Is Nico Rosberg back in the game?
Nico Rosberg led from start to finish at the Spanish Grand Prix. Will he threaten Lewis Hamilton's title hopes this season?
Hamilton was dictating play earlier
In the first four races, we saw Lewis Hamilton dominate. He out-qualified Nico Rosberg in all those races. Many wondered “does Rosberg have what it takes to beat Hamilton?”.
Rosberg seemed frustrated and first sign of his frustration was seen after the Chinese Grand Prix when Rosberg bemoaned Hamilton’s pace out front which he said “ that he was thinking about himself only and forced me into the battle with Sebastian Vettel”, to which Lewis replied “ I am not racing to look after Nico’s race, it’s not my job”.
But it only takes smallest of margins to turn the table between the Mercedes drivers. Rosberg did just that in Spanish GP, he out qualified his team mate for the very first time this season and that too by 0.41s, he controlled the race on Sunday and had a dominant victory.
Pole position helped Rosberg win races last year
But was that only a rare win or is Nico really back in the title fight? Qualifying on pole was what helped Rosberg maintain his championship challenge last season. Getting that back is key for this season. If he needs to win the championship, he has to keep out qualifying Hamilton just like what he did last year. He has to be ruthless and needs to get into the mind of Lewis. He has to show him that he is not going anywhere and is up there for the fight.
The reaction to Rosberg’s performance also shows just how opinions and comments can affect the title battle.
In the first four races, the focus was on Hamilton’s perfection and how talented he is more than the compromises imposed on Rosberg due to starting behind. In Barcelona, the questions were about what had gone wrong for Lewis that led to Rosberg’s victory.
After four races, there was the danger Rosberg would start believing it. But in Spanish GP, he proved that he didn’t.
Rosberg needs to keep on believing in himself that he can beat Lewis. Pole postion in the Spanish GP must have given him confidence and self belief. But for him to prove he can match hamilton and continue this title fight, he has to keep the momemtum with another pole in Monaco GP.
We just hope that Rosberg can maintain high level and carry the title fight until the last race to make the season interesting for the fans.