16 June 2016
F1 European GP: Chasing wins still best approach for Rosberg
Nico Rosberg insists that he is not about to alter his tactics just because Lewis Hamilton has cut his F1 championship lead to nine points.
Nico Rosberg has seen his F1 championship lead slashed by Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton's back-to-back wins in Monaco and Montreal, but insists that he won't be changing his approach to races.
The German had a 43-point cushion over Hamilton heading to Monaco but, unable to better fifth place as the Briton won twice, arrives in Baku for this weekend's Grand Prix of Europe with a much tighter nine-point advantage and the momentum seemingly on the other side of the Mercedes garage. Despite clashing with Hamilton in both Spain and Canada, and having to let the Briton through in Monaco, Rosberg insists that he will continue to attack each race with the same mindset, with the pursuit of victory out-weighing any thought of settling for strong points finishes.
“I haven't been counting points - I wasn't counting before and I haven't been now,” he claimed, “I wanted to win the last couple of races and it didn't work, but now I'm here and I want to win this race. That is the best approach for me to have and, to get the best out of my race weekend, that's the way to do it.
“[Seeing points cushion eradicated] has not been a blow to me because I haven't been thinking that way. What's been a blow has been my results, because I don't like finishing fifth in Montreal…. In terms of results, it's not been going so well lately, but that doesn't change my optimism, my motivation or my feeling of coming here and being excited knowing there will be the opportunity to win - just as there has been on all the previous weekends.”
Rosberg also refused to accept that Lady Luck may have turned her back on the #6 machine as he followed a 100-point haul from the first four races with just 16 from the past three.
“You know what happened, and not much of it has to do with bad luck, not much at all,” he insisted, “It's more down to various circumstances, as you've seen … Understeer is one of them and I don't think that would be bad luck, would it? Lewis had a disastrous start and I had a mediocre one as normal, but then what do I do? I'm on the outside and, if I accept to just let him go through, I know I'm stuck behind him for the race.
“I know it's going to be risky going around the outside, because he knows how to make it difficult. In Barcelona, it worked out really, really well [at turn one] and I tried exactly that thing. He's been having difficulties in starts and first corners lately and it's not been his strength at the moment, so I said 'go for it and give it a shot', but it didn't work out. I can't calculate that I'm going to drop all the way to ninth. I didn't know that, gave it a go and it went wrong because of understeer.”
Despite the setback to his championship aspirations, Rosberg says he ahs no intention of rolling over and allowing Hamilton to complete a hat-trick of titles.
“I don't know why it would be a disservice [to say I've lost momentum],” he questioned, “I've had a not very nice results lately, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm feeling good, excited and the car is awesome. I know I can win this race. It's always going to be a battle with Lewis – that's a given fact – and as I've always said it's never going to be easy against him. I've lost out unfortunately in Montreal and that's it. I'll fight back.”
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