Vettel still hopeful of podium finish in Germany (VIDEO)

2 Comments

Sebastian Vettel is still hopeful of securing his third podium finish of the season at the German Grand Prix tomorrow despite qualifying down in sixth place at Hockenheim.

The German driver failed to match compatriot Nico Rosberg’s escapades, as the Mercedes driver clinched his fifth pole position of the season. Vettel lagged behind the two Williams drivers, McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen and Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

Williams looks to be the team that is ‘best of the rest’ behind Mercedes, but Vettel thinks that Red Bull will have the edge over the 67 lap race tomorrow.

“To be honest, I think Williams didn’t look as competitive yesterday until they made a big step forward today, which was a bit of a surprise,” Vettel explained to reporters after qualifying. “But then again, the last couple of races they’ve been very strong so I think they will be very strong as well tomorrow.

“Generally, on race pace, I think we look a little bit better than in in the qualifying runs.”

The updates brought to the RB10 car and the Renault engine for this weekend’s race have not yielded the pace advantage Vettel expected, and he lamented a difficult qualifying session on Saturday.

“I don’t think as much a we hoped,” he said when asked whether the upgrades had been effective. “We had an update on the car but probably it didn’t bring us as much as it was supposed to.

“I think it [qualifying] was generally better than this morning, so was fairly happy. In the last run, we just didn’t seem to be able to go with the track and didn’t get a smooth lap, and didn’t improve.”

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.”