Nico Rosberg admits that it has been difficult watching Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton
stealing the limelight of late, but does not doubt that he can regain some of the momentum he enjoyed at the start of the 2013 season.
Despite taking the Silver Arrows' first two wins of the season – at Monaco and Silverstone to boot – the German has been on the back foot of late, left to look on as Hamilton claimed four straight pole positions, his first Mercedes win and a string of top five results that see him retain an outside shot at the world title.
Indeed, since he triumphed comfortably on the streets of the Principality back in late May, Rosberg has out-pointed Hamilton just once, and even then his victory in Britain came as a result of the home favourite being one of three drivers to suffer a blow-out. Hamilton was pulling away at the head of the field at the time of the failure, having kicked off his recent string of pole positions in thrilling fashion, but bounced back by finding the top step of the podium in Hungary, where Rosberg faded to 19th.
The pair now find themselves split by three places and 43 points in the drivers' standings but, even if he is no longer being talked of as a championship threat, Rosberg is adamant that he can at least return to the point of being a match for his team-mate.
"Lewis has been doing a really, really good job and he's on it,” the 28-year old was quoted by Sky Sports
, “but it was clear from the beginning he was going to be a tough competitor.
"From my side, [it's] just a bit of a phase where not everything is going 100 per cent right. I go through these phases as a driver and come on out the other side, then there'll be a phase where everything does go right like at the beginning of the year in qualifying.
"Even though the racing didn't go well back then, [because of the] struggles that we used to have in the races, qualifying was going right. I'm very confident that the phase will come again."
Ironically, the man both Hamilton and Rosberg are chasing reckons that the pairing is the strongest in F1 at the moment.
Sebastian Vettel, who leads Hamilton by 58 points after winning in Belgium at the weekend, told Germany's Bild
, that the Mercedes duo are both competitive and compatible, making them the ones to watch.
“They push hard as well as getting on with one another very well,” Vettel reasoned, discounting the strength of the Ferrari
and Lotus pairings, as well as his own relationship with Red Bull
team-mate Mark Webber.