Battle continues with Round 17 of the 2017 season from the Circuit of the Americas.
'Still four races to go and 100 points to score'
Still four races to go and 100 points to score: we can take nothing for granted as we fly to Austin this week. We approach every race with a healthy dose of scepticism rather than wishful thinking, and our focus must be on making sure we score every point within our reach this weekend in Austin.
Since we began the final flyaway leg of the season, we have seen a strong points swing in our favour in both championships. Good fortune has played its part, of course – and we have put ourselves in the right position to make the most of the opportunities that have come our way. But nobody within the team is allowing those good results to disguise the challenges we have faced.
We returned from those races with a lot more understanding of our car and of the reasons for the performance swings we have experienced this season. Some of that understanding is already being applied to the final races, some of it will flow into next year’s project. But the bitter taste of our defeat in Malaysia once again confirmed that the tough days are the ones when you learn most – and when you lay the foundations for future success.
'We must also add our drivers to our list of strengths'
Likewise, we have maintained clear sight of the reasons for our success this year. The team is operating at an incredibly high level in every area and continuing to develop; we have applied an obsessive attention to detail to how we go racing over the past three seasons; and we have continued to develop our car at a competitive rate through the season. Our mindset has always been one of constant improvement, regardless of the results we were enjoying, and this is now paying off.
We must also add our drivers to our list of strengths. Lewis has driven brilliantly this year – and since the summer break in particular, he has been on another level. It has been impressive to watch him extracting everything from the car and working with the team to solve problems and improve even further. Valtteri has had a tougher time in recent races – but he demonstrated his work ethic and character to deliver a strong weekend in Suzuka, and he will be aiming to build on this performance in the final four rounds.
As a venue, Austin offers our sport a fantastic home in the United States, combining a state-of-the-art race track with an exciting destination city. The organisers have worked hard to build the event character of the weekend and there are some exciting moments planned for this weekend, too. We will be aiming to play our part by delivering an exciting and successful performance on the track.