Rosberg and Hamilton oozing confidence ahead of Malaysian Grand Prix weekend

Formula One Testing, Jerez, Spain, Day One, Tuesday 28 January 2014.

A beaming Nico Rosberg predicted that he and Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton will be battling for victory in Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix with their swift adaptation to the new regulations leaving the opposition trailing.

The German driver overtook pole sitter Hamilton before the first turn of the season-opening race in Melbourne two weeks ago to go on and grab the first chequered flag of the V6 turbo era.

With little time for their rivals to employ significant upgrades, Rosberg was quietly confident that his fifth career victory could come in Malaysia on Sunday.

“The chances are that we will be right at the front it seems we already have a bit of an advantage over the other people,” the German told reporters at the Sepang Circuit on Thursday.

Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday 16 March 2014

“Of course Melbourne is not a bench mark as a race so we should be cautious with that but we are looking good, so for sure it will be possible to get a great result here.”

The technical changes introduced for the 2014 season are the biggest most of the sport’s engineers and mechanics have ever seen, with new quieter engines, energy recovery systems and an emphasis on fuel economy as the sport embraces a ‘green revolution’.

After four consecutive world titles for Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, the last coming after the German won nine straight races, the new changes have levelled the playing field and unsurprisingly Rosberg was all for it.

“I think its been all good for F1, it has changed the pecking order around, which is definitely good for everybody after the same guy winning last year. We needed a bit of a change on that so that’s been good,” he said.

Mercedes Nico Rosberg Melbourne win celebrate

“Its been a fantastic start to the season. I think the whole team has done a great job with these new regulations with the car and engine and the power trend they have built.

“We looked to be the quickest at the moment which is fantastic but then we must be careful with that and the opposition is not asleep and they are pushing like crazy.”

Despite the strength of the car, Hamilton encountered engine problems in Melbourne and was told to retire by the team over the radio, on his third lap.

The Briton told reporters at Sepang he would be using the same engine in Malaysia and stressed the importance of reliability, especially in the testing conditions in Sepang where temperatures are high and the humidity heavy.

“Reliability is going to be put to the real test because it’s so hot the engine is going to be on the absolute limit and I really don’t know how big the advantage is going to be,” the 2008 world champion said.

Hamilton Melbourne Day 1 2014 Australian Grand Prix Mercedes

“When you lose 25 points that’s a serious deficit to catch up and from one DNF (did not finish) you can gain a large amount. I hope for our team that we don’t have anymore DNFs this year.”

Despite the stuttering start to the season, Hamilton shared Rosberg’s confidence in the car and said it was important the team made the most of their advantage before the grid inevitably made up the time over the course of the season.

“Everyone else is pushing massively hard to catch us up and we can definitely not sit back and relax we have got to keep pushing and keep trying to develop the car,” the Briton said.

“We’ve got to try and capitalise as much as we can, I tried to do that in the last race and I will try and do that from moving forward. We should be strong this weekend.” (Reuters)

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  • RBC

    Where are those people who said Lewis was crazy to go to Merc? Awful silent now. That includes you Ron Dennis.

  • =El Presidente=

    Actually, ron Dennis has already stated that with a renewed form they might be able to lure him back..

  • RBC

    Yeah but he said Lewis was a fool for leaving, and he never retracted that. He never said “I was wrong, Lewis was a genius for leaving.”

  • farizY

    Who knows,2014 might be the Mercedes boys year. Good for them.
    Don’t win too much like Vettel though, otherwise “fans” will think it is boring.

  • shivang

    Why would he say such a thing!? daft bimbo…he’s the team principal of the team for gods sake…why would he say that leaving his team was a masterstroke..!!

  • RBC

    It’s called honesty. It’s a quality good people possess.

  • =El Presidente=

    yes , and it is a quality that is never shown in PRstatements/interviews.

    He knows that, but he’s not going to say that. It is like RB.. they know they are strechting the truth to their own standards, but they will never admit that in public.

    Honesty has little place in modern F1. It is not racing, it is entertainment-business, those two are not to be confused. 😉