Gutierrez eyes first career points at Spa

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Esteban Gutierrez believes his Sauber is capable of a top ten finish in this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Gutierrez is is yet to score the first points of his maiden F1 campaign. Team mate Nico Hulkenberg, who has out-qualified him in all ten rounds so far, has scored in four races so far including two of the last three.

Sauber’s rookie driver said the previous race had shown his car was capable of reaching the top ten: “Obviously qualifying in Hungary was not good, because of the time we lost in [final practice],” he said.

“But I think we can manage to get into the position we were expecting, which is around P10 in Spa-Francorchamps.”

Gutierrez is relishing his first taste of how a Formula One car performs on the much-loved Belgian track: “It is one of the tracks that I enjoy driving the most, because it has a lot of quick corners and it just flows.”

“You can feel the limits of the car at really high speeds. One lap is quite long and sometimes you even face varying weather conditions in different parts of the track – on one side it might be raining, while the other side might be dry. This makes it very challenging and interesting.”

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.”