Martedì, 22 Agosto, 2017

(Formula One) Rosberg surprised by Hamilton podium

Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP celebrates on the podium during the Formula One Grand Prix of Belgium Dan Istitene Getty Images
Remigio Civitarese | 30 Agosto, 2016, 14:26

The British driver started the race at the 21st position on the grid, after suffering multiple penalties due to various engine failures earlier this season.

Nico Rosberg says he was shocked to see Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton make the Belgian Grand Prix podium and only realised how high up Hamilton was when he checked the results after the race.

"We prepared ourselves in the way we hoped to get some points, but one of my guys took me up to the Paddock Club before the race and I said "I might not finish today", Hamilton revealed after Sunday's eventful grand Prix.

However, a chaotic opening lap and fortunate red flag period helped promote Hamilton to fifth after the opening ten laps, with the triple world champion going on to finish third.

"After the checkered flag, I looked at the results and I knew Daniel [Ricciardo] was behind me, and then I see "HAM" in P3 and I was like, 'What?"

While applauding Hamilton for "a great job to come all the way through", Rosberg also expressed amazement at how far his teammate had progressed. Today I felt that I got back to my comfort level in driving and so I anticipate taking that into the next race. Whereas his teammate and his championship rival Nico Rosberg started the race from pole position.

"[P5 after the red flag] I didn't see", Rosberg said.

Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP celebrates on the podium during the Formula One Grand Prix of Belgium
Dan Istitene Getty Images

He led Hamilton by 43 points following May's Spanish Grand Prix, but has steadily lost ground to his former childhood friend who blitzed to six wins from seven races leading up to the Belgian Grand Prix.

"I'm just focusing on my thing and that's it". I came to the Belgium Grand Prix wanting to win it and the opposition was unusually close this weekend.

"I'm just very happy, an ideal weekend for me". I think collectively as a team we had just the right balance.

"In our race, the medium was the right tyre. It worked out really well".

"I don't think of it [that Hamilton has an advantage] in that sense", said Rosberg. "A change after practice one, a change after practice two, so I had three new engines this weekend".

Rosberg's emphatic victory on Sunday was his first in the classic Belgian race, his sixth of the season and the 20th of his career as he chases after Hamilton and, he hopes, his first drivers' title. "I'd have had an even better summer if I went into the summer knowing I'd come out nine points ahead still after three new engines".

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