Rosberg: I know where I can beat Hamilton

Nico Rosberg in his hometown Monaco

Nico Rosberg in his hometown Monaco

Nico Rosberg says that he feels well equipped for mind games with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, as the two are increasingly likely to spend the rest of the season slugging it out for the 2014 F1 world title.

With Mercedes so far ahead of all their rivals, it is currently Hamilton who has the upper hand, having won the past four grands prix on the trot to Rosberg’s single victory in a race where Hamilton was forced to retire early after starting from pole.

The ‘mind games’ have also started, with the Briton suggesting that he is “hungrier” for victory than Rosberg, due to the German’s more affluent upbringing.

For the moment, Rosberg is unmoved and told the media in Monaco, “Michael Schumacher was incredibly good at these mind games, so it was very interesting for me to learn from him – I learned a great deal. But it’s not yet a psychological war between Lewis and I – it’s more still just out on the track.”

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have been rivals since their early teens

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have been rivals since their early teens

Rosberg said that he feels capable of taking Hamilton on in wheel-to-wheel combat, “Lewis is on a roll, that’s quite clear. There are always times in sports when everything is going one way, but eventually the pendulum swings back in the other direction.”

“I have lost none of my confidence, because I know how fast I was in the last three races. And another thing is that a world championship is all about consistency, and I have always been on the podium this year, which no one else has managed,” Rosberg insisted.

But while it is not yet ‘open war’, it’s also not all hunky-dory behind closed Mercedes doors. For example, Rosberg has admitted that he doesn’t actively try to help Hamilton.

“I wouldn’t go to him and say ‘Look Lewis, this is the best way to go!’ In Barcelona I found the best way to set up the differential, the data was available but he had to try to find it himself,” he explained.

Nico Rosberg during FP2 at Monaco

Nico Rosberg during FP2 at Monaco

Rosberg also said that it is an advantage that he knows Hamilton’s character so well, having raced in karts together since their early teens, “Almost every day I notice something that was just as it was in the past. Lewis’ strengths and weaknesses have not changed. He is incredibly fast on track, but he can snap if something is not quite right for him.”

“I know where I can beat him,” Rosberg added. “Everything is the same [as before], which makes it a bit easier for me.”

But when a karting trophy was the prize, Hamilton won. Rosberg thinks that is irrelevant.

“Formula 1 is more than karting,” he said. “It is far more technical and I am very interested in the setup and analysing the data. For me it’s incredible fun to find advantages over the others like that. Formula 1 is driving, yes, but it’s also thinking.” (GMM)

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