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TALES FROM THE PADDOCK: FROM MONACO TO BRANDS HATCH AND FUJI

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Facts & figures from Monaco: The fifth round of the 2021 Formula One season was staged in Monaco last weekend. The intense battle for this year’s world championship title continued on the streets of Monte Carlo, although the race result from a Mercedes-AMG Petronas #f1 Team perspective was disappointing to say the least. Valtteri Bottas and #lewishamilton booked grid positions three and seven respectively in the usually decisive qualifying session on the tight street circuit. Both then gained a position even before the race got underway, because pole-sitter Charles Leclerc had to withdraw. Valtteri was in second place until his pit stop on Lap 29 and looked all set for a podium until a problem with the wheel nut on his front right wheel ended his race prematurely. Lewis crossed the finish line in seventh place but at least had the consolation of clocking the fastest race lap in a time of 1:12.909 minutes. This not only secured him the extra bonus point but also set a new Monaco Grand Prix Circuit track record. From the Principality, the team moves on to Baku, another street circuit, which will host the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on 6 June.

Class successes for Customer #racing teams: ABBA #racing got their #britishgtchampionship season off to a strong start with a win in the Silver-Am class. Father-and-son duo Richard and Sam Neary (both GBR) driving the number 8 Mercedes-AMG GT3 finished fifth overall in the two-hour race at Brands Hatch, just behind fourth-placed #yelmerbuurman (NED) and #ianloggie (GBR) in the number 6 Mercedes-AMG GT3 fielded by RAM #racing.

Endless Sports put in a strong performance in the third round of the Japanese #supertaikyu to claim a first overall podium of the current campaign as the number 3 Mercedes-AMG GT4 finished third in the general classification. Their achievement in this endurance series is all the more impressive in a field that includes much faster GT3 cars. In the 24-hour race at Fuji Speedway, which is considered to be the standout fixture of the season, the Endless Sports crew worked their way steadily up from 14th on the grid to get in among the podium contenders and cross the finish line in third place at the end of the 724 laps. The result was enough for Ryo Ogawa, Togo Suganami, Yudai Uchida and Hideki Yamauchi (all JPN) to claim a class victory in the 24-hour race for the third time in a row. The Team 5ZIGEN quartet of Toshihiro Kaneishi, Yuu Kimaru, Tadanoshin Ohta, Ryuchiro Otsuka (all JPN) and Jake Parsons (AUS) in another Mercedes-AMG GT4 also contributed a podium – third in the ST-Z class podium – having finished sixth overall.