Nico Rosberg insists his self-belief isn't wavering despite admitting his failure to convert pole position to victory in the German Grand Prix will be particularly painful.
Having seen his long-held lead in the championship standings taken away from him by Hamilton in Hungary, Rosberg was confident of responding immediately at the Hockenheimring after topping all three practice sessions and qualifying on pole position.
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However, a dismal getaway that dropped him to fourth by the opening turn would prelude a frustrating afternoon as set-up woes, a controversial penalty for forcing Max Verstappen off the track and a costly pit-stop issue left him well adrift of the lead fight.
With Hamilton having now won six of the last seven races to recover a 43 point and transform it into a 19 point advantage, though Rosberg admits losing out in Germany after such a strong start to the weekend will hurt, he insists he is not losing momentum in the title fight.
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“I'm very disappointed because I had an awesome qualifying today and I was feeling good with good race pace on Friday. I was really optimistic in thinking I could bring it home, so I'm just very disappointed that everything went wrong.
Indeed, Rosberg is confident he can fight back when the championship resumes after the summer break, declaring his best performances come after difficult moments.
“[However] I have enough evidence from myself to show that I am always strongest after difficult moments, time and time again. So no issues there.”
RACE REPORT – Hamilton romps to another win as Rosberg penalised