger, has aligned with a London-based PR firm that features some of the world’s most popular musicians. Purple PR boasts top-tier talents such as Adele, Beyonce, Calvin Harris, Prince, and Ice Cube.

Prior to joining Purple, Hamilton had left a group run by Simon Fuller, the British entrepreneur known primarily as the mastermind behind the worldwide Idol franchise (which includes American Idol).

Meanwhile, Hamilton remains without a new contract with Mercedes after winning the 2014 world title and helping the team claim the constructor’s championship as well. His current, three-year pact expires at the end of this season.

But while team boss Toto Wolff said earlier this month that Fernando Alonso (and after him, Valtteri Bottas) would be targeted for 2016 should Hamilton leave, Hamilton himself indicated this past week that he wasn’t feeling any pressure on the subject.

“We said last year we’re relaxed; the team has acknowledged they want to continue with me and vice-versa,” said Hamilton in an interview with Britain’s Sky Sports.

“There’s no stress – I’m comfortable and confident and trust they’re not speaking to anyone else and they know that’s the case with me too. As soon as I left the last race, I’ve been back at the factory for a couple of days, but I haven’t sat down with the team.”

His teammate and 2014 title rival Nico Rosberg signed a multi-year extension to stay with the Silver Arrows last summer.

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

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Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.