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F1 Belgian GP: A bit of luck and Hamilton can still challenge – Rosberg

Nico Rosberg isn't discounting a challenge from back-of-the-grid Lewis Hamilton in Belgium, says rival's penalty doesn't lessen his own pressure
Nico Rosberg insists he won't change his approach coming into the Belgian Grand Prix despite confirmation his title rival Lewis Hamilton will likely start at the back of the grid at Spa-Francorchamps.

With only one win from the last seven races, Rosberg has seen a 43 point advantage turn around into a 19 point deficit as F1 returns to action with Round 13 in Belgium, but the German maintains he isn't dwelling on the swap in fortunes.

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Regardless, Rosberg has already been given a potentially major boost following the confirmation Hamilton will take an engine change penalty this weekend, which guarantees to put him towards the back of the grid.

Despite this, he doesn't regard his rival's lowly starting position as an 'open goal', saying Red Bull still poses a threat. Furthermore, he feels Hamilton can still be played into contention should he come into some 'luck'.

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"It doesn't change the pressure I put myself under this weekend because I would love to have a great weekend and get the best out of it and win the race. I am aware of Lewis' misfortune with the grid penalty and that will make the weekend less difficult for me because he is my direct rival.

“Nevertheless, it will still be a challenge because if we remember a few weeks ago I finished behind the Red Bulls so I still need to beat the opposition and even Lewis you always need to reckon him because with a bit of luck, or safety cars in the right moment there is no reason he can't come very far from back from the grid, especially at a track like this where you can overtake very easily.”

Having started on pole position only to finish fourth at the pre-summer German Grand Prix, Rosberg admits it took time for him to get over the disappointing result on home soil.

“It took a few days to digest Hockenheim as that was a big disappointment but from then on I didn't think about racing. I am back not thinking about past at all, here knowing I have the opportunity to be on pole this weekend and to win the race.”

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by Ollie Barstow



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