Formula 1

Nico Rosberg: “I’m not backing down in my fight for the championship”

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Nico Rosberg insists he has not given up on taking the championship despite falling 48 points behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton with only five rounds of the season remaining.

The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS driver is taking the positives from his second place finish at the Japanese Grand Prix two weeks ago, and still believes he has what it takes to be able to claim his first World Championship despite the odds being stacked against him.

“Once I got back from Japan, I was able to focus on the positive elements from my weekend in Suzuka: pole position, the on-track pass on [Valtteri] Bottas and then having the speed to undercut [Sebastian] Vettel’s Ferrari at the second pit-stop,” said Rosberg.

“I’m not backing down in my fight for the championship and gaining those positions back fair and square showed that. We have five races to go and, although the championship gap to Lewis is quite big, in my mind it’s definitely not over yet.

“The way the whole team has performed this year – from the factories to the garage – has been just incredible and I have the car I need to get back to the top step.”

Despite seeing his chances of a victory end in a plume of tyre smoke a year ago when he locked up heading into turn two and flat-spotting his tyres, Rosberg enjoyed his first Russian Grand Prix experience, especially after making the next set of Pirelli tyres work for the remainder of the race to climb back into second position.

“I really enjoyed our first trip to Russia last year and it was an awesome weekend for the team – one that I will always remember after seeing all the hard work they’ve put in during my time here,” said Rosberg.

“So, I’m aiming to put all those tools they’ve given me to good use and bring home a top result.”

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