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‘Impossible’ to shift Mexican GP to June date despite COTA’s wishes

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The president of the Mexican Grand Prix says it is “impossible” to shift the Formula 1 race to a June date to avoid a spectator overlap with the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, despite a suggestion from Circuit of The Americas chief Bobby Epstein.

Epstein has long-stated his belief that Mexico City’s race should not take place just one week after the USGP in late October, as fans who previously made the trip up to Austin from Mexico would now stay home.

Epstein’s suggestion has been for Mexico to move to a June date so that it pairs up with the Canadian Grand Prix, much as the USGP did from 2004 to 2007, so as to give Austin more breathing room on the calendar.

Speaking to Reuters, Mexican GP president Alejandro Soberon said such a move would not be possible due to the weather conditions in Mexico City in June.

“Bobby is a fantastic guy and I love him. I think he has a good idea to separate the races,” Soberon said.

“But I invite Bobby to move back to June. It will make even more sense to have Canada and the States – which are closer – together.

“For us, it’s impossible to move to June because it’s the heaviest rainy season.

“The Day of the Dead holiday is on these [current] dates. It’s just become a big festival in the city.

“But overall you cannot have a good experience of the weekend if the rain is so heavy.”

Austin and Mexico are poised to go back-to-back once again on the F1 calendar in 2018, with the races planned for October 21 and October 28 respectively.

Eriksson snatches Macau Formula 3 pole from Norris

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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.