[raceweekendpromotion]In the round-up: Carlos Sainz Jnr believes Mercedes “haven’t said the last word” in their championship fight with Red Bull.
Sainz predicts Mercedes fightbackLewis Hamilton has fallen 19 points behind Max Verstappen in the championship fight but Sainz believes there’s fight left in the world champions with five races remaining.
“I think it’s still tight,” said the Ferrari driver. “I think one DNF can change the whole picture.
“And I think Mercedes haven’t said the last word. I think they’re going to come back strong after a few difficult weekends. Red Bull look to have a stronger package all around but Mercedes and Lewis are Mercedes and Lewis, so let’s see.”
Russell ‘120% focused’ on Mercedes on day after finale
George Russell is preparing to throw his full effort into preparing for next season after Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“Monday morning after Abu Dhabi race, it will be 120% percent focus on all things Mercedes,” said the Williams driver, who will join Hamilton at the team next year.
“I’ll be driving in the test afterwards,” he continued. “Back in the factory as soon as I fly back from the test, straight to the factory and we’ll do some simulator, meet some more people.
“I’m in a very fortunate position because I’ve obviously spent so much time with Mercedes as a team from 2016 all the way through until 2018. And still whenever we see each of at the airports or the tracks, I know them as well as I know almost everybody at Williams, really. So I’m in a very fortunate position that I’m going into a group and a family that I know so well.”
Gasly: “intense” to return to track of first podium
Pierre Gasly said it was an emotional experience to walk the Interlagos track for the first time since his debut on the podium at the track two years ago.
In a tough campaign which had already seen the death of his friend Anthoine Hubert and Gasly’s demotion from Red Bull to Toro Rosso, Gasly clinched a shock second place in the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix, drag-racing Hamilton to the finish line.
“Obviously, your first podium in Formula One is always a moment,” said Gasly, “very strong, very intense in terms of the emotion that you just don’t forget.
“So even just doing the track walk this morning was kind of exciting to rethink about that finish, with Lewis going up to the last corner to the line and it’s a place I love.
“The track is very nice and I obviously love this memory of that beautiful race we had with my first podium. And usually Brazilian fans are really intense, so really passionate and on Sunday, the energy is pretty, pretty intense. So I’m really, really happy to be back.”
Vettel visits to Diniz’s eco-farm
Sebastian Vettel visited an ecological agriculture farm run by former Ligier and Sauber Formula 1 driver Pedro Diniz ahead of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
“I knew Pedro as a driver when I was growing up, as a child and I knew he was racing in Formula 1,” Vettel explained. “But then he retired and I lost sight because I followed Michael and other drivers in Formula One and you don’t think about the drivers that retire.
“I read a really interesting book about a year ago and it was mentioning in Pedro Diniz, but not because of his racing history, but because of what he’s doing now.”
Vettel, who has been outspoken on ecological matters during the 2021 season, said “the way he’s approaching agriculture is basically all about avoiding substances and chemicals and farming in a natural way and giving something back rather than just depleting the soil.
“It’s a very exciting way of doing agriculture, and I was happy to have a look at his farm and learn about it and learn about his path, what he’s been through – the idea, the objective and his intention – which I think is very good and very-forward thinking and something the world needs. I think it’s a very honourable job to supply the world or to supply people with food and doing it in a responsible and regenerative way, I think is a great approach.”
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