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History now on Rosberg’s side after emphatic Shanghai victory

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Nico Rosberg may have arrived in Shanghai for this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix with plenty of momentum, yet he will leave with something far bigger on his side: history.

Victory at the Shanghai International Circuit saw Rosberg extend his streak of Formula 1 wins to six races, putting him in a very exclusive club.

Only three drivers in the history of F1 had won six in a row prior to Sunday’s race. Alberto Ascari and Sebastian Vettel both took nine in a row in 1952-53 and 2013 respectively, while Michael Schumacher completed a sequence of seven in 2004 and six on the bounce across 2000 and 2001.

They are widely recognized as three of F1’s greatest ever drivers. And now Rosberg is statistically alongside them.

In reality, it means nothing for the championship. But the fact that Rosberg has won the opening three races of the year does if history is to be trusted.

Rosberg’s victory in China saw him become the fifth F1 driver to win the opening three rounds of the season, ranking alongside Ayrton Senna (1991), Nigel Mansell (1992), Michael Schumacher (1994, 2000 and 2004) and Damon Hill (1996).

In all six of those seasons, they would go on to win the championship. History suggests that Rosberg will now do the same.

And yet few would freely consider Rosberg to be more than the mathematical or statistical favorite. Teammate Lewis Hamilton may trail by 36 points, but he has shown over the years that he can easily go on a streak of wins.

Luck certainly hasn’t been on Hamilton’s side so far this season, making it foolish to consider his bid for a fourth title to be over already. With 18 races still to go, there is everything to play for.

Rosberg will revel in today’s victory though, and rightly so. “We’re going to party now in the garage,” he said on the podium.

“That’s going to be great fun because everyone in the team deserves it so much. and then straight back home to my family, can’t wait to see them.”

Even if history is on Rosberg’s side, he won’t rest until the championship is firmly in his hands.

IndyCar entry lists for Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

IndyCar entry lists Indianapolis
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There are 25 drivers on the NTT IndyCar Series entry lists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a few new yet familiar faces for the Oct. 2-3 race weekend.

Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his season debut in the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet (shifting Dalton Kellett to the No. 41) with AJ Foyt Racing, which he is joining full time next season. James Hinchcliffe, who had run three races with Andretti Autosport, will return in place of Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda. Helio Castroneves will drive Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevy for Oliver Askew, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Sage Karam, who has two IndyCar starts this year at IMS (the road course on July 4 and the Indy 500 on Aug. 23), also will return to the series in Dreyer & Reinbold’s No. 24 Dallara-Chevrolet.

HARVEST GP ENTRY LISTS: Friday l Saturday

Friday and Saturday of the Harvest GP presented by GMR will mark the second and third races this season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. While the July 4 race on the circuit was 80 laps, Friday’s distance is 85 laps, and Saturday will be a 75-lap event.

Championship leader Scott Dixon led 26 of 80 laps to win the July 4 race at the IMS road course. With three races remaining in the series, the five-time series champion enters with a 72-point lead on Josef Newgarden.

Click here to see who’s on the IndyCar entry lists in Race 1 and in Race 2 for the Harvest GP presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.


START TIMES AND TV INFO FOR INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE (all times ET):

Thursday

IndyCar NTT Series practice: 2:25-3:40 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying, Race 1: 6:20 p.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

Friday

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 1: 3:30 p.m. (green flag, 5 p.m.), USA Network, NBC Sports Gold

Saturday

—IndyCar qualifying: 10:20 a.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 2: 2:30 p.m (green flag, 2:31 p.m.)., NBC, NBC Sports Gold