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Prost congratulates Hamilton on equaling mark of 51 GP wins

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“The Professor” has given his verdict on Lewis Hamilton’s tying his mark of 51 Grand Prix victories, now second on the all-time list.

He approves.

Four-time World Champion Alain Prost was long F1’s leading race winner before Michael Schumacher surpassed him and surged to an incredible 91 career wins, but has since been entrenched in second place on the all-time list thereafter.

However, with Hamilton’s eighth win of 2016, the Englishman and three-time World Champion has now equaled him for second all-time.

Prost sent a tweet in the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix to congratulate Hamilton on the achievement.

Hamilton responded on Monday with a kind word of thanks of his own.

Comparing eras is always going to be a difficult art. Prost had to beat a wealth of competitors in a wealth of different formulas.

His 51 wins came from 1981 through 1993. The only year in that stint when Prost raced but did not win was in 1991, driving a difficult Ferrari chassis and missing the final race in Adelaide.

Otherwise, Prost never built up the percentage of wins in the same way Hamilton did. Instead, he spread them out pretty evenly.

His first three wins came in 1981 with Renault and subsequent win totals were 2 (1982), 3 (1983), 7 (1984), 5 (first World Championship in 1985), 4 (second title in 1986), 3 (1987), 7 (1988, losing out to Ayrton Senna), 4 (third title in 1989), 5 (1990) and 7 (fourth and final title in 1993).

By contrast, Hamilton has won 11, 10 and 8 races in the last three seasons with Mercedes AMG Petronas – so more than half of his 51 Grand Prix wins – 29 of them – have come in his last 57 races. That’s a staggering strike rate of over 50 percent. And it also means his first 22 wins came in his first 129 starts, or a hit rate of 17 percent.

Their styles are different but for two more weeks, their career win totals are the same. Hamilton has 51 wins from 186 starts, Prost 51 from 199 starts (202 GP entries), so Hamilton has a slightly better overall win percentage (27.4 to 25.6 percent).

A Hamilton win in Brazil, if he could achieve it, would be his first – and would move him into sole second place all-time.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”