Rosberg still optimistic after being nipped for Brazilian GP pole

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Nico Rosberg can win his first Formula 1 World Championship on Sunday but to do so, he’ll likely need to get a jump on Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Lewis Hamilton into the first turn of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

If Hamilton can run away from the start, there’s a good chance it could well be game over for the race.

Nonetheless, Rosberg needs only to follow Hamilton home the last two races in second place for both to secure the title.

The German remains optimistic for Sunday despite Hamilton edging him for the pole on Saturday. Hamilton improved his time to a 1:10.736 to Rosberg’s 1:10.838, just a tenth off, in their final laps.

“It was an exciting qualifying for sure. Lewis was marginally quicker at the end,” Rosberg said during the post-qualifying press conference.

“My lap was good but was not quick enough, missing that little bit out there.

“As we’ve seen, pole isn’t always the guy that wins the race so I’m still optimistic for tomorrow. I want to try to win the race tomorrow.”

A win tomorrow ensures Rosberg would be crowned World Champion, thus joining his father Keke in that most exclusive of F1 driver clubs, and adding the Rosberg family to the Hills – Graham and Damon – as the only father/son combination to both win a World Championship.

Of Rosberg’s nine victories this year, only three have come when Hamilton took pole. Those occurred in Australia, Bahrain and Italy, and Hamilton’s poor starts or collisions in all three opened the door for Rosberg to take advantage.

Rosberg is also bullish on his chances regardless of weather tomorrow, with rain possible.

“I don’t think of anything in terms of much to lose. I look forward to tomorrow’s race. We have a great car in either condition,” he said.

Rosberg has won the last two Brazilian Grands Prix. With a third straight Brazilian Grand Prix triumph on Sunday, Rosberg would become a 10-time race winner this year and achieve that elusive first career title.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing

Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.