Nico Rosberg took the ninth victory of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS team’s season last weekend in Germany, and arrives at the Hungaroring for the Hungarian Grand Prix fourteen points clear in the championship ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who climbed impressively through the field at Hockenheim to take third after a qualifying crash when his rear brake disc broke.
Rosberg took his fourth victory of the season in Germany to extend his championship lead to fourteen points, and admits it capped off an exceptional couple of weeks for the German. He hopes to continue where he left off at Hockenheim at the Hungaroring this weekend.
“It was an amazing feeling to take a home victory for myself and Mercedes-Benz at Hockenheim,” said Rosberg. “That race and Monaco are the ones I really want to win, so I came into the weekend hoping for a good result and it worked out perfectly. My Silver Arrow was so dominant and I have to thank the team for this fantastic car.
“So many positive things have been happening for me in the last few weeks. Getting married was definitely the best feeling, then with the new contract, the World Cup for Germany and the weekend at Hockenheim. It’s been a very special time for me.
“Now we head to Hungary, which is always a really fun weekend in a lot of different ways. Budapest is a really cool city, with a lot of nice things to do in the evening with all the restaurants on the river. Hopefully we can give everyone back at the factories and here at the circuit something to cheer about as a reward for all their hard work before they go on holiday!”
Team-mate Hamilton had a great fight back through the field in Germany to finish on the podium after starting twentieth. He admits the Hungaroring is special for the Briton, having tasted the champagne of victory four times on a track that really suits his attacking driving style.
“I was very proud that we could put both cars on the podium for Mercedes-Benz in Germany in front of all the Mercedes employees there last weekend,” said Hamilton. “From a personal point of view, I couldn’t be too ecstatic about the race because it was a tough weekend for me and ultimately I lost more points to Nico in the Championship battle. But I had great fun out there and did as good a job as I could.
“The Hungarian Grand Prix is always a special one for me, with four pole positions and four wins from my seven races there so far – including my first victory for Mercedes last season. I don’t really have any secrets there – I’ve just been very fortunate over the years and it’s a circuit I really enjoy. It’s one where you can really attack, which works for an attacking driver like myself, so perhaps it suits my driving style a little bit more than some others. I’ve always had great support there from the fans too, so I’m looking forward to it.
“I’m doing absolutely everything I can to get back on level terms with Nico in the title battle – I can’t focus more or work harder than I am doing right now. This Championship is proving a big challenge for me but that’s how I love it – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Toto Wolff was satisfied with the result in Germany, and is looking for another positive result in Hungary ahead of the mid-season break.
“Our performance at the last race in Germany was very satisfying indeed,” said Wolff. “So many of our board members, colleagues and friends from Stuttgart were there in Hockenheim for the weekend so the pressure was on. We’ve performed well at the other big races for the team in Malaysia and Britain, but this was the pinnacle for us as a home race.
“As our thoughts now turn swiftly to the next race in Hungary, it’s important to recognise the hard work put in by everyone at our factories in Brackley and Brixworth. It’s a tight turnaround between the two races and this will be the final trip before the summer break, so we are pushing flat out to make sure we wrap up the first part of the season on a high.
“It has been a very busy year so far and another strong result would be the right reward for everyone involved before taking a well-earned rest. We had a spectacular race in Hockenheim and Budapest also has real potential to deliver an exciting Sunday afternoon, although overtaking is much more challenging there. The Hungaroring has always seen fantastic levels of support and we are looking forward to putting on a good show for the fans.”
We at The Checkered Flag would like to wish Toto Wolff a speedy recovery after his bicycle crash this week.