Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton’s post Massa nemesis, has been popping up around the F1 circuit this year – and is offering fascinating insights into the mental state of the current world champion.
Yet to win a race this year, Rosberg told Brazilian publication Globo that, Hamilton appeared to be “suffering” during the Chinese GP and at a loss to know how to solve the problems he was facing.
Mercedes look to have big trouble with their 2018 car. In China – a circuit where they have dominated for 6 years, Red Bull and Ferrari were quicker on race pace and Ferrari dominated qualifying.
Hamilton has been known to have big mood swings – depending on how his season is progressing. Rosberg reveals, “It’s a typical Lewis phase, when things do not work out just right, he starts to lose his head a little and loses motivation which causes him to struggle further for a while.”
But Rosberg believes Sebastian Vettel missed a big opportunity in China – one he may live to regret.
“Usually Lewis struggles like this for 1, 2or 3 races, and at these races his opponents should maximise their opportunities. Sebastian did not do that.”
Hamilton qualified pole at last year’s race in Baku, but that’s as good as it has been for him at the street circuit in Azrerbaijan. Lewis has never made the podium in Baku and of course in 2017 it was Daniel Ricciardo who stood on the top step, whilst Lewis was P5.
Looking at the tyre selections, it’s difficult to know whether Mercedes have chosen well or not. Ferrari have a more aggressive selection of quicker tyres available over Lewis, but given Mercedes’ narrow tyre temperatures operating window, it could all be down to whether the weather is good to the silver arrows – and whether an optimistic Lewis arrives for the race weekend.