Ricciardo, Gasly excited for championship deciders in Abu Dhabi

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While the battle at the front is largely settled, in the midfield two key duels will be decided at the Formula 1 finale in Abu Dhabi.

In the Constructors' standings, just eight points separate fifth-placed Renault and Toro Rosso after Pierre Gasly's unexpected second place in Brazil.

While the junior Red Bull team may need some more retirements at the front to have a strong chance of closing that gap, for Daniel Ricciardo, it does at least keep this weekend interesting.

“Game on,” the Australian declared. “I mean, obviously I’d love for it to be us than them [scoring a lot of points], but I like that it keeps pressure on us for the last race.

“It won’t allow us to rest and gives us really something to fight for in Abu Dhabi. It’s a track I really enjoy, I’ve always gone well there. So yes, ready to go.

"I know Carlos [Sainz] had a mega race last year," he added. "So I’ll take that and we’ll go there with some positives.”

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Indeed the Spaniard claimed sixth at Yas Marina in what was his final race for the French manufacturer, however, Gasly also has his eye on the current McLaren driver as they start the weekend tied on points in P6 in the Drivers' standings.

“It’s going to be very important for all of us at Toro Rosso as we want to finish as high as possible in the Constructors’ Championship," he commented.

“I’m also in with a chance of ending up as the best driver from outside the top three teams in the Drivers’ classification.

“We want to end the season in a good way, not just for our pride, but also because where you finish in the championship has an impact on our development work and our performance level for next season.

“Our championship fight adds to the excitement this weekend, although I can imagine that ‘exciting’ might not be the right word to describe how [team boss] Franz [Tost] feels about it!"

Regardless of the final outcome, Gasly admits: “There’s always something a bit sad about the final round, as it means we won’t be racing again for around three and a half months.

“It’s something that will dawn on me on Sunday night, the sense that the season is over.”

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