Nico Rosberg: “Today’s race was really tough”


World © Octane Photographic Ltd. Mercedes AMG Petronas W07 Hybrid – Nico Rosberg. Sunday 12th June 2016, F1 Canadian GP Race, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, Canada. Digital Ref :1592LB1D3777

Nico Rosberg finished Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix in a well salvaged fifth place after a touch from Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team-mate Lewis Hamilton off the line, saw him lose out at the start of the race.

The German tried to make a move round the outside of the Brit, who had the racing line, but there was no way through and the two silver arrows cars touched, with Rosberg coming off the worst of the two.

“Starting at the beginning, Lewis had a bad start, mine was decent and Sebastian got a super start. So, I was alongside Lewis and tried around the outside. I had to try the move or accept I’d be behind him. In Barcelona it worked but this time it didn’t. It was a hard manoeuvre from him but that’s racing and I need to do a better job next time.”

The current championship leader did start to make up ground, but an untimely puncture saw him have to make an extra pit stop, which put an end to his challenge for a podium. Rosberg expressed his dismay at the days misfortune.

“I lost a lot of places going down the escape road and that cost me a shot at the race. From there I did my best to fight back and there was a chance of a podium – but then I got the puncture and had to pit again – dammit! I was pushing hard after that to regain the positions but it was a massive mission managing the car with brake warnings coming on and running low on fuel.”

Rosberg made his way back through the field and was in with a shot of fourth, before an error when chasing down Max Verstappen in the Red Bull Racing RB12 in the final few laps saw him spin off the road. The German was disappointed he was unable to finish higher up the order.

“It was a good battle with Max – again, on the limit but good racing. I tried everything to get past him and had a massive spin at the end. On that final lap I just about managed to drag it round for P5 ahead of Kimi, so a disappointing result as our car was awesome today but that’s how it goes sometimes.

“I’ve got two days at home now to get ready and go for it again in Baku.”

After building up a solid lead in the drivers’ championship over team-mate Hamilton at the start of the season, the gap is now down to just nine points. Will the pressure get to Rosberg, or can he maintain the upper hand in the coming races?