Like father, like son: Nico Rosberg closes on Keke’s record

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Nico Rosberg is aiming to equal his father’s total of grand prix victories in Malaysia this weekend as the German driver looks to continue his good form following his win in Australia.

Rosberg claimed his fourth grand prix win of his F1 career at Albert Park with a dominant performance that saw him finish over 20 seconds ahead of second-placed Daniel Ricciardo. With this victory, he has moved to within one of his father’s tally.

Keke Rosberg holds the record for winning the least number of races in a season (one) but still winning the championship, which he claimed in the tenuous 1982 season. The Finn claimed his fifth and final win at the 1985 Australian Grand Prix, and retired at the end of the 1986 season following a successful eight year stint in the sport.

Although Nico has his father’s tally in sight, he insists that it’s not something he really thinks about.

“I understand that it’s interesting to make comparisons and that, and even I find it interesting,” he said. “After Australia, I read that he also won the first time  at the first Australian GP, 29 years ago.

“It’s fun to read those things but I really don’t think about that. I don’t compare. I’m proud of what my father achieved but I’m just focused on my job and getting the most out of it and definitely, yes, I’m optimistic for the weekend and there is a possibility to win.”

Nico has a habit of following in his father’s footsteps. His win at last year’s Monaco Grand Prix came 30 years after Keke’s victory, and he will be hoping to claim the tenth grand prix victory for a Rosberg family member this weekend in Malaysia.

F1 2017 driver review: Sergio Perez

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Sergio Perez

Team: Sahara Force India
Car No.: 11
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P4 (Spain)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 1
Points: 100
Championship Position: 7th

While failing to hit the podium as he did in both 2015 and 2016, Sergio Perez once again finished the year as Formula 1’s leading midfield team driver, but faced a greater fight from within Force India in the shape of Esteban Ocon.

Perez has long been knocking on the door of F1’s top teams should an opportunity come up, and 2017 saw him continue his solid if unspectacular form. The dominance of Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari meant any finish higher than seventh was impressive, something he managed to do on five occasions.

But there were some missed opportunities along the way, most significantly in Baku. Force India had been quick all weekend, with Perez charging to sixth on the grid, and when drama struck at the front, he and teammate Ocon were eyeing a podium finish as a minimum.

Contact between the two forced Perez to retire and prompted Ocon to pit for repairs, leaving the team without the top-three finish it targeted heading into the season. With Lance Stroll taking P3 for Williams and Daniel Ricciardo winning the race, a maiden victory for Force India was not out of the realm of imagination.

Perez and Ocon came to blows on a number of occasions, with the final straw coming in Spa when they twice touched on-track, prompting Force India to introduce team orders. Perez finished the year 13 points clear of Ocon in the final standings, meeting his own pre-season target of 100 points, yet the Frenchman had arguably made the bigger impression at Force India through his first full season in F1.

Force India remains the top underdog in F1 with Perez spearheading its charge, but it is difficult to see either taking the final step to becoming true contenders at the front of the field anytime soon, as solid as their displays have been.

Season High: P4 in Spain after retirements for the ‘big three’.

Season Low: Losing a sure-fire podium, if not a win, in Baku after contact with Ocon.