MotorSportsTalk’s Predictions: 2016 Hungarian GP

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Nico Rosberg may have arrived in Budapest for this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix leading the Formula 1 drivers’ championship, but the German will know that the momentum lies chiefly with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Four wins in the past five races have brought Hamilton back into the title fight, cutting the gap from 43 points to just one in the process.

Hamilton arrives at the Hungaroring keen to pick up a record-breaking fifth victory at the circuit and give Mercedes a full set of wins at all 21 tracks on the F1 calendar.

MotorSportsTalk writers Luke Smith and Tony DiZinno have made their picks for this weekend’s race. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Race Winner: Lewis Hamilton. No driver has won more times at the Hungaroring than Lewis Hamilton… yet it is the only track Mercedes hasn’t been victorious at in the hybrid era. Still, I’m tipping Lewis to keep his roll going and seize the championship lead for the first time in 2016.

Surprise Finish: Max Verstappen. We’re yet to see Hamilton and Verstappen duke it out together on-track – why not on Sunday? Max to split the Mercedes drivers for a third race in a row.

Most to Prove: Ferrari. Because if Ferrari can’t win here, where can it?

Additional Storyline: Radio rules. After the debate surrounding radio communications at Silverstone, tweaks have been made to the rules

Predict the Podium

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Race Winner: Daniel Ricciardo. Lewis hits a rough patch at a track that should favor the Red Bulls this weekend. After Ricciardo’s frustrating near miss at Monaco, I’ll peg him to finally bank his first win in two years now.

Surprise Finish: Fernando Alonso. Where horsepower doesn’t reign and where both McLaren Hondas scored points here last year, solid points finish could be on the cards for Alonso.

Most to Prove: Nico Rosberg. Austria contact, Britain radio transmission and general lack of form in comparison to Hamilton in recent weeks. Is at risk of losing the title lead for the first time this year and must fight back.

Additional Storyline: Rain? Possible storms on Sunday usually spices up this race, which on the whole has been more interesting in recent years compared to most of its history.

Predict the Podium

1. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
3. Max Verstappen Red Bull

Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
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Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”