Nico Rosberg insists that he is still in a state of shock at winning his third Monaco Grand Prix on the bounce and, despite the result, admits that the race only served to emphasise the gap between himself and team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
The reigning world champion dominated the early part of the Monaco weekend, and appeared on course for what would have been his fourth win of the season had it not been for a dubious tactical decision from the Mercedes pit-wall. Having run second all afternoon, albeit under pressure from Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, Rosberg was there to pick up the pieces and, with Hamilton returning to the fray behind both German's took another ten-point bite out his championship advantage as the series heads to Canada.
Rosberg, however, is well aware that, with the possible exception of Barcelona, he has yet to match Hamilton over a whole race weekend, and knows the Briton's three-win affinity with the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve could turn the tables back in his favour, but he remains ebullient with twelve rounds remaining after the trans-Atlantic trip.
“I still can't quite believe I was standing on the top step in Monaco for the third time the other week,” the German admitted, “It was all very surreal and I don't think I've ever been so lucky. However, the weekend also showed that I need to raise my game even further in the battle this year.
“I've got the boost of two wins behind me now, there is a long way to go this season and I know there is more to come from me personally, so it's all to play for.”
Last year's Canadian Grand Prix appeared to be another Mercedes benefit until both cars ran into trouble with overheating electrics that forced the shutdown of the MGU-K. While Hamilton was forced into a brake-related DNF, polewinner Rosberg somehow soldiered on, leading for another 40+ laps before salvaging second place behind Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.
With a repeat of the gremlins unlikely this weekend, the German is hoping that he can hang with Hamilton and find an edge that will trim the ten-point gap between them still further.
“Canada was a really difficult race for us last year, but an exciting one too,” he reflected, “Hopefully, we will avoid the traps that caught us out last year and it'll be another good battle for the fans to enjoy.”
Both Mercedes drivers will benefit from fresh power units this weekend as the team looks to put its Monaco error well and truly in the rear-view mirror.