Hamilton: ‘Not been my weekend so far’ in Singapore

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Lewis Hamilton admitted to a lack of rhythm after qualifying third for the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday night, over seven-tenths of a second slower than Mercedes teammate and Formula 1 title rival Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton arrived in Singapore leading the drivers’ championship by two points after seeing Rosberg win the last two races in Belgium and Italy.

The Briton suffered a hydraulic issue on Friday that limited his practice running, while an error in FP3 on Saturday afternoon meant he entered qualifying without a simulation under his belt.

Hamilton finished seven-tenths of a second behind Rosberg after his first run in Q3 to sit second on the provisional grid before failing to improve on his second effort.

Daniel Ricciardo was able to find a chunk of time in the final sector that lifted him onto the front row of the grid, leaving Hamilton third for the start in Singapore after he failed to improve.

“[It] wasn’t a frustrating session. Just not been my weekend so far,” Hamilton said after qualifying.

“Not really got many good laps out there, not been able to string them together.

“Nico did a great job, he showed the true potential of the car.

“Hopefully tomorrow I’ll try to get that one step up to get that front row for the team.”

Both Hamilton and Rosberg will need to remain wary of the Red Bull drivers in Sunday’s race after Ricciardo and teammate Max Verstappen (qualified fourth) got through Q2 on the super-soft tire.

While Mercedes may have the pace advantage on ultra-softs, the Red Bulls should be able to go further into the race before pitting by virtue of their alternate strategy.

The Singapore Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 7am ET on Sunday.

Top Fuel driver Austin Prock earns 2019 NHRA top rookie honors

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Having just completed a promising first year in NHRA Top Fuel competition, Austin Prock is on the road to even greater drag racing success in his career.

That’s why it’s not surprising that Prock was named the winner of the 2019 Auto Club Road to the Future Award during Monday night’s annual NHRA Awards dinner at the Ray Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California.

The Road to the Future Award is NHRA’s version of Rookie of the Year, and Prock was among the brightest young stars on the circuit this past season, including winning his first national event at the Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in suburban Seattle, the 16th race on the 24-race schedule.

What made that first win all the more sweeter is it came at the same event that his boss, legendary 16-time Funny Car champion John Force, captured his milestone 150th career win.

One month ago, Prock set a personal best run of 3.688 seconds at 334.40 mph over veteran driver Doug Kalitta in the first round of eliminations at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals three weeks ago in Ennis, Texas (suburban Dallas).

“I am proud of the season this Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team put together,” Prock said in a media release. “My guys worked their asses off all season long to give me the opportunity to win the Auto Club Road the Future Award. I couldn’t have done it without them.

“I would have never been here without John Force and Robert Hight (president of John Force Racing). They gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream and I owe the world to them. I hope I made them proud.”

Prock became only the 10th rookie in the history of the NHRA pro ranks to both win a race in their first season and also go on to win the Road to the Future award. He also was the 13th rookie in the sport’s history to qualify for the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s six race playoffs.

Prock becomes the sixth John Force Racing driver to earn the Road to the Future Award, joining Tony Pedregon (1996), Hight (2005), Ashley Force-Hood (2007), Mike Neff (2008), Courtney Force (2012) and Brittany Force (2013).

Austin Prock is the son of veteran crew chief Jimmy Prock, who tuned Hight to his third career NHRA Funny Car championship this past Sunday.

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