Rosberg unsure how to approach Abu Dhabi
Nico Rosberg says that he doesn’t know how he will approach the title decider in Abu Dhabi. Rosberg currently leads Hamilton by twelve points meaning he only needs third to become champion, regardless if Hamilton is ahead of him.
Rosberg has refused to speak about his championship hopes saying he was taking it one race at a time. But now has admitted he is not sure how he should tackle the final and biggest race of his career knowing he only requires third if Hamilton wins.
Rosberg told Autosport “I don’t know how I’m going to approach the last race yet. I will let you know on Thursday [in Abu Dhabi] when I have had some time to think about it.”
“It’s going to be a difficult race weekend like always. It’s always a challenge – nothing in F1 is easy.” Hamilton has been strong in the last few races but has admitted that he is in an awkward position going to Abu Dhabi. “I’m happy I beat everyone in Brazil,” he said.
“I’m happy that with the same car I beat Nico and Nico is driving at his best right now and on Sunday he had nothing on me. I’m happy that we as a team are continuing to make history.” Hamilton is happy with his new team of engineers and says they are doing a fantastic job.
Rosberg says Hamilton, is doing all he needs too and hasn’t had the same problems as him. Hamilton added that there really has not been a big difference as he has lost so much this year.
Verstappen not affected by criticism
Max Verstappen’s father Jos says his son has not been affected by the criticism of his driving this season and says there is more to come following his performance at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Verstappen this week has been praised following an impressive drive in difficult conditions during the race with his father describing it as a “special moment” for both the 19-year-old and Formula One.
Verstappen Jr is approaching the end of his second season and Jos reckons F1’s youngest race winner will continue to flourish. Jos told reporters “I think he will only get better. He’s 19, his second year in Formula 1 and if he can deliver a race like this we have a lot of enjoyable years in front of us.”
The youngest ever driver and race winner has shown his brilliance but also has face controversies over his driving style. Lead recently by Sebastian Vettel, who labelled his driving as ‘not correct’ in a passing move that saw the Ferrari take to the grass.
However, despite coming under fire from rivals this season, his father insists the 19-year-old has remained totally unfazed. “He doesn’t care, he doesn’t mind. I’m more into that and he says ‘shut up, it’s fine’. He doesn’t care.” Added the former F1 Driver.
His overtake on Rosberg this week earned him a nomination for Action of the Year at the FIA Gala in a fortnights time.
Force India request early payments
Autosport has learnt that Force India have for a second season made a request to Berine Ecclestone for advance payment of its championship payments for next year.
Last season the team along with Sabuer and Manor asked for the same payments to be made. Any payment request would need the unanimous agreement from all the other teams. Each team receive payments from FOM for ten months of the year, but without payments in the winter it leaves them with a shortfall.
The payments are based on their historic status and there championship position. With new regulation next season this is expected to add to costs with teams needing to build from scratch.
Force India’s request is believed to be to help it ease cashflow during the next couple of months. The Silverstone based team looks on course to finish fourth earning them an extra $3million.
Liberty target Las Vegas race
Liberty Media are targeting a return to Las Vegas as a night race in the next few years. The US medias company who have taken 19.1% stake in the sport and are currently looking at the best ways to make the sport more attractive for fans and generate greater revenue.
Liberty has already talked about the possibility of a bigger calendar, but its CEO Greg Maffei has now spoken specifically about Las Vegas holding a race. Maffei says he likes the idea of a night race in the city. Earlier this year Berine Ecclestone held talks with interested parties from Las Vegas earlier this year about a potential second race in America
“I particularly like the idea of a night race in Las Vegas,” Maffei said during the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecoms conference in Barcelona this week
However, many teams feel that the current calendar is at the limit of what is possible. Maffei added “Obviously there is a limit on how much you can do. Just getting the cars around the world, but I think we can expect to grow the amount of races to a mild degree.”
“There is a general line of interest if you increase the number of races to a point. The FIA makes more money, the teams make more money, we make more money. But new entrants tend to pay more.”
Sauber would be fine without tenth
Sauber would have been fine next season even if they didn’t score points in Brazil according to the teams head of track engineering Xevi Pujolar. The Swiss team scored their first points which moved them ahead of Manor in the constructors championship.
This would give the team a financial boost as it would secure a multi-million dollar bonus after a year of struggling financially. But with new owners having taken over the team earlier this year, Pujolar insists Sauber’s future was already safe.
Pujolar told Motorsport.com “With or without the points it would have been okay for the team for next year. Obviously it’s an extra, so I think Monisha (Kaltenborn) should be very happy.” Pujor also believes that there is much more to come from the team saying there has been some development to their car.
He says “I think there is still much more to come. It’s good to see we are making progress already, but there are lot of things that still need time to put everything in place. 2017 needs to be a big step for us and I think we can do it.”
Gutierrez right to express anger – Steiner
Haas Team Principal Gunther Steiner says that Esteban Gutierrez was right to express his anger following a difficult weekend in Brazil. The team announced he would be replaced next season by Kevin Magnussen.
Then retired in the race and for the fifth time this year with a technical issue as an electrical fault ended his Interlagos race with 11 laps to go. When he returned to the garage he was furious and was stopped from storming out by Steiner.
Steiner told Autosport “He was just frustrated because he was doing well in the race, he was doing what he wanted to do. With the electronics problems we were having he lost positions, then he made them up, but again we had problems.”
“Of course, he’s not got a seat with us next year, and that didn’t help the situation, so he was emotional. When I spoke with him he was OK. Sometimes you need to say ‘We need to stop’ because there’s no point to it. He was very good with that I think.”
Gutierrez has failed this season to score any points for the team and with the number of retirements had a chance of a top ten finish. This is because of technical gremlins at the start of the season when team-mate Romain Grosjean regularly scored points.
The Mexican says he was just in the wrong moment adding “We laughed a bit afterwards because he just approached me at the wrong moment. I was not angry at anyone, I was angry at the situation of course.”
“It’s been like this, this kind of situation very often for me this year, especially when the opportunities are there.”