Rosberg claims ‘nothing has changed’ despite his pole position

Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany attends a news conference ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, near Barcelona, Spain, May 7, 2015. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany attends a news conference ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, near Barcelona, Spain, May 7, 2015. REUTERS/Albert Gea

“Broken”, “mentally defeated” and “dominated.” All observations made about Nico Rosberg by pundits looking at the first four races of the 2015 season.

Yet following a couple of spark infused overtaking manoeuvres in Bahrain, these same commentators now are lauding Nico for demonstrating “aggression”, “skill”, “commitment” and “bravery.” Martin Brundle of SKY F1 even today described Rosberg’s drive in Bahrain as – “world class.”

Yesterday Rachael Brooks of SKY was critical of the German driver because she wasn’t seeing any “spirit” or “fight” from him, during the round of driver media events.

Of course today Rosberg drove not one but two laps good enough to beat the rest of the field, but Nico maintains nothing changed for Bahrain and he approaches each race weekend with a consistent approach and a desire to win.

“I didn’t do anything differently in Bahrain. I always try and drive aggressively and push. It was just the situation that made it look different to the outside because I was able to overtake.

I’m also not planning to change anything for this race here.”

Hamilton and Rosberg are chalk and cheese. In the same way Senna and Prost’s personalities differed. Rosberg doesn’t do ecstasy and extended displays of high or low emotion. In fact there are those close to him who joke he is like the flat-line trace on a heart monitor following someone’s death.

This difference translates into the way both Mercedes approach a race weekend and even their driving styles on track.

Hamilton can be inspired to unbelievable performances as was Senna who described the 1988 Monaco GP as follows. I was going faster and faster. One lap after the other, quicker and quicker – suddenly I was nearly two seconds faster than anybody else, including my teammate with the same car. And suddenly I realised I was no longer driving the car consciously, I was driving it by a kind of instinct, only I was in a different dimension… I was way over the limit but still able to find even more…”

Rosberg is more like Prost. Trying to assimilate every detail, apply himself in the pursuit of perfection, which is the reason his engineers believe his one lap performances in 2014 handed him the beating of Hamilton.

So it is to be expected that Rosberg announced today that, ‘nothing has changed.’ Why would it?

His approach to racing a Formula One car relies on him being intensely focused and not unduly emotional whether things are going his way or not.

Ferrari have apparently failed to close the gap to Mercedes in Barcelona having ‘thrown the kitchen sink and bathroom door’ at the task – a metaphor used by one paddock writer.

So given Mercedes dominance, fans of racing need Rosberg to approach the remainder of the season as Niki Lauda claims he did. Nico must ignore it when Hamilton is untouchable at the circuits he favours and enjoys, and maximise his own opportunities week in and week out.

Rosberg missed out in Bahrain, the first of the tracks where Hamilton has not historically been at his best. Spain is another circuit Lewis has not excelled at, but the job is half done so far.

‘Nothing has changed’ is the right approach for Rosberg’s preparation. Though a win tomorrow is important if he is to begin proving his ‘Prost-ness’ can compete with Hamilton’s ‘Senna’.

20 responses to “Rosberg claims ‘nothing has changed’ despite his pole position

  1. Really hope he gives Lewis a good battle.

    All his bravery and fighting spirit was demonstrated against the inferior Ferrari in Bahrain. Let’s see him really scrap with his team-mate in equal cars tomorrow and he can throw off the ‘broken tag’ and make this season as tense as last season.

  2. Nico is playing his cards fairly close to his chest… instead of being explicit or candid. But he did say earlier that he learned from Bahrain to change his approach to qualifying, and how he uses his tires in qualifying. Which he did, and he executed it successfully today, to his credit.

    People (who should know better) were saying that Nico that is defeated, blah, blah, blah, but I’ve always thought have completely missed the boat on reading him.

    Both Nico and Lewis are very studious practitioners of their craft. They both study, and analyze, and plan. They both work to use the resources of the team to maximum advantage. And they both work hard to learn from each other.

    Consequently, Hamilton has upped his qualifying performances, in part because he was able to study Rosberg’s earlier qualifying performances to a detail that none of us will ever be able to see (or understand). Likewise, for example, Rosberg studied Hamilton’s 2014 race performance at Bahrain, and applied what he learned to passing Ferrari cars at Bahrain in 2015.

    In other words, both of these guys have become ‘Prost’ or ‘Lauda’ in how they approach their craft, and they’re the better for it.

    • Well to be honest, passing the slower Ferrari’s in Bahrain at the end of a long DRS zone along with being in the faster car and tires that were one lap fresher than they had, didn’t really require studying what happened there last season.

      • What was brilliant about Hamilton’s 2014 Bahrain passes of Nico was how expertly he placed his car in the turn to reduce the ability of his opponent to counter-attack at the following straight and/or turn.

        Bahrain’s lay-out enables two cars to carry a battle across a series of turns, so that was critical for Lewis to do so, and experts it was Lewis provided textbook examples of how to do that.

        That is why experts were so impressed by Nico’s 2015 performance, because he successfully emulated the techniques that Lewis had used in 2014 there. Nico said that he had studied that aspect of Lewis’ 2014 Bahrain performance.

  3. “Rosberg doesn’t do ecstasy and extended displays of high or low emotion. In fact there are those close to him who joke he is like the flat-line trace on a heart monitor following someone’s death.”…..

    Is that the same person who has been walking around looking dejected so far this season? Is this the same person who made that public outburst in China? The same person who felt the need to address a fan on his video blog because they said something on Twitter?…… Oh gimme a break, Nico is just as fallible as any other driver on the grid and he shows that a lot.

      • Just pointing out the flaw in that statement, because it seems like we’ve been all watching a different F1 so far this year.

        Nico has been a miserable sod at times this season, so I can’t see how that statement of yours makes any sense. So far he has blamed his shortcomings on everyone but himself. And he has looked very ‘stoned face’ at times as well.

        • You certainly have been watching a different F1 to anyone else, because yours seems to have the son of god on the grid.

          • I thought the ‘son of God’ had moved to Ferrari? I mean why else would we be getting so many Ferrari articles when you post the DN&C.

            But I’d expect a comment like that from you anyways, so I’m not really surprised….

          • Fortis, those Ferrari articles you are referring to were written by a staunch Hamilton fan and Ferrari/Vettel hater.

  4. “Rosberg is more like Prost. ”

    Glad you went in there. Rosberg’s Monaco incident in 2014 smells just as fishy as Prost’s Suzuka chicane incident in 1989…

  5. These Prost Rosberg and Senna Hamilton comparisons really really have to stop!!! They can be their own drivers and certainly neither can emulate Alain and Ayrton.

  6. I don’t get why every team mate battle has to be compared to s enna vs prost. Just think of them as Nico vs Lewis. Both of them are prone to emotional nonsense. Nicos bring it on to Ferrari is a good enough example as are his other press con nonsense.

  7. I was interested in the observation: “Hamilton and Rosberg are chalk and cheese…… Rosberg doesn’t do ecstasy….” Or am I reading that wrong ? 🙂

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