Nico Rosberg sees better future with Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes
ST MARTIN, Italy // Formula One leader Nico Rosberg expects his rocky relationship with Mercedes’ teammate and title rival Lewis Hamilton to improve despite the rift between them after last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Rosberg won the showcase race on Sunday to retake the championship lead from Hamilton, who suggested the German had used underhand tactics to secure pole position in Saturday qualifying.
Visiting the German football team at their World Cup preparations in Italy yesterday, Rosberg said such disputes between drivers of the same team were nothing new.
“In our sport we can only have success as a team,” Rosberg told a news conference.
“Nothing can happen alone. I make an effort for teamwork and for the atmosphere in the team.
“It is a bit more difficult internally at the moment. But it has happened in the past as well in our sport.”
The Mercedes management have warned both drivers that they must not overstep the mark in an increasingly intense fight for the F1 title between the pair, with the team having won every race so far this year.
“We discuss the issues and we have already discussed them and it will again be better and it will be forgotten,” said Rosberg, who has known Hamilton since they were teammates in go-karts during their teenage years.
Before the German’s second victory of the season, which put him four points clear of 2008 world champion Hamilton after six of the 19 races, his British rival had won four in a row.
Meanwhile, Marussia’s stunning Monaco Grand Prix weekend has put pressure on rivals Sauber, but the Swiss team are confident they will soon be back in front in the constructors standings.
Sauber principal Monisha Kaltenborn said after the team again failed to score their first point of the season that they had just been unlucky. “You could see the cars were in the race, the car was showing good performance,” she said after Germany’s Adrian Sutil and Mexican Esteban Gutierrez both crashed out.
“To lose, or not make use of the chances of actually such sure points in this way, and through such mistakes, is very unfortunate.”
Sutil lost control under braking as he exited the tunnel on Lap 24, smashing into the barriers, while Gutierrez was running in the top 10 when he hit the guardrail and spun at Rascasse, 18 laps from the end.
The Mexican said afterwards, it was “probably the most painful mistake in my career”.
With them out of the way, Marussia’s Jules Bianchi came through from the last row of the grid and, despite two stop-go penalties, took two points – his team’s first in more than four years of trying.
The result catapulted Marussia ahead of Sauber into ninth position overall. Sauber, who use the same Ferrari power unit as Marussia, have had financial problems but are a bigger team and have never scored fewer than five points in a season since they entered the sport in 1993.
“Of course it’s not a comfortable situation. Clearly this has put more pressure on us,” said Kaltenborn.
“I am confident that whatever races are going to come now, with the updates we have and the understanding we have from the car, we will improve.
“But it’s not a nice situation to see. It’s pressure you don’t need.”
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Published: May 27, 2014 04:00 AM