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.

Reviewing Danica Patrick’s highs and lows at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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So much of Danica Patrick’s fame can be traced to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It’s where she became a household name 13 years ago when she became the first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500 and emerged as a transcendent athlete.

It’s where everything started. This Sunday, it’s where everything will end, too.

In her last warmup before starting the final race of her career, Patrick had a bumpy final practice Friday on Carb Day. She was eighth fastest, but her Dallara-Chevrolet was in the garage most of the session because of an electrical problem in the engine. After returning during the final 10 minutes of the session, Patrick’s No. 13 seemed to be OK.

“At the end of the day, these are things you’re actually glad for, because if this had happened Sunday, we would have been done,” she said. “I’m glad to get the issues out of the way early on. Overall, today felt good. We made some changes when I went out the second time, and I’m feeling good about starting seventh on Sunday.”
Though she has had her share of success – along with a fourth in her debut, there was a third in 2009 and six top 10s in seven starts — Patrick has learned well how to handle frustration at the 2.5-mile track, too.

Fuel mileage might have kept her from winning her debut, a pit collision ruined 2008, and an unstable setup made 2010 a wild ride.

For a review of her up-and-down history at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and her legacy in racing, watch the video essay above that ran during Friday’s NASCAR America Motorsports Special on NBCSN.