Nico Rosberg: “I had to learn from Austin, and I think I achieved that”


The Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS team took their fifteenth win of a dominant 2014 Formula 1 season at Interlagos, with Nico Rosberg leading Lewis Hamilton to the teams’ record breaking eleventh one-two finish of the season, breaking the previous record held by McLaren from back in 1988.

Rosberg took his fifth victory of the season to close the gap to Hamilton to seventeen points, holding off the Briton throughout the race to complete a clean sweep of every session in Brazil, having topped all three practice sessions and qualifying on Friday and Saturday.

The German was naturally delighted to stop his team-mates run of five consecutive race wins, and was also happy to be joined on the podium by Felipe Massa of Williams.

“That was a fantastic weekend and I felt very comfortable over the whole three days,” insisted Rosberg. “I had to learn from Austin, which was a big disappointment, and I think I achieved that. I was able to control the pace a bit better and didn’t let Lewis come too close. He drove really well and was always right there pushing me.

“When he spun I had a bit of time to relax and was able to save some life in the tyres for the end of the stint. That worked out perfectly and it was a great day with another one-two for the team.

“I was also happy for Felipe [Massa] to be on the podium with us at his home race. The Brazilian people have been so great to us throughout this the whole weekend so it was also a good day for them.”

Looking ahead to the season finale in Abu Dhabi in two weeks time, Rosberg acknowledges that he will need some help from either another driver or from a mistake by Hamilton to take the title, with a win not enough if his team-mate finishes second like he did in Brazil.

“Now we have a great finale to look forward to in Abu Dhabi,” insisted Rosberg. “I’m still believing 100 per cent that I can make it but, of course, I will need some help from Felipe or Valtteri [Bottas] or Lewis himself.”

Hamilton bemoaned his mid-race spin that cost him the chance of leapfrogging Rosberg into the lead at the second pit stop, but felt the car was great all afternoon. He was surprised to be kept out on track for an additional lap before his pit stop after being told to push, but admitted it was his own mistake that cost him his opportunity at the win.

“Naturally, you’ll always be disappointed when you make a mistake and I did that today,” reflected Hamilton. “But honestly, I felt great out there. The car was strong, my pace was good, I didn’t give up, kept pushing and made up the time so that’s what’s most important to me.

“Generally, when I’m told to push it means the team is bringing me in that lap so that’s what I did. In the end, they left me out for another lap, which caught me by surprise. By the time I came round to do the second lap my rear tyres were gone from where I’d been pushing so hard. Even so, it was my mistake locking up the rears and ultimately that cost me the win.”

Hamilton acknowledged that his team-mate drove a near-perfect race, without making any mistake to allow the Briton to attempt an overtake like he did in Austin last weekend, although he felt he was the quicker of the two drivers on Sunday.

“Nico drove a great race – defending well and not making any mistakes,” said Hamilton. “But it’s clear I had the pace. It’s not a big deal, though. That’s motor racing. Obviously, I lost some points, which is disappointing. But it’s a great team result with a record-breaking one-two finish and I really enjoyed the race. The car is just fantastic – the best I’ve ever driven – so a big thank you to the team for all their hard work.

“I’ll be pushing just as hard in Abu Dhabi and hopefully we’ll get to have another great race like we saw today.”