Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix 2015

Formula One: Rosberg sure he can beat Hamilton

Nico Rosberg signing autographs for fans at Suntec City. The German knows he needs to take more risks to close the 53-point gap.
Nico Rosberg signing autographs for fans at Suntec City. The German knows he needs to take more risks to close the 53-point gap.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

German vows to take more risks as he bids to claw back team-mate's hefty advantage

Nico Rosberg has seemingly everything one could want in life. Born to a famous father with a glamorous childhood spent in picturesque Monaco, he is married to a beautiful wife and has a newborn daughter to spoil.

Yet, like all men who crave what they do not possess, dissatisfaction gnaws deep in his bones.

For despite his undoubted talent behind the steering wheel, Rosberg looks set to again play second fiddle to his long-time rival and reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton.

The 30-year-old German, the younger of the two men by five months, is second in this year's drivers' championship but trails his British Mercedes team-mate by 53 points.

A third victory at this weekend's Formula One Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix would see Hamilton, the two-time world champion, extend his lead.


It's not a fair reflection because I had one failure and he didn't. But for sure he's done a better job and deserves to be in front.

NICO ROSBERG on the wide gap between him and championship leader Lewis Hamilton

Rosberg meanwhile, stressed that the gap between them has been exaggerated by his first retirement of the season two weeks ago in Monza, which was won by Hamilton.

"It's not a fair reflection because I had one failure and he didn't," said the popular Silver Arrows driver, who was mobbed by fans during yesterday's meet-and-greet session at Suntec City.

"But for sure he's done a better job and deserves to be in front...

"I don't have a problem with motivation. I'm very motivated as always to come here and win the race."

Rosberg, who entered F1 a year earlier than Hamilton in 2006 but has been playing catch-up ever since, is fooling no one though, noted former F1 driver David Coulthard in his BBC column earlier this month.


You've just got to keep going, to keep learning... strengthen your weak areas, motivate yourself.

MIKA HAKKINEN on perennial bridesmaid Rosberg needing to persevere in his pursuit of team-mate and rival Hamilton 

He wrote: "Having raced for six years as team-mate to (two-time world champion) Mika Hakkinen, I know what it is to be alongside a driver who fundamentally is just that bit faster.

"You are often left short by only a tenth of a second - but you are left short... Rosberg has not been the equal of Hamilton this year, and he knows that."

Veteran F1 columnist David Tremayne also acknowledged Hamilton's edge, saying: "Lewis has the race craft. He knows how to dig something out, to overtake."

What is also undeniable are the numbers that paint a picture of Rosberg, son of 1982 world champion Keke, as the perennial bridesmaid.

Since the start of 2014, he has finished second directly behind his team-mate on 13 occasions. This campaign, he has three race wins to the Briton's seven.

Their record in the Republic is equally lopsided. Hamilton has taken pole three times and twice has converted that into wins (2009 and 2014), while Rosberg has never topped qualifying and his best effort was second in the inaugural edition in 2008.






Said Rosberg: "I don't really think about my or Lewis' record here so much going into the race weekend. He's beaten me and I've beaten him before in qualifying here, so we're quite even... I'm confident of beating Lewis this weekend."

Both men have been in this position before although 12 months ago, the roles were reversed with Rosberg the championship leader and Hamilton in his rear-view mirror.

But Hamilton erased that 22-point deficit with a victory as Rosberg retired after his car suffered an electrical failure and the momentum swing proved decisive, as the Briton won his second title.

Said Rosberg: "Last year, I was the one being chased and when you're in front, you take less risk. Now I need to take more risk...

"My best position has been second so this year I need to do one position better on Sunday."

MediaCorp okto, 6pm & 9.30pm Singtel TV Ch114 & StarHub Ch208, 5.50pm & 9.20pm

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 18, 2015, with the headline 'Rosberg sure he can beat Hamilton'. Print Edition | Subscribe