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Hamilton happy to help Bottas in bid for Mercedes F1 championship 1-2

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Lewis Hamilton is happy to help Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in his bid to finish second in the Formula 1 drivers’ championship through the final two races of the season as Mercedes looks to finish the 2017 season on a high.

Hamilton wrapped up his fourth F1 world title in Mexico two weeks ago, with Mercedes securing the constructors’ crown seven days earlier at the United States Grand Prix.

With both titles wrapped up, Mercedes has already turned its attention to plans for 2018, but Bottas is still in contention to complete a one-two in the drivers’ championship for the German manufacturer.

Currently third overall, Bottas trails Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by 15 points with two races remaining, having made up ground by a run to P2 in Mexico last time out.

While Hamilton is keen to finish his championship-winning season on a high by adding to his haul of nine wins so far this year, the Briton confirmed he would be happy to help Bottas’ bid to overhaul Vettel and finish second in the drivers’ standings.

“I am sure [I would help]. But I don’t think they are going to ask,” Hamilton said, as quoted by the official F1 website.

“Valtteri wants to get it on merit. He has been working hard throughout the year and is focused more than ever, so I know he wants to do it on his own.

“But if the team asks me, then for sure. As I said before, my mentality for the last two races is to win – and I have not been told otherwise.”

Hamilton eased off for the final three races after wrapping up his third F1 title in 2015, allowing then-teammate Nico Rosberg to build momentum before a successful championship bid the following season.

This time around, Hamilton has stressed he is as hungry as ever to win the final two races even with his crown confirmed as he looks to get a head-start for 2018.

“Nothing has changed, there are still two races to go! Maybe it has not sunk in completely: I am still in the same mental frame of mind that there are still races to be ticked off,” Hamilton said.

“It wouldn’t feel normal to back off at this moment. It is the best time ever to apply even more pressure – just because I can. There are still two wins available.”

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.