Rosberg relishing inter-team battle with Hamilton

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Over the years, Formula One has produced many inter-team rivalries that have turned sour: Senna/Prost, Hamilton/Alonso and Vettel/Webber are three examples with varying levels of anemosity. However, Nico Rosberg is enjoying the current battle he is embroiled in with teammate Lewis Hamilton, believing that it is only creating more momentum for Mercedes as the season continues.

“Yeah, it’s a big battle we have, and usually it’s very close,” Rosberg explained in the post-qualifying press conference. “Not today – Lewis did a great lap in the end.”

Hamilton snatched pole away from Rosberg with his final lap in Q3, going a full four-tenths quicker than his teammate, yet the German driver was still very pleased for the team to have done so well despite not bagging himself a fourth pole position of the season.

“It’s also a really, really big push, also for the whole team, that we’re pushing each other all the time, and that’s really good,” he said. “We’re really lucky because we have a great atmosphere at the moment in the team, everybody’s going in the same direction and sticking together, so it’s fantastic momentum that we have at the moment.”

Mercedes have been the dominant team in qualifying so far this season, claiming five of the eight pole positions so far with Sebastian Vettel picking up the other three.

Montoya: ‘Hopefully I get a chance to do Indy again’ (VIDEO)

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Juan Pablo Montoya is on site at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, his latest trip in a summer and fall filled with a lot of international travel and a number of different race cars he’s been in.

Montoya is committed to a full season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Acura Team Penske in 2018, as he’ll share one of the team’s Acura ARX-05s with Dane Cameron.

However, the question of whether he’ll be able to race in the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil remains.

Team Penske has said it plans to only run four cars next month of May, with Helio Castroneves as the fourth driver alongside the three full-time cars driven by Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power.

While Montoya has said elsewhere that he’s shopping offers and has talked with other teams, it’d be highly surprising to see the two-time Indianapolis 500 champion who developed the Chevrolet engine for IndyCar’s 2018 Dallara universal body kit in a Honda-powered IndyCar, although he is running Honda’s brand (Acura) in sports cars.

Montoya elaborated on his Indy 500 prospects in an interview with NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton at the Circuit of The Americas.

“Not full-time no,” Montoya told NBCSN of his IndyCar 2018 prospects. “Hopefully I get a chance to go to Indy, hopefully with Penske, (and) if not someone else. We’ll see.”

Photo: IndyCar

Montoya has extolled the early testing both on the 2018 IndyCar and on the Acura ARX-05.

The first Acura chassis has run at Road Atlanta and Sebring International Raceway thus far, and will be put through its paces at other venues over the next few months.

“It’s been good. We did a lot of work with INDYCAR on that car. Fans are gonna like it,” Montoya said of the 2018 kit.

“Going to IMSA with the Acura program, we’ve done a lot of testing. It’s a beauty to drive. It drives better than what it looks! I haven’t had that much fun driving a race car in a long time.”

Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype international (DPi) race car to be campaigned by Team Penske in 2018