Nico Rosberg said qualifying second and suffering a poor getaway ultimately scuppered his chances to beat Lewis Hamilton to victory in the Spanish Grand Prix as he ceded the F1 championship lead to his Mercedes team-mate for the first time this year.

With Mercedes' sheer dominance during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend leaving little doubt that the race would come down to a two-way dice between Rosberg and Hamilton, the start was always likely to prove crucial.

As it happens, Rosberg would get away relatively poorly, coming through the first turns fending off Valtteri Bottas, rather than challenging Hamilton ahead.

From here, Rosberg settled in behind Hamilton and despite his best efforts to overhaul his team-mate by switching to an alternative strategy, one that would see him make good in-roads in the final laps, he would run out of time to pass.

However, while Rosberg was encouraged by his raw race pace, he is convinced his chances for victory had evaporated just seconds into the race.

"The race was lost in qualifying and the start. Those were the two opportunities I had. Qualifying was close and then I had a poor start, so those were the two shots I had and it didn't work out. I nearly got another opportunity at the end and I just needed one more lap to have a go at.

"In the race I felt comfortable, the race pace was good. The best thing to do was switch strategies, which was planned before the race. It worked out perfectly, but this is a really difficult track to get close to the guy in front. I still got close in the last lap and around turn ten I could have gone for a kamikaze move, but it wouldn't have worked.

"There are a lot of positives to take out of the weekend, I am fully motivated to try and get a little bit extra and to edge him out next time.

Reflecting on his poor start, Rosberg admits it is an area where he must improve upon in order to put himself in a better race situation.

"The start was poor. It is a bit of a weakness I have at the moment because it's inconsistent. I have had three bad starts in a row, which is costly, because always losing out at the start is not good and I need to work on that."


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment