London: Mercedes team’s Formula One driver Nico Rosberg has admitted that he doesn’t feel ecstatic about winning races when team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton has been handicapped by unreliability.
After securing his seventh consecutive win with a straightforward victory in Russian Grand Prix on Sunday, Rosberg has opened up a 43-point lead at the top of the world championship.
But while Rosberg has enjoyed a trouble-free start to the new campaign, reigning champion Hamilton, who has previously beaten Rosberg in every season of their three-year partnership, has been waylaid by two engine failures and three separate first-corner collisions.
“I can’t say l miss it fighting with Hamilton because it is awesome to win races and in the end it doesn’t matter how,” Rosberg said.
“Winning is great and what I’m here for. But the ecstatic feeling isn’t there, it’s there when l win a battle with Lewis, that’s what gives the ultimate thrill,” he added.
“A straight fight with Lewis is what l am here for because he’s the benchmark and I look forward to it when it comes.It’s always going to be a tough battle against him because he’s as motivated and as quick as ever.”
Hamilton, meanwhile, defended his Mercedes team but admitted he doesn’t understand why the world champions swapped personnel from one side of their garage to the other during the winter in an apparent bid to improve team harmony.
“From my side of the garage the mechanics are having a hard time. But I have absolutely every bit of confidence and faith in them,” Hamilton said.
“The majority were on Nico’s car last year and Nico’s guys were with me for the last three years since I joined. The team all of a sudden swapped for no apparent reason,” the reigning F1 champion added.