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Rosberg, Ricciardo bid to end champions’ dominance in Singapore

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Nico Rosberg and Daniel Ricciardo both enter Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix (live on NBCSN, NBC Sports app from 7am ET) bidding to end the dominance of champions at Marina Bay.

Since joining the Formula 1 calendar as a world championship event in 2008, the Singapore Grand Prix has only been won by three men: Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel.

And all three only won in Singapore once they had already had at least one F1 drivers’ title to their name.

Alonso, champion in 2005 and 2006, won the first edition of the race in controversial fashion after teammate Nelson Piquet Jr. crashed out deliberately in an incident that would later be known as ‘Crashgate’.

Lewis Hamilton won the 2009 race, one year after his maiden F1 title, before Alonso was victorious again in 2010 after edging out Vettel.

With a world title under his belt from 2010, Vettel won three straight editions of the Singapore Grand Prix from 2011 through 2013. Hamilton won in 2014, with Vettel taking his fourth victory last year.

So statistics dictate that to win in Singapore, you must be a world champion: something that neither pole-sitter Rosberg nor Ricciardo in P2 is heading into Sunday’s grand prix.

“It may be time to change that then. I’ll give it everything tomorrow,” Rosberg said when informed of that record.

“But I was surprised to hear that, actually, that only three people have ever won the Singapore Grand Prix in all these years.

“But anyways, I’m feeling good for tomorrow and, of course, I have a good chance.”

Ricciardo added: “Hopefully for our sake it’s a new winner. Obviously Seb had his problems today, so I think he was potentially a contender but I think he’s going to be out of the picture.

“So out of the front guys it’s probably Lewis that will be the closest world champion to threaten. Otherwise we’ll hopefully try to get it done.

“Well not ‘we’. ‘I’. We can’t both win. Sorry…”

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

NBCSN will present ‘Race and Sports in America: Conversations’ Monday

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With motor racing reckoning with its own issues of diversity and equality, “Race and Sports in America: Conversations” will tackle the topics of social justice with several athletes. The show will air at 8 p.m. ET Monday, July 13 on NBCSN, Golf Channel, Olympic channel and on regional sports networks.

The roundtable discussions will be hosted by Damon Hack and feature Charles Barkley, Steph Curry, Jimmy Rollins and Ozzie Smith in one segment. The other segment will include Kyle Rudolph, Anthony Lynn, Troy Mullins and James Blake.

Race has been a major topic in motorsports this year.

NASCAR banned the Confederate flag at its race after lobbying by Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in the premier Cup Series. In Formula One, six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton has joined Black Lives Matter marches in London and also formed a panel on diversity. The lone Black driver in F1 also led 14 of 20 drivers taking a knee before the season opener in Austria.