Rosberg ‘just needs a tiny bit’ to catch Hamilton

2014 Monaco Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014Nico Rosberg says he’s close to gaining the upper hand on team mate Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton has won the last four races in a row but Rosberg finished two of the last three hot on the tail of the other Mercedes.

“In general it’s been a tough battle up to now and I expect it to continue like that,” he said in the press conference ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.

“Of course now he’s had the result rhythm, you know, in a couple of races. But it’s been very close and I just need a little bit, just need a tiny bit to turn it around and I’ll start trying to do that here in Monaco.”

Rosberg also said he is not concerned that Hamilton has out-qualified him in four of the five races so far. “Of course three of those qualifying [sessions] were in the wet, so in the dry it’s one-one.”

“And it’s supposed to be dry on Saturday so I’m confident I can make it happen so I’m not changing my approach or anything.”

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31 comments on Rosberg ‘just needs a tiny bit’ to catch Hamilton

  1. schooner (@schooner) said on 21st May 2014, 15:00

    I’d love to see Rosberg win in Monaco this weekend, but it’ll be hard not to pick Hamilton in the predictions championship.

  2. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 21st May 2014, 15:01

    Of course three of those qualifying [sessions] were in the wet, so in the dry it’s one-one.

    I just can’t by this argument. There is inevitable that some qualifying sessions and races will be wet during the season. Your team mate also drives in the same conditions and Rosberg had no problems during those wet qualifying sessions, so he has no excuses and must admit that Hamilton is doing a better job. Roberg is getting equal tretament with Hamilton and team lets them race, so Rosberg must work harder than he thought he could and do his utmost to beat his team mate.

    • timi (@timi) said on 21st May 2014, 15:10

      @osvaldas31 The worst thing about that quote is that it’s in the wet where a driver can really make a difference to lap time. He’s almost self-bashing..

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 21st May 2014, 15:35

        I disagree. One of the reasons I dislike wet qualifying and races is that it makes the conditions more variable and therefore more of a crap-shoot. If the track is drying but still damp as the session ends, the lap times are steadily falling, and so it is more a matter of timing and being out on the track at the very very end, moreso than it is about who is a better wet weather driver. When the track is dry a bloke could get pole with minutes to go and not be scooped by someone just because they came out near the end.

        • Matthias (@mattds) said on 21st May 2014, 16:58

          While in general it’s true that timing is important, Rosberg was out on track at the same time as Hamilton and had the same chances. Yet he was outqualified by .3s, .5s and even 1.1s in China. On all three occasions a driver lesser car qualified in front of Rosberg. There’s no way around this, it’s not coincidence, Nico just hasn’t performed well in wet qualifying and as such the 1-1 doesn’t make sense. Wet qualifying is qualifying as well.

          I don’t see how he can believe he “just needs a tiny bit”. He had that bit in Bahrain (also thanks to the SC of course), conditions were ideal. He had the same car on much faster tyres but couldn’t pass Hamilton. Maybe he had the edge over Hamilton in Spain, he certainly had in the last stint, but he couldn’t pull it off.

          And I believe that was Rosberg on his best.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 21st May 2014, 19:27

            @mattds Most of the time NR and LH are so close, be it in practice, qualifying, or the races that for sure he just needs a tiny bit. Would it make sense to you of he said he was way off? I think ‘Rosberg on his best’ is a moving target, as it is for all drivers, and what is done is done and what has happened in the past does not mean it is written in stone that NR will never out qualify or beat LH. Especially so early on in this new chapter in F1. NR (and yes LH) could find things yet that make them even happier with their cars.

          • Matthias (@mattds) said on 21st May 2014, 21:49

            @robbie: Most of the time? I don’t know. Practice doesn’t count as it doesn’t give any decent base for comparison. Qualifying. Well, the three wet qualifyings weren’t that close. Race. Australia no base for comparison, Malaysia and China weren’t close. Spain was the only clean race for both (and without SC to bunch them up) where it was really, really close (outside of the first stint in the Bahrain race – I wouldn’t compare the last stint there as the tyre advantage for Rosberg was so large).

            So less than half the time it has actually been close.
            Moving target… look, I do think Rosberg had good days in Bahrain and Spain. In Bahrain he had such an advantage. And he still couldn’t pull it off.

            Am I saying he will never outqualify or outrace Hamilton? No. Every driver will get beaten by a team mate now and then.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 22nd May 2014, 0:25

            @mattds That’s fair comment. I’m just not prepared at this point to write NR off and hand LH the trophy. Nor have I said that NR will beat LH to the WDC. I’m just willing to give NR some time to answer to LH, and I think that overall they are both obviously using a great car to run away from the rest, and thank goodness NR at least has the potential to give LH a run for his money. I’ll be saying the same thing if LH still heads him by half-season. NR has never been in this situation so let’s give him some time. And…if he doesn’t beat LH to the WDC this year, that’s ok too…there’s no guarantees in racing, and it will be up to NR to learn, rise to the occasion, have another go next year…or not. Maybe he ultimately is not a WDC, but he has to be given all the races for us to see. And I think he will win a WDC if not this year then one day. He’s laying the groundwork with experience as we speak. If LH continues widening the gap, NR will have to deal with that pressure which may help him in the long run. But it would be so great of he could put LH under some pressure. Nothing personal.

    • James (@iamjamm) said on 21st May 2014, 16:03

      There is inevitable that some qualifying sessions and races will be wet during the season. Your team mate also drives in the same conditions and Rosberg had no problems during those wet qualifying sessions, so he has no excuses and must admit that Hamilton is doing a better job

      Not to mention that in both China and Malaysia Hamilton then drove off in to the distance and there was nothing Rosberg could do to catch him. Admittedly Nico had a poor start in China which made his life more difficult, but even so…

    • medman (@medman) said on 23rd May 2014, 17:16

      The part I can’t buy is this…. Nico say he needs “just a tiny bit”. He’s already gotten a huge bit by having Hamilton’s car fail in race one from pole. If it had been Rosberg’s car that failed in the opener in Australia and he had gotten no points, the championship would be 125 points to Hamilton, and Rosberg would have 72 points. Think about that. Lewis has done a phenomenal job overcoming that deficit he was handed straight out of the gate. Rosberg’s already had his luck, he was also lucky his car survived when his front end was hammered by Bottas in China. How much more “little bit” is he expecting? Hamilton is a better qualifier and a better racer. Unless the car lets Lewis down (again), or the team continues to struggle with Lewis’ car in the pits, Rosberg is really up against it.

  3. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 21st May 2014, 15:10

    I know he’s just answering the press questions, but I would have just said: “let’s see”

  4. Jason (@jason12) said on 21st May 2014, 15:17

    So Nico continues to think he’s faster then Lewis in the dry.
    Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  5. Danksa (@danieljaksa) said on 21st May 2014, 15:22

    “I’m not changing my approach or anything.” What the…? I think you should Nico. I’ve picked you to win the last two races. Please, please change your approach and everything!

  6. Tango (@tango) said on 21st May 2014, 15:48

    The thing is, with two stopping 15seconds faster but much,much more dangerous than 1 stopping (Safety car, traffic…), being second on the line may not be too bad for a Mercedes driver willing to take a gamble on an alternative strategy.

  7. James (@iamjamm) said on 21st May 2014, 16:07

    Hamilton has won the last four races in a row but Rosberg finished two of the last three hot on the tail of the other Mercedes.

    You could also say he finished two of the last four nearly 20 seconds behind the other Mercedes…

    Nico may have been faster in Spain and Bahrain, but he didn’t win either race. He needs to translate the advantage (when he has it) in to winning races, otherwise he’s going to struggle to win the championship. The best drivers win races when not at their/the car’s best. We’ll see what happens this weekend.

  8. Jake (@jleigh) said on 21st May 2014, 17:00

    I’m struggling this season. As a Hamilton fan, part of me would like home to win every race by a comfortable margin and take the championship easily, then maybe have some more spectacular races when it’s wrapped up. But as a motor racing fan a part of me wants Rosberg to keep the Championship alive and have great battles such as in Bahrain. Therefore I’m unsure what I would like this weekend. You obviously want your favourite driver to win Monaco, but Hamilton will probably win in Montreal, and then the gap would be at least 17 points, and, with 6 wins in a row it would be pretty hard to see past Hamilton for the Championship. So maybe a Rosberg win in Monaco will be better!

    • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 22nd May 2014, 5:31

      @jleigh I agree with you . That tension in Spain was huge . In Spain, had Lewis locked up one more time , Whew . Bahrain was continuous nail biting . Monaco would be a boring race I suppose with minimal opportunities for passing . Nico is good around here . This is an important race for him .

  9. kbdavies (@kbdavies) said on 21st May 2014, 20:15

    Rosberg had better tyres in Bahrain and Spain,; both with benefit of DRS; and he still could not pass Lewis. In Spain, never got within DRS range until lap 65 of a 66 lap race. He needs a lot more than “just a little bit”. He needs a Lewis DNF as in Melbourne. That’ll suit him just fine. I understand his optimism though.

  10. David BR2 said on 21st May 2014, 22:57

    Rosberg does sound like he’s trying to convince himself first and foremost. The thing is, if the results had all been the other way round, I’m 100% certain Hamilton would have simply said, Nico’s doing a better job, I’m not as fast. Sometimes it’s better to admit the blatantly obvious and work from there. Hamilton will hear this and just think, well I can do more than a ‘little bit more’ and keep ahead.

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