Mercedes has best balanced team mates in F1, says Wolff

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Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff says the team’s result in the Belgian Grand Prix shows they have one of the strongest driver pairings in F1.

“We scored a good team result at the last race in Belgium, with third and fourth places, and that underlined one of the team’s strengths this year: our drivers,” said Wolff.

“As their performances this season have shown, Lewis and Nico are probably the most closely matched and balanced driver pairing in Formula One. Their combination of speed and consistency has taken Mercedes to second place in the constructors’ championship and our clear target is to consolidate this position over the coming races.”

Team principal Ross Brawn echoed Wolff’s view, saying he was pleased the team strengthened its hold on second place in the constructors’ championship at the Belgian Grand Prix even if it wasn’t able to challenge Red Bull for victory.

“I was very pleased with the team’s performance in Belgium and the consolidation of our current position of second place in the constructors’ championship,” said Brawn. “We weren’t quite in the position to fight for the win but we will keep pushing hard to close that gap and keep fighting.”

Mercedes gave away eight points to Red Bull in the championship at Spa and now trail them by 77. They are 17 clear of Ferrari.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.