Nico Rosberg insists that he will not be thinking about equalling Ayrton Senna's unique record of four successive Monaco Grand Prix wins when he lines up for the start of practice in the Principality on Thursday.
While both Graham Hill, the original 'Mr Monaco, and Alain Prost achieved hat-tricks in the blue riband event – between 1963-'65 and 1984-'86 respectively – only Senna achieved a quartet of back-to-back wins (as part of a five
-race streak between 1989-93), but Rosberg is poised to join the great Brazilian on that mark if he wins round five of the 2016 F1 world championship this weekend.
The German, who opened the season with three straight wins before a collision with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton ended his run in Barcelona a fortnight ago, has enjoyed especially good fortune in Monaco over the past three years, not least last year when a botched pit-call from the Mercedes team cost Hamilton a second win in the race. Despite heading into the 2016 edition with a hat-trick safely under his belt, however, Rosberg says it is business as usual this weekend, rather than thinking about the chance of making a little bit of history.
“I'm aware of the statistics of course, but it's not something I'm concentrating on – or even thinking about – because, as I've said, even in the last couple of races, what I want to do this weekend is win this race, just because it's Monaco and I love winning here,” the championship leader insisted, “That's it, that's all that I'm thinking about.”
Rosberg was naturally forced to ensure another round of questions following on from the clash with Hamilton in Barcelona and, aside from oddly refusing to reveal whether he and the Briton had talked since that race, also largely dodged the point about whether another victory in Monaco – where Hamilton has tried and failed to win since 2008 – would be a psychological boost in their internal battle.
“It's a great race to win – that's it,” he repeated, “It always gives a positive boost to win this race, for sure. That's like any other race, but this is a bit extra. I love racing here and I would love to win on Sunday...”