Nico Rosberg said today that Lewis Hamilton’s Spa grid penalty has not put him under any more pressure to make the most of the World Champion’s bad luck.
Hamilton is set to start close to or at the back of the grid after taking new power unit elements, potentially leaving the way clear for Rosberg to bag maximum points – but the German says that nothing can be taken for granted.
“It doesn’t change the pressure that I would put myself under this weekend,” he insisted. “Because I would love to have a great weekend, and get the best out of it and win the race. Of course I’m aware of Lewis’s misfortune of having to get the grid penalty, and that’s going to make the weekend less difficult for me for sure, because he is my direct biggest rival.
“Nevertheless it’s still going to be a challenge, because if we remember four weeks ago I finished behind two Red Bulls. So I still need to beat all the opposition, and even Lewis, you always need to reckon even with him, because with a bit of luck and safety cars at the right moment there’s no reason why he can’t come very far back through the grid, especially on a track like here where you can overtake very easily.”
Rosberg says he can’t take any solace from the prospect of the Red Bulls or others taking points off Hamilton.
“No, because I don’t look at points and I would just like to win the race, and the Red Bulls being stronger is going to be a bigger challenge this weekend to try and win the race here, and that’s how my thinking goes.”
Rosberg says he has returned to action this weekend fully refreshed after the break.
“I was training a lot, so it was a unique opportunity to actually raise the fitness level in the middle of he season, so I made the most of that. I even enjoyed that, so I was pushing hard on that. And of course no racing, so the rest of the time was just free time with my family. It was amazing, very lucky to spend so much free time with my little daughter and my wife. I really made the most of it.
“It took a few days to digest Hockenheim for sure, because that was a big disappointment. But from then on I didn’t think about racing. I was just loving the time, I had an awesome time down there. Now I’m back today not thinking about the past at all, just here knowing that I have the opportunity to be on pole this weekend, and to win the race. I’m looking forward to that challenge, focussing, and I want to get that.”