The twin Mercedes cars of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have been so dominant this season that even a second-place finish that extended Rosberg’s lead in the Formula 1 world championship standings left them disappointed.
“We need to make sure that we’re bulletproof,” Rosberg said after Daniel Ricciardo passed the crippled Silver Arrow with two laps remaining, to win the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday.
“Having lost the win, that’s very, very disappointing, definitely, and also disappointing for us as a team. We have such speed and such a great car, to not win the race and even just finish with one car and come second is hugely disappointing for us, definitely.
“Our ambition is to finish one-two so we need to make sure that we get back there again [at the] next race in Austria.”
Mercedes had won every race in the series heading into Montreal, with Rosberg posting two victories and four second-place finishes. Hamilton won the other four races, finishing second in Monaco last month; he had engine trouble and did not finish the season opener in Melbourne.
That’s pretty much what it takes to knock the Mercedes off the top spots of the podium, and it happened again this week on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Both Rosberg and Hamilton had the same problem, at about the same time – the midpoint of the 70-lap race. Rosberg said the problem put more pressure on the rear brakes, causing them to overheat.
When Rosberg radioed in for a solution, he was told, “We don’t think we can resolve it.”
“I think it surprised us, yes, because of the pace Mercedes has had all year,” Ricciardo said. “Obviously, I’m still going to take the victory, don’t get me wrong. But they had their issues today, which allowed us to really make an attack.
“But it’s nice that we capitalised on that. I think it would have been disappointing if they had their issues and they were able to still get the best of us.”
The second-place finish – his seventh podium in seven races – gives Rosberg 140 points of a possible 175 on the season; Hamilton is second with 118.
Ricciardo moved into third with 79 after his first career Formula One victory, passing Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso (69 points), and Ricciardo’s Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel, the defending four-time world champion, finished third and is fifth in the standings with 60 points.
“We are fully aware that Red Bull is still an amazingly strong team and pushing like crazy to catch us,” Rosberg said.
“We are well aware of that and we are always concerned and always making sure that our drive remains exactly the same as it was last year when we were half-a-second behind them. We’re really pushing to even extend the gap.” (AFP)