Roger Diez: 2 races to compete in the Formula 1 season

Roger diez

After poor practice sessions at the Lusail circuit in Qatar, Lewis Hamilton made it through his Mercedes for qualifying, taking pole. On Sunday, he turned that pole position into a end-to-end victory, climbing to an easy victory over rival Max Verstappen’s Red Bull and closing the points gap to eight. Unfortunately, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas didn’t keep pace in the race and ultimately retired the car, scoring no points. That closed the Constructors’ Championship battle just five points, with Mercedes retaining the lead. Hamilton’s epic race in Brazil coupled with his easy win in Qatar forced British punters to revise their predictions for the driving championship winner, giving Hamilton a nod with a 61% chance of winning his eighth title and break Michael Schumacher’s latest record. Hamilton passed the German’s pole and won the tally earlier this season, and has now amassed 102 from each.
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There are only two races left in the Formula 1 season, Saudi Arabia on December 3 and Abu Dhabi on December 12. The Jeddah circuit in Saudi Arabia, like the Lusail track in Qatar, is new to Formula 1. The Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. dates back to 2009 for F1 competitions. Verstappen won there last season, his only victory on the track. Hamilton has five victories at Yas Marina, including 2018 and 2019. Mercedes have won six of the last seven outings there. Unless Hamilton or Verstappen have a disastrous finish in Saudi Arabia, the drivers’ title will come down to the last race of the season, the closest points battle in years.
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NASCAR has announced its race format for 2022, bringing back testing and qualifying. For oval tracks, the Cup drivers will be divided into two groups, separated by odd / even finish positions in the previous race. Groups will qualify in the same groups with only one qualifying car. The drivers will get one qualifying round, with the exception of Bristol, Dover, Martinsville and Richmond where they will get two laps. The top five qualifiers from each group will be transferred to the final round to seek pole. At Superspeedways, the first qualifying round will feature all cars performing laps with a single car, with the top 10 qualifying for the final round. On the road courses, training will last 20 minutes each for two groups, with each group then benefiting from a 15-minute timed group qualifying session. The top five in each group will then get a final 10-minute timed session for pole. The Bristol clay race will feature two 50-minute practice sessions and four qualifying races to determine the composition of the main championship, based on a draw. In addition to the Bristol Dirt Race, 50-minute practice sessions will take place at the Daytona 500, Atlanta’s first round, WWT Raceway in Gateway, Nashville and the season finale in Phoenix. The formats are similar for the Xfinity and Camping World Truck series.
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If you didn’t make it to Placerville Speedway last week, you’ve missed some fast and furious USAC Midget races, featuring two NASCAR champions and a local racer. In three nights of racing, Kyle Larson was sixth in Thursday’s main race, won Friday and took 18th place on Saturday after a knockdown. Chase Elliott, on his first Midget outing, missed Thursday’s race, failed to qualify for Friday’s main race and took 20th place on Saturday, starting with a provisional entry. His mentor Larson was pleased with Elliott’s progress throughout the weekend as he continued to learn and go faster. Local rider Tanner Thorson from Minden was 16th Thursday, 20th Friday and 6th Saturday. Thorson currently sits sixth in USAC season points.

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