Rosberg happy to be “best of the rest” in qualifying

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Nico Rosberg is pleased to have qualified on the front row for tomorrow’s Indian Grand Prix, believing that compatriot Sebastian Vettel was out of reach in the battle for pole position on Saturday.

Rosberg’s time of 1:24.871 was good enough to secure himself second place on the grid even if it was over three-quarters of a second slower than pole-sitter Vettel. Nevertheless, the Mercedes driver is pleased with his performance and the improvements that had been made following practice.

“We have tried a lot of different things in the practice sessions this weekend to try and find an extra one or two tenths and I found a good set-up with my guys so I’m happy with our work so far,” Rosberg said. “I just wanted to qualify ‘best of the rest’ today so I’m really happy with second place and starting on the front row.”

However, with a variety of starting strategies in place for the race tomorrow, Rosberg acknowledged that he has a fight on his hands to stay ahead of Mark Webber who qualified in fourth despite opting to start on the slower tire.

“The race will be tough against Mark tomorrow, though, as he has the quicker car and is on a different strategy, but we’ll give it our all,” Rosberg explained. “For our team, the most important thing is to score as many points as possible so we can secure second place in the constructors’ championship at the end of the year.”

Mercedes currently trail Ferrari by ten points in the constructors’ championship.

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.”