Mercedes chairman: Hamilton and Rosberg ‘the perfect couple’

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Mercedes chairman Dieter Zetsche has heaped praise on Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, calling them “the perfect couple”.

Hamilton and Rosberg have made the most of Mercedes’ recent dominance in F1, claiming all but six of the last 38 wins on offer and recording a pole success of almost 95% in the same period.

However, tensions at Mercedes over the past two years have led to speculation about a possible driver change in the near future.

Late last year, team boss Toto Wolff saying that the rivalry between Hamilton and Rosberg could not be allowed to have a detrimental impact on the wider Mercedes F1 operation.

In an interview with Auto Express, Zetsche expressed no such concerns, believing that Mercedes’ drivers complement each other well.

“As long as Lewis wins races he can organize the rest of his life, as long as it is within the scope of our brand values, as he wants to,” Zetsche said.

“And when you look at the relevance of his personality and the social networks with 12 million followers and so on, what can we wish for more than a rock star?

“He’s the fastest on the track and that’s perfect. At the same time we have the other guy who’s as fast and has a very different lifestyle with a family and a kid.”

“These are the two bookends and I think we are really very lucky to have them – they are the perfect couple, absolutely.”

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

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
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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.

How to Watch Nitro Rallycross

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.