Rosberg: Main focus is to beat Hamilton

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Nico Rosberg has set his sights on cutting into Lewis Hamilton’s championship lead in tomorrow’s Singapore Grand Prix after both Mercedes drivers endured a difficult qualifying session on Saturday night.

Neither Hamilton nor Rosberg could contend with the pace displayed by Ferrari and Red Bull at the front of the field as they locked out the top four positions on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

Sebastian Vettel ended a three-year long pole drought for Ferrari, finishing half a second clear of former Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo in second place. Kimi Raikkonen and Daniil Kvyat followed their teammates in P3 and P4 respectively.

This left Hamilton and Rosberg down in fifth and sixth at the end of Q3, finishing over 1.4 seconds behind Vettel at the very front of the field.

“The pace of the Ferrari is very impressive, starting from P6 is really frustrating,” Rosberg said after the session. “I had no grip in the corners, which was very strange, but there is a lot to play for tomorrow.”

Rosberg is now focusing on beating Hamilton and capitalizing on Mercedes’ struggles to aid his own title bid.

“I will work on overtaking Lewis, it’s very important for me to finish ahead of him,” the German said.

“It seems that the front runners are also much quicker on high fuel from what we have seen on Friday. I tried a few things on the set up, but we didn’t really find out why we are so slow this weekend.

“It’s strange, until now we were quick on every track. But coming now to Singapore and seeing the difference to the quickest cars, is really not good.”

The Singapore Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday.

Alex Zanardi showing signs of interaction three months after crash

Alex Zanardi recovery
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
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MILAN — Italian racing driver turned Paralympic gold medalist Alex Zanardi has started responding to treatment with signs of interaction, more than three months after he was seriously injured in a handbike crash.

Zanardi has spent most of that time in intensive care after crashing into an oncoming truck during a relay event near the Tuscan town of Pienza on June 19.

“For several days now. Alex Zanardi has undergone cognitive and motor rehabilitation sessions, with the administration of visual and acoustic stimuli, to which the patient responds with momentary and initial signs of interaction,” the San Raffaele hospital in Milan said in a statement Thursday.

The hospital said that is “significant progress” but added that his condition remains serious, and that it would be “absolutely premature” to make a long-term prognosis.

Zanardi, 53, suffered serious facial and cranial trauma in the crash and was put in a medically induced coma. Doctors have warned of possible brain damage.

He was operated on several times to stabilize him and reconstruct his severely damaged face and the Milan hospital added that he recently had undergone another surgery to reconstruct his skull and would have another one in the coming weeks.

Zanardi lost both of his legs in an auto racing crash nearly 20 years ago. He won four gold medals and two silvers at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics. He also competed in the New York City Marathon and set an Ironman record in his class.