Hamilton: Mercedes must now rise as a team

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Lewis Hamilton has said that Mercedes must put the clash between himself and Nico Rosberg in the past and now focus on rising as a team to secure both F1 titles in 2014.

The British driver slipped to 29 points behind Rosberg in the drivers’ championship following their on-track incident at the Belgian Grand Prix, which saw Rosberg try an overzealous move on the Briton that left him with a puncture.

Many questioned just how the two drivers could reconcile in the wake of this incident, but after talks in England today with Rosberg and the team bosses, Hamilton has urged the team not to dwell on the situation.

“Today we came together as a team and discussed our differences,” a statement from the 2008 world champion read. “Nico and I accept that we have both made mistakes and I feel it would be wrong to point fingers and say which one is worse than the other.

“What’s important is how we rise as a team from these situations. We win and we lose together and, as a team, we will emerge stronger.

“There is a deep foundation that still exists for me and Nico to work from, in spite of our difficult times and differences.”

Hamilton said that both he and Rosberg must not risk damaging the team effort for their own personal gain.

“We have the greatest team, the strongest group of individuals who have worked their hands to the bone to give us the best car you see us racing today,” he said. “It’s important that we never forget that and give them the results they deserve.

“Today, Toto and Paddy told us clearly how we must race against each other from now on in a fair and respectful manner. The fans want to see a clean fight until the end of the season and that’s what we want to give them.”

When concluding his piece, Hamilton underlined his commitment to fighting for this year’s world title, in spite of the points deficit he faces with seven races remaining.

“It’s going to be a tough road from here but championships have been won from much further back than I am now,” he said. “I promise you that I will be giving everything and more to win this for my team, for my family and for my fans.”

With statements from both drivers and the team now issued, Mercedes will turning its attention to next week’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

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.”