Austin clash may have fuelled Rosberg charge, says Wolff

Nico Rosberg's recent uplift in form could be the result of a new approach that came about after his first corner clash with Lewis Hamilton in Austin, reckons his boss Toto Wolff.

The German's championship hopes ended at the United States Grand Prix, in a race where he was left unhappy that Hamilton had forced him wide at Turn 1.

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff thinks that there has been a new approach from the German in recent races, one that could have been inspired by what happened at the Circuit of the Americas.

"Maybe. It is a personal guess," explained Wolff. "Maybe a different proactive dynamic approach. But I don't know…"

He added: "I think both drivers know what we expect of them and the responsibility they have towards the team. It is about positioning yourself in the right now. That is not only on-track, it is off-track also in having the right attitude.

"But I would say fundamentally, if you look at Austin, or look at Mexico, or look at Brazil, it was [Rosberg's] sheer pace that decided the race. And at the end it all comes down to the stop watch. If you are the quicker guy out there, you qualify on pole and you win the race."

No compromise

Wolff suggests that Rosberg has learned better not to let himself become a hostage to Hamilton at the start by being on the outside at first corners.

"I have said that he was driving in anger," he said. "I am not sure I am right, it is just what I think. But I could be wrong.

"Nico is still developing as a racing driver and all those Turn 1 incidents had a pretty similar pattern, of where you position yourself with the car and you can see that.

"If you are the outside car, you just need to give up, you see that in many races."

Rosberg's class on clear display

Despite suggesting that Rosberg had changed his approach, Wolff said there was no firm explanation of why Hamilton has not been able to respond.

"I think racing drivers are a different kind of species. I have no explanation for you.

"You could say that Lewis won it all, he has achieved his target. The adrenaline is maybe not as high as it was before, and Nico is driving without pressure. But I am not sure they know.

"Both of them will spend time over the winter reflecting what happened at the end. One important thing is, you can see [Rosberg's] class now.

"And we have always tried to say that Nico's class and performance is important to make Lewis perform as he did, and to make the car faster and the team to progress.

"Mexico and Brazil were good examples of that class."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Brazilian GP
Track Interlagos
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Nico Rosberg
Teams Mercedes
Article type Breaking news