After the disappointment of Austin, Brazil was just the way to bounce back with a great weekend for both me and the team. I felt in control from the very beginning and it was a big positive to take the lessons from Texas and put them into action. Of course, it wasn’t enough to regain the lead in the Championship as Lewis drove a strong race to finish just behind me. But the gap is smaller than before and I absolutely believe I still have the chance to take the title in Abu Dhabi. It won’t be easy, but I’ll be full attack – just as I have been all season. Although this has been my first year fighting for a World Championship, I’ve never felt more comfortable than I have done this year. The team behind us have done an incredible job and it’s great that they’ve given both of us equal opportunity to compete with each other. There have been difficult moments just as there have been amazing moments – but this is what Formula One is all about and I hope that everyone watching at home has enjoyed the story of this battle as much as I have. Win or lose, double points or no double points, I feel proud of what I have achieved this year and especially proud to have been a part of this fantastic season for the Silver Arrows. I go into this race with no fear and with every belief that this can be my title. It’s not over until that flag drops!
Yas Marina - In The Cockpit With Nico
The Abu Dhabi race gets better and better every year. It’s slowly becoming a highlight of the year, with more fans turning up to watch every time we go there. There are more and more activities around the race too, with live music and all sorts of other things happening around the harbour. This is right at the centre of the circuit and you see so many boats moored up there for the weekend – it’s almost becoming a mini Monaco!
The track itself is good to drive too, with a couple of good overtaking opportunities at the end of the DRS straights where you see a lot of action during the race. The twilight timing is great for the TV pictures but can be a little bit tricky for the drivers. You can cope with that, though, by using dark visor tear-offs, so that when the light starts to fade you can remove the strip and have a clear visor as opposed to the tinted one needed when the sun is setting across your eye line. That brightens everything up again which works well when you head into darkness.
Of course, it’s the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi this year and also double points. It’s a bit of a strange one – a bit artificial in my mind at least – but at the end of the day if it’s keeping the Championship alive until the very end then so be it. From that perspective it’s good entertainment for the people watching in the grandstands and around the world. It’s the same for everybody, so you just need to make the most of it!