Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014

Rosberg ‘needed one more lap to pass Hamilton’

2014 Spanish Grand Prix

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014Nico Rosberg believes he could have passed his team mate to win the Spanish Grand Prix had the race gone on one lap longer.

Rosberg was six-tenths of a second behind Lewis Hamilton at the chequered flag.

Asked during the podium ceremony how many laps he would have needed to pass the other Mercedes, Rosberg said: “I think one more, to be honest.”

“One more and I could have given it a good go. I wasn’t close enough to give it a go there, but next lap I would have, but unfortunately that was it.

“So a bit gutted. But still, second place, still close to the championship, and many more races to go anyways.”

Hamilton admitted his team mate had been quicker during the race: “I wasn’t fast enough really today, Nico was quicker,” he said.

“I struggled a lot with the balance, really had to rely on my engineers a lot more to give me the gaps and try to find where I could find time. And also all my settings I was moving them up and down, up and down, really trying to find extra time.

“But Nico was just generally quicker this weekend, but fortunately I was able to keep him behind.”

2014 Spanish Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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68 comments on “Rosberg ‘needed one more lap to pass Hamilton’”

  1. Hate to say it, but you had 66 laps to do it pal

    1. Different strategies.

    2. As Albert is alluding, the race really doesn’t start until the last pitstop, everything up to that is just as waist of time of tire and fuel preservation.

      1. which is proper racing!

        1. @magon4

          In your opinion perhaps…

          Hey, at the off chance you might know, any news on McLaren title sponsor yet?

      2. @tvm I disagree, their race started at Lap 1 and lasted until the first pitstop, before continuing in the last stint. So that’s 20ish laps he had, and then another 20, never mind Qualy yesterday. To say it was only the last stint is incorrect, especially since this was not a fuel-limited track, and the tyres held up very well.

        1. @timi

          Your just getting used to it and think you are seeing them race, the reality is that even at the closing stages they were running a delta employing lift and coast strategy.

          Rosberg was asked to save his tires for the very lasts laps because these tires does not allow racing all out for more than very few laps.

          I know that half the F1 fancatic including Keith himself likes it this way and will defend it to the end, a lot of the drivers think differently, I think also the world thinks differently and the fact that McLaren does not have a title sponsor, and all bar a few teams are struggling financially are evidence that the world is NOT exited with current F1.

      3. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        12th May 2014, 4:35

        Fuel saving really hasn’t been the limiting factor we though it would be this year. It’s still the tires that are the reason drivers cannot push.

  2. Like Bahrain, right? ;-)

    Though, it must be said Rosberg’s performance this time was far superior than in Bahrain. In Bahrain Hamilton destroyed him, the safety car masked that.

    This time it was much closer, so maybe he would have actually passed him. Maybe.

    1. Hard to believe, Catalunya is not exactly the easiest when it comes to overtakes. I think that if Lewis’ pitstops weren’t so much longer than normal (lost at least two seconds) he would have had a much more comfortable lead and Nico wouldn’t have been so close at the end. I still think the difference between them is much bigger than we see at the moment on track.

  3. Don’t worry Nico, More 14 races to come with Abu Double as well… LOL :D

    7wins * 25 + 2DNF < 2wins * 25 + 7 * 18

    1. there’s clearly something wrong in the points system.. wins should count much more than that

    2. How about the DNF on Nico’s side of the garage?

      1. what DNF?

      2. A lot of people seem to keep forgetting that both drivers could have DNFs…and that Hamilton & Rosberg are only 2 wins and a handful of points away from Vettel.

        Looking into the future gets a bit tricky though, because Vet/Ric might also suffer unreliability, or Alonso, or…oh dear, my head hurts….shall we just watch?!

        1. Alonso drives for Ferrari, I dont think reliability is that high on his list of concerns.

          1. Genuine lol at that @austus

            I wasn’t meaning to poke fun at Alonso’s struggles, was just making the point that reliability to make this play into anyone’s hands. But you make a good point that Alonso probably isn’t thinking that far ahead

  4. Keep telling that to yourself, how about pitting one lap earlier than you did ?

    1. Are you going to say the same thing next time you blame Ferrari’s strategy for Alonso’s results? ;-)

    2. Lewis is still kind in what he says. When it mattered, he delivered, and Nico pitted too late. Generally faster? Pole and win for Hamilton, fastest lap for Vettel, it says it all.

      1. .

        it says it all.

        It doesn’t.
        I won’t argue with the rest of your post, though.

      2. Maybe Lewis needs to burn his petrol faster because Nico was on better tyres and in a lighter car :)

    3. Maybe Toto Wolff should buy Rosberg a crystal ball?

  5. Rosberg ungracious in defeat as usual!

    1. What was he meant to say? ‘Lewis is the finest driver in history and I’m humbled just to be on the same planet’?

      If you’re going to dislike someone, have an actual reason. Otherwise you just come across as bitter and hateful.

      1. Well said!

      2. Overreacting a bit there. Rosberg does come across as ungracious, and I quite like him in general. You can make that observation without ‘hating’ him.

        However it’s understandable and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. The real question is whether his mindset – and these irritable comments – are actually the best in terms of any psychological war with Hamilton, given that the latter seems quite able to brush them off. Much better would be finding a way to rattle Hamilton (other than being faster, since he seems unable to achieve that right now) but then he risks being reproached by his team. It’s a difficult balance and explains why the top racers invariably have – or have had – a ‘bad’ reputation at same point in their career.

      3. well lewis congratulated nico after he won in aus.

    2. I like Nico, I really do, but he needed one or two more laps just to attempt to pass Hamilton. And there is a huge difference between attempting to pass someone and actually passing him.

      1. I agree, even with 5 laps more, I would still bet on Hamilton.

  6. Guys, he was answering a question!

    1. to be fair he didnt say he needed one more lap to win either, he said he needed one more lap to have a shot at passing, which is true. Who knows how many laps it would’ve taken him to actually get past especially after bahrain, could’ve been 1 could’ve been 10 could’ve been never.

  7. Im not so sure. We saw alonso take a few laps to overtake kimi on much older tires. We’ve seen in Bahrain how great Hamilton defends. A few laps then maybe, but one… for me there’s no way.

  8. I doubt any number of extra laps would have made a difference, TBH… Lewis was just starting to get over the graining on his left front, & I’d wager that Nico’s softer tires were just starting to go off (him locking them up a couple times on that last lap didn’t help either). Plus Lewis also had a fuel advantage & could probably up his straight line speed a bit. It was always going to be close (a couple slow stops from Team Lewis made it closer than it really should have been, but that’s racing) but I don’t think Nico had enough for Lewis today…..
    …… And if Nico has come up just short on both occasions when he’s looked more comfortable in the car than Hamilton, that does not bode well for him. We all know that when Lewis is on it, he’s near unbeatable. It’s still early days yet though… one scoreless outing could swing things massively in either driver’s favor. I’m happy Nico is keeping Lewis honest so far though.

    1. I think that’s what people are missing. Driver performances wax and wane as races progress the last 4 races (we cant really say anything about melbourne) have seen 2 races where rosberg was demolished and 2 races where rosberg maybe had a tenth or so in racepace however he has failed to convert them to wins. If it was even you’d have had 2 races where hamilton won by 10 seconds and 2 where rosberg did, instead you’ve had 2 where hamilton won by 20+ seconds and 2 where he has won by less than 1.

      Bahrain and Barcelona were also pretty much nicos strongest races compared to his teammate last year. He has a good shot in monaco but when it gets to places like hungary, canada, silverstone I think we’ll be seeing repeats of malaysia and china.

    2. I don’t accept Hamilton s statement about rosberg being faster. When you see they were matching each other with hamilton stretching te lead in his first and second stint. The last stint he struggled with understeer (the team suggested to go down on front wing which in hindsight was wrong to do) other than that I don’t see Rosberg much much faster than Hamilton

      1. Judging from the onboard camera shots, Lewis was sort of right…

        Firstly, whoever wins was fastest – stands to reason.

        Secondly, Lewis was fighting the car a lot more than Nico (looking at steering-wheel action and how loose the backend looked whenever the camera showed it). So what Lewis means is that if he’s had the car as planted as Nico, he’d have run away with the race…of course we’ll never know, but I don’t think Lewis is playing mind-games all that much here. It’s like “yeah, he got it right and I’ve got some work to do”…sort of implies the “but I still won”, but he didn’t actually say it quite like that!

  9. Lewis saying he struggled throughout the race and the weekend generally, and still having won the race, must hit Rosberg quite hard psychologically.
    It’ll be interesting to see if Rosberg will be able to stop Lewis’s momentum with a win in Monaco. Otherwise Lewis will just keep on building confidence and there’ll be no stopping him.

    1. nico has always been very good at monaco so he has a good shot especially as hamilton seems to not like the pressure of having someone right on his 6 for the entire race as you could tell from the radio messages.

      On the otherhand nicos rhetoric was sounding slightly less sure on the podium. Its gone from I will win next race and I will beat him to I will try and I hope.

    2. must hit Rosberg quite hard psychologically.

      The same was said after Bahrain, but Rosberg today was even stronger. That’s the kind of baseless speculation than should be kept to a minimum.

      1. He may have been stronger, but Lewis was also ‘weaker’, which disfavours Rosberg even more today than it did back in Bahrain.

      2. This was a track where even Hamilton expected him to better (like Monaco next up). However I don’t expect Rosberg to cave in. I do expect him to win at Monaco – though safety cars could well play a huge part this year – and I then imagine a return to a Hamilton win at Canada, probably his best track. After that, I think the other teams, especially Red Bull, could be starting to split the Mercedes in qualifying and perhaps in the races and I imagine Hamilton will pull further ahead. But it’s very finely balanced, much more than the Hamilton shoe-in lots are predicting.

    3. It is possible to be in the only team who can win races, losing 4 of them in a row to your teammate and still not being destroyed psychologically: McLaren 1988.

  10. That’s what they all say Nico.

  11. How many times does the second guy nearly catch the leader before running out of laps? Lotus kept doing it with Raikkonen as well.
    It’s frustrating to invest your time (and, increasingly, money) in watching what could have been a great race over the last 5 or 6 laps – the strategists are spoiling the show by not considering the time it takes to hunt down and pass another driver.
    Or a Chinese guy with a flag popping up too early!

    1. Not even the superteam at Ferrari a decade ago could predict traffic accurately ;-)

  12. If anything, today’s race has made me incredibly hungry for more battles between these guys these season. And think of the amount of races we still have left. Monaco could be absolutely epic…

    1. Same for me, I really look forward to the season if it keeps getting this tense regularly @electrolite. I think Rosberg can be satisfied that he did what he could, it just was not enough on this track.

  13. It was a 66 lap race Nico, not a 67 lap one.

    That’s now twice that Nico has had what appears to be a faster package yet Lewis has come out on top. Just. In two of the other races, Lewis had the faster package and he stormed off to a very dominant win. In the case of Australia, we simply will never know who was quicker on the day. Lewis is also leading the qualifying battle 4-1.

    Lewis is driving not only very quickly, but very maturely. This is so very different to the Lewis we saw just three years ago. He is perhaps driving better than how he did in 2007 and in 2010, where he was probably the best driver in the field in those years.

    However, with Nico, this is the first time he’s had a car capable of winning the championship, and psychologically, he is being bruised by Lewis by finishing second to him four races in a row. Nico is a world class driver, there’s no doubt about it, but I think that spin in China was the first sign that Lewis has the upper hand not only in speed, but mentally too.

    There’s much more than meets the eye with Lewis, there’s so much more than the sunglasses, the earrings and the weird hat. He’s driving better than anybody out there at the moment, and that includes your Vettels, Raikkonens, Hulkenbergs, Buttons and yes, even Alonsos.

    1. Well said. Hamilton can draw on his experiences in 2007-8 to help him to a second title, whereas Rosberg’s lacking that experience, and is therefore going to find it just that bit harder.

    2. Ain’t that the truth! You nailed it, re: the image vs. the sportsman inside.

    3. Yep. Hamilton has the title showdown experience of 07,08 and 10 along with the set backs of 12.

    4. @craig-o

      better than how he did in 2007 and in 2010, where he was probably the best driver in the field in those years.

      2007 yes but 2010 Hamilton was far from being the best driver, that McLaren with the F-duct was often better than Ferrari in that year and he still finished behind Alonso in the standing, remember how he threw his title chances with silly mistakes in Monza & Singapoor where he was having a realistic shot at 3rd place in both races

      He’s driving better than anybody out there at the moment

      He’s driving better than Rosberg at the moment that’s for sure , i strongly doubt that he could equal Fernando’s performances in that undrivable F14T

      1. Monza was he only clear cut mistake. The Mclaren didn’t really look faster than the Ferrari and Alonso made more mistakes in the first half of that season so i don’t know what you are talking about.

  14. Damonwassell
    11th May 2014, 18:22

    I wish people would shut up with the “Rosberg will be mentally destroyed” crap!!

    When a driver puts on his helmet the last thing he’ll be thinking about is what happened at the last race, maybe they will dwell on it midweek but come race weekend it will be brushed under the carpet.

    What’s worrying for Lewis is that in both dry weekends he’s gone backwards in performance after practice 1 and struggled for race pace.

    1. To be fair, there are drivers who seem to worry themselves to distraction over their team-mates’ performance. Fisichella, for example, surely did. Probably DC and Massa, too. So it’s not a ridiculous idea.

      I just don’t think that Rosberg is one of those drivers.

  15. Lewis is driving as beautiful as ever,he just doesnt have a team sabotaging him to make a mediocre guy win.Lewis would have easily lost that race to Button under Witmarsh by putting him in traffic and some other shenanigans.
    I know you people always want to chide Lewis,and act like his is a way ward little boy who is finally 3yrs of sabotage and a negative media campayne waged by Button and Withmarsh with the help of the tribal British media.Lewis has always been that good

    1. When did McLaren ever sabotage him @spactus ?

      Yes McLaren made some catastrophic strategic errors, and mistakes in the pits etc. but to think that they would sabotage his car when it would cost them in the Constructors’ Championship is just silly.

    2. It’s true that McLaren messed up with Lewis’s chances maybe to win some races in the pit stop but if you think that Mclaren favored Jenson over Hamilton in choosing strategy, setup ….then you’re wrong. Those were Jenson’s decisions, remember the call from Jenson in Australia 2010 to pit earlier,running high downforce set up (the F duct) in Monza 2010,choosing the high downforce rear wing in Spa 2012….

  16. Lewis is driving as beautiful as ever,he just doesnt have a team sabotaging him to make a mediocre guy win.Lewis would have easily lost that race to Button under Witmarsh by putting him in traffic and some other shenanigans.
    I know you people always want to chide Lewis,and act like his is a way ward little boy who is finally 3yrs of sabotage and a negative media campayne waged by Button and Withmarsh with the help of the tribal British media.Lewis has always been that good

    1. Wow, never thought I’d read so much garbage in one post. Especially since McLaren has always treated its drivers equally.

  17. Nigelstash (@)
    11th May 2014, 18:56

    In one more lap he would have had a chance to overtake. I doubt Lewis would have made it easy. If there were 5 more laps my money would be on Lewis to take the place back as Rosberg’s tyres faded. Still it’s a good sign that rosberg isn’t being defeatist about this. Many commentators are saying he must be wondering what he has to do now, but he is a top sportsman. He will think hard, maintain self belief and come back fighting. It’s us mortals who would give up.

  18. Actually, I dont think that Nico was capable of passing Lewis today… As we could see in Bahrain, even they are both very close Lewis is always one step ahead to protect his position and go for win. Lewis is mentally breaking Nico and it would be interesting how Nico will cope with that.

  19. I don’t understand all the nonsense talk about Rosberg being broken or beaten psychologically. Sportsmen at the top of their game NEVER give up; no matter how much they are beaten. Of course you know how many times your competitor has beaten you, but you do not think about it next time you meet – you simply think about beating him ; as you always have done.

    Rosberg will beat Lewis on the odd occasion, but Lewis will beat him most times – simply because he is better. I predicted Lewis will beat Rosberg a lot more convincingly than he did last year; and he is doing that.

    1. Sorry, but I have to post this quote @kbdavies :

      “Okay, I give up” – Fernando Alonso, Korea

    2. Exactly!! I bet F1 is the least likely sport in the world where you will dwell on your last race, once the helmet is on it’s all about driving the car to its limit.

  20. Having been a lot more cofortable and faster in the race, Nico really needs to start winning races were Hamilton struggles and take advantage where he can. If Lewis gets his eye in and has the car setup perfect in a race, Rosberg may get left behind in a bad way.

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