30 October 2013
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Mercedes out to consolidate on Buddh momentum
Mercedes is hoping to carry its performance from India into this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as it seeks to tighten its grip on second place in the F1 constructors' championship.
Having regained second place in the 2013 F1 constructors' standings with a podium return in India last weekend, Mercedes is determined to build on that at the forthcoming Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Nico Rosberg's second place, and further points for Lewis Hamilton, proved to be enough to overhaul the slim edge held by main rival Ferrari with three races to run, but the Brackley equipe knows only too well how tenuous its own advantage could be given the to-and-fro nature of the competition thus far.
“We delivered a good team result in India, with podium number eight this year and our biggest points total since the Belgian Grand Prix, and our target now is to build on that momentum in Abu Dhabi,” executive director Toto Wolff confirmed.
“We know what to expect at Yas Marina - a circuit where good traction is important, as well as strong straight-line speed, and conditions in which it's important to look after the rear tyres, especially through the first stint when the track temperatures are still high. All of us in the team also know that the battle for second place in the constructors' championship will go down to the final race. We are ready for the fight.”
Mercedes' cushion over Ferrari is only four points, with the resurgent Lotus a further 24 points adrift but looking like a credible threat for P2 after three successive podiums for Romain Grosjean, and team principal Ross Brawn has no doubts that there will be more twists to come before the final chequered flag falls at Interlagos.
“This is a demanding period, with four of the seven season-ending flyaway races now completed, and I am pleased with how the motivation and commitment levels at our team are remaining so high,” he noted, “India was a strong weekend for us with some valuable points scored and we will aim to have another positive weekend in Abu Dhabi to consolidate our position.”
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the season's only twilight race, has been good to current Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton who, during his time with McLaren, led more laps – 86 - at Yas Marina than any other driver since the first race there in 2009. Unsurprisingly, the Briton is looking forward to going back, particularly after a frustrating Indian GP that left him trailing home in sixth place.
“The race in Abu Dhabi is always a fun weekend and one which I really enjoy,” Hamilton claimed, “The circuit and the whole Yas Marina complex are so impressive and racing from the sunshine into the twilight is quite special.
“With three races left of the season, we are still pushing and there is a lot that our team can achieve in that period. It's all about consistency now and making sure that both Nico and I score good points so that we can keep the other teams behind us. We're up for the challenge!”
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