23 August 2015
F1 Belgian Grand Prix: 'Really bad' start compromises Rosberg’s Spa challenge
Nico Rosberg insists poor getaway was not due to new F1 rules: "My job is to do it well and I didn't do the job."
Nico Rosberg has admitted that messing up his start at Spa-Francorchamps cost him any chance of victory in the Belgian Grand Prix.
Starting alongside Mercedes team-mate, and title rival, Lewis Hamilton, the German was dismayed to see not only the Briton pull away from him, but also Sergio Perez and Valtteri Bottas get between them, with Sebastian Vettel taking an early interest in fifth place.
“I just completely messed up the start, which was very annoying – it was really bad so I need to practice that a little more I think,” Rosberg conceded, “I don't know if it was a consequence [of the new rules] but it was a mess for sure. We had to do another formation lap and that always puts more temperature [into the car] and then things change and that caught me out. My job is to do it well and I didn't do the job.”
Mercedes' superiority, and good strategy from the pit-wall, subsequently allowed Rosberg to return to second place, but he admits that, despite closing the gap to the leader, he was never likely to overhaul him.
“I gave it absolutely everything – I mean, we were both on the edge all the way through,” he claimed, “The car was amazing and I have to thank the team again for giving us such a car, but Lewis did a great job and deserved to win. I tried to give it everything, but it was not enough.
“I benefited from the fact that [the cars ahead] weren't racing me really, they were just racing people behind, that I wasn't their opponent and they assumed I was too quick anyway.
“Then I had a clear path in front and chased Lewis down. I was coming closer except for this one phase in the second stint towards the end, when Lewis pulled away, so that definitely cost me a bit. But the option [tyre] felt great again - it was like qualifying every lap trying to hunt Lewis down, but he did a great job and it wasn't enough.”
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