30 March 2014
Malaysian GP: Hamilton too quick, admits Rosberg
Championship leader Nico Rosberg had to settle for second place in the 2014 F1 Malaysian Grand Prix after he was unable to match the pace of Mercedes team-mate, Lewis Hamilton.
Nico Rosberg has conceded that Mercedes team-mate and Malaysian Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton was just a 'bit too quick today' during the second round in the 2014 F1 World Championship.
Rosberg got away strong off the line at the Sepang International Circuit and straight away moved up to second. However, after that he was unable to challenge and eventually came home more than 15 seconds back.
Despite having to settle for 'silver' though, the result strengthens his early lead in the Drivers' Championship and he now has 43 points on the board, 18 more than Hamilton, who moves up to second after retiring in Australia two weeks ago.
“I had a really good start, so I was happy about that because it's not so easy this year,” Rosberg reflected. “The rear tyres are harder and we have more torque - it's very difficult to get it right, but it felt great and we got away well.
“Then Sebastian [Vettel], I thought he was going to put me right into the wall! But he stopped just before – so thank you for that! My heartbeat skipped a beat a little bit but I kept right on it, it was OK.
"Then I had a bit of a moment in Turn Three, a bit of a tail, tank-slapper and that allowed them all to get another run on me, but it all worked out.”
“After that I was just trying to chase Lewis but he was a bit too quick today,” Rosberg continued. “It was a bit difficult out there because the track was really poor, we were sliding so much, and just struggling with the rear tyres especially. That made it difficult out there.”
Asked how it feels to still be the championship leader and to have extended his lead, Rosberg replied: “That [being championship leader] sounds very good but there's a long way to go.
"I'm not thinking about that at the moment, I'm really just taking it race by race, just enjoying the moment, making the most of it and keeping on it.”
“The best example now is Red Bull,” he explained. “The last day of testing was four weeks ago or something or three weeks ago and they were absolutely nowhere and now he [Vettel] was right in the back of me, pushing me [at times today].
"OK, I had some pace in hand so I could beat him in the end clearly but still, the way they've ramped up their pace, is very impressive.
“So, we need to keep on it to keep our advantage.”
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