Nico Rosberg has said that the time it took him to find a natural rhythm in the United States Grand Prix played a large part in conceding not only victory, but also another seven championship points, to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
The German started from his ninth pole position of the season after producing a lap Hamilton admitted that he could not match in qualifying, but could not shake the Briton in the opening phase of the race. Hamilton, having hacked into a brief two-second deficit, was then able to make a decisive move into turn twelve, before establishing a comfortable cushion to his team-mate.
It's pretty simple that I didn't find my rhythm early on,” Rosberg lamented later, “It took a long time, like all the way until after Lewis passed me. Five or ten laps later, I started to find a better rhythm and then I felt okay – but it was unfortunately just way too late.”
Asked whether he could do anything about Hamilton's move, which came with DRS assistance at the end of the long back straight, Rosberg admitted that the Briton had simply been too good for him at that moment.
“I knew there was a chance that, maybe, he would try or not, so I went kinda halfway defensive, but Lewis just did a good job and that's it,” he said, “I never gave up on the race, of course, and I tried all the way to put pressure on Lewis, to get a bit closer, but it just wasn't possible today.”
Second place – his tenth such result of 2014 – at least ensures that the title fight will go all the way to the final round at the end of the month, but Rosberg now requires some misfortune to befall his team-mate, as being runner-up in both Brazil and Abu Dhabi will suffice for Hamilton to take his second world crown. Knowing that, with a 24-point deficit, nothing will be decided until Yas Marina, however, is enough to ensure that Rosberg retains a degree of optimism.
“That's great to hear, of course, because then there's a definite shot at the championship this year, even with the points that I'm now behind,” he confirmed, “Anyways, there's still Brazil to come so, in Brazil, it's even possible to completely turn it around.
“You never know what will happen there, so I'm sure it will be an exciting end to the season. I hope it's going to be exciting for the fans - that's the most important thing, that we put on a good show, which I think we managed to do today. I look forward to the last two races. With the car that we have, it's awesome, it really is…
“[It will be the] same approach from me: fully committed, full attack, try and be on pole in qualifying and then win Interlagos and that's it. There are still many points to be had and a lot can still happen.”