Nico Rosberg: “The penalty made it impossible to beat the Red Bulls”

Nico Rosberg - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Nico Rosberg reflected on a difficult day at the office at the Hockenheimring after a lacklustre start and a penalty for forcing Max Verstappen off the track left him floundering down in fourth position to lose further ground to Lewis Hamilton in the championship standings.

The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS driver dropped to fourth at the start, losing ground to Hamilton and to the Red Bull Racing duo of Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, and spent the majority of the first half of the race looking at the back of the Australian.

But after his second pit stop, Rosberg made gains and challenged Verstappen for position at the hairpin, only to force the Dutchman off the track, resulting in a five second time penalty for him in his final pit stop.

“It was a difficult and disappointing day for me,” said Rosberg. “I had a lot of wheel spin at the start. That was strange, because my start during the formation lap was good.

“That cost me the lead and then the next two places as well, which meant it was always going to be a difficult race from there. I was happy to fight back to P2 after a tough battle with Max and was very surprised that I got penalised.

“We also lost a lot of time in the pits, so a lot of things went wrong today. But that didn’t count really at the end. The penalty made it impossible to beat the Red Bulls.”

Rosberg admitted to feeling uncomfortable driving the W07 Hybrid this weekend compared to recent races, and is looking to find out the reasons why, and is eager to come back after the summer break ready to take the challenge to team-mate Hamilton, who now sits nineteen points ahead in the standings.

“In general, I didn’t feel as comfortable in the car as I have done in the past – especially with the rear tyres,” said Rosberg. “I had some problems with them today, so I need to get my head down and find out with my engineers what went wrong.

“I look forward to the summer break now and want to come back stronger. I hope everybody in the team can charge the batteries. It’s very well-deserved.”