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Hartley not overthinking recent crazy race schedule over three series

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Brendon Hartley is trying not to overthink his recent racing commitments despite enjoying one of the busiest recent runs in motorsport, competing on eight straight weekends across three series.

Hartley’s relentless run started with Petit Le Mans on October 7 in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship before racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship the following weekend at Fuji with Porsche.

The New Zealander was then drafted in by Toro Rosso to make his shock Formula 1 debut one week later in the United States, and retained his seat for the Mexican Grand Prix.

Hartley was back in action for Porsche last weekend in Shanghai as he was crowned WEC drivers’ champion for a second time before jetting to Brazil ahead of this weekend’s grand prix at Interlagos.

Following this sixth leg, Hartley will venture to Bahrain for the WEC season finale before then contesting the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to close out the F1 season.

In a year that has seen him also win the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time, learn of the closure of Porsche’s LMP1 program at the end of the season – at the time leaving him without a seat – and come close to a move into the Verizon IndyCar Series, Hartley has had plenty to juggle and come to terms with.

“I guess I’ve tried to not overthink it,” Hartley said. “Even winning the championship hasn’t really sunk in. I haven’t really had time to reflect.

“It probably helps that I’m just going from one weekend to the next. I think this is my sixth race in a row. It won’t be until I get home at the end of the year after all the racing’s over that I’ll be able to reflect and fully understand what’s just happened to me.

“I’m well aware that making my grand prix debut and Le Mans victory and World Endurance Championship… I mean, they’re all amazing things, but at the moment I’m just trying to take one step at a time and try to stay focussed and catch up on as much sleep as I can.”

Hartley is poised to race full-time in F1 next year with Toro Rosso in what would be his first permanent single-seater campaign since 2011.

Brendon Hartley’s late-season schedule

October 7 – Petit Le Mans (IMSA)
October 15 – 6 Hours of Fuji (WEC)
October 22 – United States Grand Prix (F1)
October 29 – Mexican Grand Prix (F1)
November 5 – 6 Hours of Shanghai (WEC)
November 12 – Brazilian Grand Prix (F1)
November 19 – 6 Hours of Bahrain (WEC)
November 26 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (F1)

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.