Hamilton back in “shooting range” for second

In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says his Mexican Grand Prix result has improved his chances of taking second in the championship this year.

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In brief

Hamilton giving his “best shot” to take championship runner-up spot

Hamilton cut his deficit to second-placed Sergio Perez to 20 points last weekend by finishing second and setting the fastest lap on the way. It was an important gain after he took just 11 points from the previous two rounds having crashed out of the Qatar Grand Prix and been disqualified in Austin two weeks later.

But he says his chances of finishing second in the championship are “mostly dependent on Checo’s weekends” as Mercedes have trailed Red Bull in performance all year.

“They have the championship-winning car,” said Hamilton on Sunday in Mexico. He’s just been unfortunate, I think, in some scenarios. Obviously I’ve lost quite a lot of points in the last two races but he lost points today. So it’s swings and roundabouts.

“I think coming into the weekend, having lost points last week, I didn’t think I would really be in shooting range particularly but after today, yeah, we’ll just give it our best shot.”

However the seven-times champion admitted “it’s not going to make a big difference to my life whether I come second or third. It’s more important to get the team second in the constructors.”

Albon pleased to salvage points from lack of pace

Alexander Albon says Williams “didn’t quite have the pace” to be competitive on race day in Mexico despite adding to his points haul.

“Two points, very happy,” he said. “I think it was a great race for us. We had a different strategy to most people, I think we were actually making it work quite well.

“I saw the Safety Car, and thought that was perfect, we’d get a free pit stop. And then it turned into a red flag, and that was actually one of the worst things that could have happened. We ended up losing all the advantage, we pitted a lap before the red flag so we basically lost about five or six positions.”

Albon said he took good advantage of both standing starts. “We had two very good starts today, made good positions, and salvaged some points so I’m very happy. I think we had a race where we didn’t quite have the pace, we were managing quite a lot and we had quite a good race.”

Goethe expected to fight for 2023 FIA F3 title after Euroformula success

Oliver Goethe admitted he expected a better result in FIA Formula 3 this year after dominating the 2022 Euroformula season. He came a distant eighth in the standings with two podium finishes and nine non-scores in a row.

“I expected to fight towards the top,” he said. “I was in a top team with Trident and I knew I was capable of fighting towards the top. The pace was really, really, really strong at moments, so I was expecting to be there. Ideally, I would have liked to be up there a bit more in order to fight for the championship. In the end, it was a very positive season, many ups and downs but good positives to take.”

“It was strange because I was struggling quite a lot at testing in Bahrain,” he added. “So I did a lot of sim in between that and worked really hard. Then the weekend in the end went very well. I was one of the quickest drivers and I was P2 in the championship at that point, so it gave me a huge boost as it was a strong start to the season.”

He admitted he was surprised by the downturn that followed. “At that point, I thought I would be in the title fight I’m not going to lie, but the next few rounds after that I struggled a bit. There were a few mistakes from my side, a few unlucky moments and just not putting it all together.”

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