Williams offering Lowe ‘a different kind of stress’ to Mercedes

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Paddy Lowe says he is experiencing a “different kind of stress” with Williams fighting in Formula 1’s midfield compared to Mercedes, where he won three straight championship doubles from 2014 to 2016.

Lowe left his position as Mercedes’ technical boss in January before joining Williams, who he first worked for in F1, in March, taking up a senior management position and a share in the team.

Lowe was asked in Friday’s FIA press conference whether he felt more relaxed for taking up a new challenge in F1, no longer embroiled in a title fight but instead focusing on building an operation up to be at the front of the pack.

“People have said that I look more relaxed the last few months. I don’t know why that is,” Lowe said.

“When you are at the very front of the grid there is an expectation that you should win every race and if you miss a single one then people are asking questions and consider it to be a disaster then, of course, that does bring a certain level of pressure, I have to say!

“But I think I handle pressure pretty well, so it wasn’t a problem to me. I think the pressure for me in my new job is very different, but it’s still very present.

“We have a lot of work to do. It will be a long road; we take one step at a time to try to move ourselves forward. It’s a different kind of stress and maybe it appears differently on my face.

“But I’m enjoying it whatever. I always enjoy this job, in whatever context.”

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.

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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.