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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.”

Get your motor running: American Flat Track’s new season premieres Sunday on NBCSN

Photos courtesy American Flat Track
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If you like racing two-wheel style, make sure you catch the debut of a new multi-year TV broadcast deal featuring the American Flat Track motorcycle racing series on NBCSN.

The 18-round series debuts this Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN with the season-opening race that was held at Daytona International Speedway on March 15.

Going forward, all 18 rounds of the series will be televised on NBCSN in highly-coveted weekend afternoon programming slots without two weeks of each event.

Last season, AFT drew nearly two million viewers on NBCSN with regular primetime coverage on Thursday nights.

This season, the one-hour, tape-delayed telecasts will be part of NBCSN’s regular weekend programing, following or preceding coverage of NASCAR, INDYCAR and Pro Motocross.

AFT is now in its 65th season, with two distinct classes: powerful, twin-cylinder rides in the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines division, and the competition in the 450cc AFT Singles division.

“We are very excited to kick-off our second season of AFT on NBCSN,” NBC Sports Group Senior Director of Programming Jeff Macaluso. “The 2017 season provided us with some incredible racing and showed us how passionate the riders and fans are of this historic sport.

“The move to weekends this year, around other marquis motorsports properties, is sure to raise the level even higher.”

Here’s the 2018 AFT schedule on NBCSN:

Round Track, Location Track Type Premiere Time (ET) Time (PT)
1 Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL TT Sun, 3/25 2:00 PM 11:00 AM
2 Dixie Speedway, Woodstock, GA Short Track Sat, 4/14 5:30 PM 2:30 PM
3 Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, TX Half-Mile Sun, 5/06 4:00 PM 1:00 PM
4 Calistoga Speedway, Calistoga, CA Half-Mile Sun, 5/20 12:00 PM 9:00 AM
5 Turf Paradise, Phoenix, AZ Mile Sat, 5/26 3:00 PM 12:00 PM
6 Cal Expo, Sacramento, CA Mile Sun, 6/03 2:00 PM 11:00 AM
7 Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL Mile Sat, 6/09 5:00 PM 2:00 PM
8 Red Mile, Lexington, KY Mile Sat, 6/16 12:00 PM 9:00 AM
9 Remington Park, Oklahoma City, OK Mile Sat, 6/23 5:00 PM 2:00 PM
10 Allen County Fairgrounds, Lima, OH Half-Mile Sat, 7/07 2:30 PM 11:30 AM
11 Weedsport Speedway, Weedsport, NY Short Track Sun, 7/15 6:00 PM 3:00 PM
12 Buffalo Chip Campgrounds, Sturgis, SD TT Sat, 8/11 12:30 PM 9:30 AM
13 Black Hills Speedway, Rapid City, SD Half-Mile Sat, 8/18 2:00 PM 11:00 AM
14 Peoria Motorcycle Club, Peoria, IL TT Sat, 9/01 3:00 PM 12:00 PM
15 Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL Mile Sat, 9/22 2:30 PM 11:30 AM
16 Williams Grove Speedway, Mechanicsburg, PA Half-Mile Sun, 9/23 5:00 PM 2:00 PM
17 Canterbury Park, Shakopee, MN Mile Sun, 10/14 5:00 PM 2:00 PM
18 Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, NJ Mile Sun, 10/21 2:00 PM 11:00 AM


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