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No letting up from Mercedes despite strong F1 title odds in Mexico

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Mercedes Formula 1 chief Toto Wolff says there can be no letting up from the German team heading into this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix despite strong odds of completing a sweep of world titles for the fourth year in a row on Sunday.

Mercedes wrapped up its fourth consecutive constructors’ championship at last weekend’s United States Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton moving into a 66-point lead at the top of the drivers’ standings after taking his ninth win of the year.

Hamilton will secure the drivers’ title with by finishing fifth or higher through any of the final three races of the season, making him likely to clinch the crown in Mexico City on Sunday over Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel.

Despite the favorable odds, Wolff stressed in his pre-race preview that Mercedes must not and will not relent in its fight with Ferrari and Red Bull at the front of the pack, particularly at a circuit that could suit its rivals.

“Although the constructors’ title is now secure, we are only halfway to hitting our objectives for the season. When we set our targets at the start of the year, it was to become the only team to win both championships across a major regulation change,” Wolff said.

“We now have to complete that job with Lewis, who is in the best possible position with three races remaining. We know that anything can happen in this sport, and that the tables can be turned on you very quickly.

“So there will be no let off in our vigilance and attention to detail in these final rounds. We will be racing to win.

“Our target may be clear – but it will not be easy to achieve this weekend in Mexico. This is an unusual circuit where the cars run at maximum downforce owing to the high altitude.

“Some of our most difficult weekends this season have come with the car running at maximum downforce, so we expect a tough and close-fought battle with both Ferrari and Red Bull.

“It will be important to be at the very top of our game if we want to get the job done.”

Dakar Rally Stage 10 video highlights: Cars, Bikes, Trucks, Quads

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After Monday’s Stage 9 was washed out due to weather and impassable course conditions, the 40th Dakar Rally resumed with Stage 10 on Tuesday.

Several top competitors struggled during the course of the stage, with some even being eliminated due to crashes or injuries.

Here’s some of the best video action of the stage, as seen on NBCSN:

BIKES: Matthias Walkner wins Stage 10 of after a major shakeup.

CARS: Carlos Sainz plays it safe in Stage 10

Stephane Peterhansel took the overall stage win while Cars leader Carlos Sainz played it safe and came in third.

TRUCKS: The Netherlands’ Ton van Genugten wins the stage, but Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev, who finished fourth Tuesday, continues to hold the overall lead.

 

QUADS: Nicolas Cavigliasso bests Gonzalez Ferioli in Stage 10, but Ignacio Casale continues to make a push for his second Dakar crown.

Stage 11 is Wednesday and runs from Belen, Argentina to Fiambala, Argentina.