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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.”

Eriksson snatches Macau Formula 3 pole from Norris

FIA F3 Europe
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Joel Eriksson snatched pole position for Saturday’s qualifying race ahead of the Macau Grand Prix after a thrilling fight with McLaren youngster Lando Norris and Ferrari junior Callum Ilott.

Norris headed into the second stage of qualifying on provisional pole after lapping almost a second faster than any other driver in Thursday’s first opening session, and remained in contention early in Q2.

Norris was the first driver to dip into the 2:10s with a time of 2:10.744, only for Eriksson to go 0.024 seconds faster minutes later and snatch pole away.

Despite a later effort to try and reclaim pole, Norris was unable to improve his time, and opted to remain in the pits for the final five minutes of the session after using up his allocated tires.

Ilott was the final driver to put in a serious bid for pole position, falling 0.09 seconds short with his final qualifying lap to sit third on the grid for the qualifying race.

Maximilian Gunther claimed fourth place for Prema Powerteam ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg and Dan Ticktum, with Mick Schumacher taking P7.

Yuhi Sekiguchi wound up eighth despite a late crash that brought out a red flag, while Sergio Sette Camara and Guanyu Zhou completed the top 10 positions in qualifying.

Saturday’s qualifying race will help form the grid for Sunday’s main event, the 64th Macau Grand Prix.