Rosberg's five-win streak no cause for complacency

With five consecutive Formula 1 victories under his belt, Nico Rosberg could be forgiven for thinking that the momentum is firmly with him as he heads to the Chinese Grand Prix.

But the German knows only too well that having a team-mate like Lewis Hamilton leaves no room for complacency – and that he will need to work flat out if he is going to keep up his current form.

In fact, it is not lost on Rosberg that his most recent successes have owed as much to circumstances surrounding the opening laps as they have about his own driving brilliance.

For despite Hamilton taking pole position in Australia and Malaysia, tardy getaways both times triggered the first corner incidents that shuffled him down the order.

But rather than feel relieved that Hamilton's success has been hampered by his start-line woes, Rosberg is mindful that it will not take much for his team-mate to bounce back to form immediately.

“I am not rejoicing in his issues,” explained the German after the Bahrain GP. “I am focused on my job and getting the perfect start as I did today and beating him that way. That is what I am pleased about for now. That is it.

“At the same time Lewis is going to come back as he has been strong in the last two years so that is a definite.”

Hamilton calm

Rosberg's acceptance that Hamilton remains an ever-present threat comes from the confidence the three-time world champion is displaying at the moment.

In times past, it was easy to sense the frustration from Hamilton whenever he lost out to his team-mate, as he sought answers as to what had happened.

This time around – despite that run of five victories for Rosberg – he knows that what happened in Australia and Bahrain was not because he was not driving fast enough: it was because his afternoons were effectively killed off by the time the cars came out of the first corner.

For one thing, he is adamant that race starts are not going to become an Achilles Heel of his campaign. “They won't be….so don't worry it,” he said.

In fact, Hamilton is calm about where he finds himself because he knows he has what it takes to deliver.

“This is a psychological game,” he explained in Bahrain. “It is partly a game, a battle, but I guess with age and experience, I am in the most solid place I have ever been psychologically. And there is very little, if anything, that can penetrate it.

“Nobody likes losing and of course all my guys back at the factory work so hard, my engineers do such a fantastic job, and we could easily have converted [my pole positions] in to a win – which we didn't.

“We all feel the pain jointly together but I said to the guys there is a long way to go. Don't stress. Let's just work as hard as we have been.

“We can't win them all – look at Muhammad Ali and that Rumble in the Jungle. It took the other dude to believe he was winning, and then he didn't.”

On that point the Mercedes drivers agree: Hamilton is not on the ropes yet.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Chinese GP
Track Shanghai International Circuit
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Nico Rosberg
Teams Mercedes
Article type Breaking news