The Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS team will arrive at Monza this weekend for the Italian Grand Prix with the desire to put the clash between the two drivers at Spa-Francorchamps firmly behind them so that Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton can focus purely on their driving and on their championship battle.
Rosberg heads into Italy having increased his championship lead after taking advantage of Hamilton’s retirement by finishing second in Belgium. He remains focused on the job in hand, aiming to take as many points as he can in the remaining seven rounds of the season, starting this weekend at Monza.
“Monza is a circuit I really enjoy going to,” insists Rosberg. “Firstly, the history of the place is fantastic and then there’s the fans – the Tifosi – who make an incredible atmosphere. I’ve not had much luck at this race in the past – 2011 in particular where I didn’t even make it past the first corner! But this year things are different.
“We have a great car and with the Mercedes-Benz Hybrid Power Unit behind us I feel confident we can get a really great result. It’s still all to play for in the Championship and with the double points race in Abu Dhabi anything can still happen. I’m focused on taking the maximum points possible in the remaining seven races and I know the team is too – starting with a top result this weekend.”
Team-mate Hamilton will want to fight-back at Monza to close the gap in the championship to Rosberg. He has special memories of the Italian track, having won their back in 2012, and wants to add a victory in 2014 to his résumé so to reduce the 29-point gap.
“The Italian Grand Prix is always a special one for me in terms of the memories I have there – going right back to my early career,” said Hamilton. “The karting championships used to race in Italy quite often and it’s also where I met Nico – so that’s where our rivalry really began.
“Monza is such a historic circuit and to win there is a really special feeling. I had that experience in 2012 and I’d love to do it again in 2014. Last season we really struggled at this race – but we have a fantastic car this year and I’m confident we can make up for it this time around. One thing I always love about racing at Monza is the fans. They’re just so passionate about motorsport and the buzz around the place is unbelievable – particularly on the podium. Hopefully we can reward them with some exciting racing.
“My aim for the weekend, of course, is to claw back the gap in the Drivers’ Championship. It’s as big as it’s been all season so I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me – but anything can happen in this sport. I won’t give up until the flag drops in Abu Dhabi and there’s still plenty of points to be won before then, so it’s far from over yet.”