Rosberg: P2 was the best that we could do

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Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg is pleased to have qualified in second place for the Brazilian Grand Prix, believing that even a perfect lap would not have been enough to stop compatriot Sebastian Vettel from securing pole position for tomorrow’s race.

Rosberg had finished fastest in both of the wet sessions on Friday, and he excelled in the wet once again in qualifying to finish four-tenths clear of third-placed Fernando Alonso.

“It was a good day today, everything went to plan,” Rosberg said. “It’s always extremely tough in these conditions, because it’s just all over the place and you need to make sure you don’t get caught out. The whole team, we all did a good job and perfect strategy also in the end, doing those two consecutive laps with the inter, got a good lap together, happy with that.”

However, Rosberg has admitted that he is surprised by the 0.6 second gap to Vettel at the front, although he believes that the four-time world champion was unstoppable on Saturday at Interlagos.

“I’m surprised about the gap to Sebastian, it’s very big. Definitely it would have been difficult even getting everything perfect to come close to him, so that’s fine. Optimum was second place and we got that, so it’s okay and it’s a great place to start for tomorrow.”

Rosberg is best-placed to prevent Vettel from taking a record-equalling ninth consecutive victory in Brazil on Sunday, but Mercedes will be hoping that he does enough to ensure that the team finishes as runners-up to Red Bull in the constructors’ championship with Ferrari and Lotus both in contention.

Toyota victorious in Bahrain on Porsche’s LMP1 swansong

Toyota Motorsport GmbH
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SAKHIR, Bahrain – Toyota denied Porsche a swansong victory in its final LMP1 appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking a commanding win in the 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday.

Porsche started from pole in the last competitive outing for the three-time Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid car, only to lose out to Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi within the first half an hour of the race.

Porsche lost one of its cars from contention for victory after an errant bollard got stuck underneath Timo Bernhard’s No. 2 entry, leaving Nick Tandy to lead its charge in the No. 1 car.

Tandy moved into the lead just past half distance after a bold strategy call from Porsche to triple-stint the Briton after a fuel-only stop, vaulting him ahead of Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 Toyota.

Tandy’s win hopes were soon dashed when he tangled with a GTE-Am backmarker at Turn 1, sustaining damage that forced Porsche into an unplanned pit stop that put the car a lap down.

With the No. 7 Toyota losing two laps following a clash with a GTE-Pro car earlier on, Davidson, Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima went unchallenged en route to the car’s fifth victory of the season.

Porsche rounded out the podium with its cars, with the No. 2 leading home the No. 1, leaving Toyota’s No. 7 car to settle for P4 at the checkered flag.

Vaillante Rebellion clinched the title in LMP2 after a stunning fightback led by Bruno Senna, with the Brazilian securing his maiden motorsport championship win in the process.

GTE-Pro saw AF Corse complete a hat-trick of titles in 2017, with James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi wining the class’ first world championship recognized by the FIA, while Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda sewed up the GTE-Am title.