Nico Rosberg says he believed that Lewis Hamilton would still win the Monaco GP even after his late pit stop dropped him to third.
Before the restart the German assumed that Hamilton’s fresher tyres would enable him to get by both Sebastian Vettel and himself over the closing laps of the race.
“At that time I still thought Lewis would win,” said Rosberg. “Because coming out with fresh supersofts, [while] we were on stone cold, 40 lap old or whatever hard tyres, which was going to be a massive mission not to hit the wall with after the restart, because it felt treacherous out there. So I still felt he was going to come through, and it was going to be a big battle I thought, and I was sure that he would win it. But f course I went for it, the temperature came back quick, and I could do some good lap times, so I was just pushing.”
Nico admitted that initially he didn’t realise what was going on when Hamilton pitted.
“For me stopping wasn’t really on my mind at all, because it was just a couple of laps to go, so I didn’t consider that at all. I was then very surprised to see the safety car and not see Lewis, it was a big surprise for me, I was like where the hell did he go?
“Then I saw wheelbanging [in my mirrors]. It seemed to be like wheelbanging under a safety car fighting for position behind me, between a Mercedes and a Ferrari. I’m like what the hell is going on there? Until I figured out what was going on.”
He admitted that he had mixed feeling about winning the race through a team mate’s misfortune.
“It’s mixed, it is the way it is. Lewis did a great job, he deserved to win. I’m very well aware of that. I feel for him also, because it’s a horrible way to lose a race like that. On the other side a win is a win, and I’ve learned that in sports it’s such a big factor is luck, and all these things play a role. I’ve learned t just take it, because winning Monaco is winning Monaco, and it’s just awesome.”
Asked about his gracious attitude to his team mate he added: “It’s just how I feel. I have a lot of space for empathy towards him, because I know how horrible the day is for him after such a strong weekend for him, and then to lose it right at the end like that, that really sucks. So I have a lot of capacity for that, so I do feel that.”