Hulkenberg and Bottas quietly brilliant in China

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Nico Hulkenberg and Valtteri Bottas were two drivers who may not have spent much time on TV in China today, but both drove solid races to finish sixth and seventh respectively to pick up some good points.

Hulkenberg made a good start from eighth to move up two places, but he was soon passed by Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes. After Felipe Massa hit trouble in the pits, the Force India driver recovered sixth place, and he managed to stay there after a battle with Bottas in the last few laps of the race.

“Finishing in sixth and bringing both cars home in the points again was a very positive result for the team,” the German driver said. “It was actually a pretty straightforward race for me after we got in front of Massa: I had to manage my tires, my pace and avoid mistakes, and it only got tricky at the end when Bottas was getting a bit closer.”

Hulkenberg finished the day as the top Mercedes customer car, but he was closely tailed by Bottas. The Finn was unable to make it past and came home just half a second behind his rival, although it would not have counted had he passed on the final two laps due to a mix-up with the checkered flag.

“It was a good race for me despite some hard contact at the start which cost me a few positions,” Bottas said. “I also had to drive the whole race without telemetry which isn’t the easiest thing to do. We made progress over the whole weekend which is good.”

Both drivers have made great starts to the season, and currently lie within the top seven of the drivers’ championship. Although neither has recorded a podium finish yet in Formula 1, they are both stars for the future who appear to have the makings of champions.

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.”