Hamilton hoping for better in Malaysia

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Lewis Hamilton has expressed his delight after he finished the Australian Grand Prix in 5th place on debut for Mercedes. However, the Briton admitted that the team still has a lot of work to do ahead of next week’s Malaysian GP.

“Malaysia is going to be tough but hopefully we can have a better result.

“It’s going to be tough with the tires but I had a longer stint than anyone else, but I just don’t know where we lost ground.”

Although he was pleased with his own pace, Hamilton was left scratching his head for reasons why his rivals managed to pass him so easily.

“I don’t really understand why other people were pulling away. We’re going to have back and take a look at why we were losing pace to other people.”

Hamilton was passed on track by Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa as he lost all chances of making the podium mid-way through the race.

For much of the pre-season, Hamilton insisted that Mercedes were not in a position to win in Melbourne, and he was pleased to have finished as high as fifth.

“I think it’s great, I’m very happy, it’s way better than we ever expected in the first race of the season. It’s a great place to start.”

Hamilton scored Mercedes’ only points in Australia after Nico Rosberg retired on lap 26 following an electrical failure.

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Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

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Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.