Grosjean buoyed by improvement in performance

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Romain Grosjean has made no secret of his happiness following a strong qualifying session at the Nurburgring today. The French driver will line up 5th on the grid, ahead of both Ferrari drivers and just one place behind teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

“It’s good for the team,” Grosjean told NBC Sports’ Will Buxton after qualifying. “I’m a bit disappointed with my first sector on the last lap, two or three tenths there that we could have been better.”

Kimi Raikkonen also revealed that he lost time on his final run, potentially costing Lotus a place in the top three on the grid. However, Grosjean is still pleased with the result, believing that the new tires and the increased temperature has suited the team.

“Generally much more happier with the way the car is going, the new tires seem to suit us pretty well, the temperature is coming, summer finally shows up which is great news. Hopefully tomorrow the race will be good.”

The Lotus driver is chasing his first top-ten finish since the Bahrain Grand Prix, where he finished on the podium. There have been rumors circulating suggesting that Grosjean could be replaced in the near-future by Davide Valsecchi, Lotus’ reserve driver. However, strong performances like this will certainly do Grosjean a world of good, although carrying this form over into the race is crucial.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”