Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Shanghai International Circuit, 2016

Rosberg expects Hamilton to recover from “messy start”

2016 Russian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Nico Rosberg says he expects Lewis Hamilton to bounce back from his troubled start to 2016.

Rosberg, who leads the standings by 36 points, said Hamilton’s problems have played into his hands.

“I’ve been driving really well but my opposition had a really messy start – that’s the reality of it,” he said during today’s press conference. “I expect my competition to bounce back, especially Lewis. There’s still a massively long way to go.”

Rosberg said he was “realistic” about his championship prospects and warned Mercedes’ rivals Ferrari still have unrealised potential.

“Ferrari, among others, haven’t really shown what they can do yet,” he said. “They’ve taken each other in the last race at the first corner, for example. From then it was very messy.”

“A lot of things are going wrong and we think they’re a lot quicker than they’ve shown. We think they are very, very close to us.”

Rosberg started last year’s Russian Grand Prix from pole position but dropped out early in the running, leaving Hamilton to score his second victory at the track.

“I was looking good all weekend last year until a technical problem put me out of the race and I had great fun fighting from the back the year before, so I know I’m competitive at this track,” he said.

2016 Russian Grand Prix

Browse all Russian Grand Prix articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

10 comments on “Rosberg expects Hamilton to recover from “messy start””

  1. You really have to agree with Rosberg on that. Sure, he is driving really well recently, winning races and there is not much he could have done better so far this year. But if not for the issues for Hamilton and the Ferrari’s he would surely have had to fight a lot harder than he has had to so far.

    Overall, its a great prospect to see this play out for the rest of the season. The faster driver with a handicap, with both Ferrari and Red Bull close enough to keep both from slacking.

  2. I’m a massive Hamilton fan but in a way I hope Hamilton has massive bad luck and Rosberg wins it by default. He’s not a bad guy at all tbh.

  3. Well, one race is luck, two is good strike, three is extatic… But six in a row is statistically significent.

    And he can say what he wants, season couldnt have been better from his side. He is delivering, on start on track, on podium.

    If anything Hamilton is underperforming.

    Just saw Alonso interview with Brundle, where he flat out says he is the best, with tears in his eye, conviction in his voice, his demeanor shaking with passion and desire. A man burning with desire to win.

    Lewis right now is chilling, if Alonso desire is a 10 Lewis is a 4…

    Meanwhile Nico is giving iz everything. Maybe Lewis has the edge on talent, but that edge will need historically unrivaled results to come back from this.

    1. Lewis is the (slightly) faster driver, Nico is more cerebral and will last better is an adverse situation.
      If issues continue with the Mercedes cars (mecanicaly and strategicaly), i see Nico coming on top. But Lewis is a mighty driver when the car and strategy is there.
      Lewis claims to be more composed this year but only time will tell.

      Also i do not understand Mercedes decision in the last race to keep Lewis on the Mediums. Give the man the faster tire, even if it means on more stop. He can make the 25 seconds in 15 laps if he does not get stuck behind another car because the medium only gives him 1sec/lap performance advantage; that is not enough to overtake a slower car.

      1. @ianbond001

        I don’t buy into this ‘cerebral’ driver slant. Sure Rosberg can speak more languages, probably understand the engineering better and sit them down for a Mensa test probably score higher. But none of those measures of intelligence matter when in the car on the track. Hamilton has shown against Rosberg consistently he can use less fuel, tyres, has the edge in speed as well as both attacking and defensive driving. None of the types of intelligence that are required to do those things may come across in an interview but as a racing driver Hamilton does have the intelligence where it counts. It actually irks me slightly when people call it natural ability, or instinct. There’s nothing natural or instinctive about it, they’re learned skills.

        When Rosberg has beaten Hamilton it’s either been from benefiting from his bad luck, or just purely beating him on merit by being faster when it matters. I’ve not seen any ‘cerebral’ tactics or strategy, he’s just been faster. The most cunning thing I can ever recall him doing was Monaco ’14.

        1. What i meant by “cerebra”, was, when they had issues, Rosberg was more likely to work through them and bring the car to the end of the race. While Lewis is more impulsive and does not have the same “patience”.
          In Canada, 2 years ago, both had rear brake issues, and Lewis retired while Nico finished. We’ll never know how bad the issue was for either of them.
          At Spa, after Nico hit him and he had the puncture, he should have driven slower, take another 25sec to get to the pit not to damage the car too much. He rushed through it, damaged the floor, and then he was slower in the race. With that car in better condition he could have easily got back into the points.
          In AbuDouble, although “terminal” it looked like Nico would have gone out of the car and pushed.
          In Russia last year Nico was like “anything i can do to finish the race”?
          It is just my feeling that if they hit some issues with the car, Rosberg would cope better.
          Al this is academic of course, for now, since the trouble has been mainly on Lewis’s car.

  4. “my opposition”… Curious choice of words… Why not ‘Lewis’, or ‘the opposition’?

    1. Because “the opposition” includes Ferrari and Vettel.

    2. I found the expression strange too (my opposition, my competition). It’s like after just 3 races all the other drivers exist only to race against him. Which suggests he’s a touch over-confident. Though I think he may well get this race too.

      1. I think NR couldn’t have been more diplomatic, as he has been all season, so I’m surprised anyone has found anything negative in his wording and demeanour. He totally has everything in perspective and is taking nothing for granted. He will be challenged this season and he knows it. He has had some luck but that is nothing he could affect, and from his end he has just gone ahead and done the only thing in his control…brought the car home in first. He’s not going to win every race this season.

Comments are closed.