Nico Rosberg is in feisty mood as the F1 circus heads back into action at this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, insisting that he is ready to take the title fight to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Spa-Francorchamps was, of course, the place where Rosberg's 2014 championship challenge effectively fell apart, despite his coming off better from the controversial clash with Hamilton that left the Briton limping back to the pits with a shredded Pirelli. After post-race 'clear the air' talks culminated with Hamilton revealing that Rosberg had claimed to have instigated the incident as retribution for not being allowed through in Hungary, the Briton had the psychological upper hand and, after capitalising on a Rosberg 'mistake' at Monza, went on a charge that resulted in a second title triumph.
Relations between the two team-mates appear better as they return to the Ardennes locked in battle for a second straight year but, with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel still a potential threat, Rosberg is determined not to allow Hamilton to increase his points lead any further, especially after seeing a chance to close the gap undone by a puncture of his own at the Hungaroring nearly four weeks ago.
“The summer break is a great chance for the team to recharge after a tough start to the year and they definitely deserve it for all the hard work in making the incredible car we've had so far this season,” he admitted, “But, for me, personally, it's time I'd rather be spending in the car…
“Hungary was a big disappointment and I've been itching to get back to racing ever since. When you're in such a close battle for the championship, any opportunity to gain points is crucial and it's up to me to take those chances - but also to make them for myself.
“That's definitely the target for the second half of the year. We're only halfway through the season, so it's all still to play for. Spa is a fantastic circuit - a track that I think every driver enjoys and one that always produces spectacular racing. I'm looking forward to it.”