Formula 1

Nico Rosberg: “Lewis was quicker today”

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Although the thoughts of both Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS drivers were with Jules Bianchi after the Japanese Grand Prix, the team finished first and second for the eighth time in 2014, and extended their championship lead.

Lewis Hamilton took the victory ahead of Nico Rosberg, but a subdued Briton was not in celebratory mood due to Bianchi’s incident. He felt he had more pace than his team-mate throughout the race at Suzuka, and made a good pass using DRS down the front straight before pulling away to win.

“Our first thoughts go to Jules – it overshadows everything else when one of our colleagues is injured and we are praying for him,” insisted Hamilton. “Next to this, the race result doesn’t seem significant at all.

“Nico and I had a tough battle, we were pushing really hard. I had a big moment at Turn One when I was too late getting off the DRS as I was just pushing so hard but fortunately I was able to get back on track. The conditions were difficult throughout but I had more pace than Nico today and could follow him quite comfortably in the early stages.

“This is not an easy circuit for following another car or for overtaking, but he made a mistake out of the last corner and I was able to pass. The whole approach then needed to change to look after the tyres and make sure I stayed in the lead until the end of the race.

“But like I said, that’s not what matters today; our thoughts are with Jules.”

Team-mate Rosberg echoed the sentiments of Hamilton over Bianchi, but believed the Briton was faster on the day than him, and that it was damage limitation to only drop seven points in the championship.

“My thoughts are with our colleague Jules and his family and team-mates, and we are hoping for some positive news,” said Rosberg.

“Today was a really tough race with the wet conditions. I struggled a lot with the balance of my car on the intermediate tyres, so I had to push hard to keep Lewis behind me.

“I had a lot of oversteering, which is why the rear end of my car was very nervous. That was really strange and I didn’t have the necessary confidence in the corners; we need to look into that in the next few days. It meant that Lewis was quicker today and deserved the win.

“It was damage limitation with losing only seven points to him. For the team it was a good result with another1-2.”

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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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