Rosberg: Mercedes quicker than Ferrari everywhere

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Nico Rosberg is predicting a close battle between Mercedes, Ferrari and Lotus for second place in the constructors’ championship across the final three races of the season, but the German driver does believe that the Silver Arrows are enjoying a pace advantage over their Italian rivals.

Mercedes re-claimed second place in India thanks to Rosberg’s drive to second place and the early demise of Fernando Alonso, but the German driver did lose a lot of time stuck behind Felipe Massa. However, he managed to exercise the undercut and easily move ahead after the second round of pit stops, and he is sure that Mercedes are quicker in all areas.

“We’re a bit quicker than them everywhere, so that’s a good basis that increases our chances,” Rosberg explained on Thursday in Abu Dhabi. “The chances are good, but it’s going to be tough.”

Rosberg also expressed his concern about Lotus’ upturn in fortunes. The British team is now within twenty-eight points of Mercedes thanks to a string of podium finishes stretching back to the Singapore Grand Prix.

“We also need to keep an eye on Lotus, because they’re coming strong,” Rosberg said. “It’s very close. It’s not going to be easy, the constructors’, but a great battle and it should be cool to watch.”

By finishing in second place in India, Rosberg brought to an end a podium-less run stretching back to his win at the British Grand Prix back in June. He will now be looking to build upon this result to secure his first top-three finish in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

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.”