De Silvestro shakes recent rough stretch with an improved weekend

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Perhaps the final result wasn’t what she or the KV Racing Technology team was looking for, but for the first time in what seems like months, Simona de Silvestro was closer to the top end of the IZOD IndyCar Series grid at Mid-Ohio.

De Silvestro started ninth and finished 11th after a day spent mostly around the top seven or eight. It’s been a rough stretch for de Silvestro in the No. 78 Nuclear Entergy Areva Chevrolet since a respectable first four races. Over the last nine races prior to Mid-Ohio, she had only two starts better than 17th and two finishes better than 14th.

“It was an ok result. I wish we could have finished a little bit further up, but we didn’t quite have the pace we should have during the second stint,” said the popular Swiss driver. “We were in a bit of traffic in the beginning which didn’t help either. But, I think there are a lot of positive things that we can take away from this race and hopefully we do learn from it. It was good that we were running with the fast guys this weekend; the whole weekend. Now we can just look at the books again and hopefully we’ll do better next one.”

Next up for de Silvestro is Sonoma, a race she actually missed in 2011 after an issue with border patrol while re-entering the U.S., and a race she metaphorically missed in 2012 while saddled with the down on power Lotus engine. Given her pace on the road courses at Barber and Mid-Ohio, it could be a good track for her.

KVRT-SH teammate Tony Kanaan had a miserable Mid-Ohio weekend by contrast. In the last of his four races with Sunoco and “Turbo” sponsorship, Kanaan was the lone retiree on the day.

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.”