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GP Week : Issue 201
"The race was so close at the end today and with one more lap, I could have tried to overtake Lewis for the first time,” was Nico Rosberg’s ‘take-something-positive’ thought after again finishing second to his team-mate, and for the first time losing the lead in the Drivers’ championship. Ultimately, though, it must be becoming a tough mental struggle, and if he’s honest, he knows that passing Lewis isn’t ever going to be made easy. One day soon, he’s going to have to throw it down the inside ... “ T he best thing to do was to switch strategies,” he reported. “T hat was planned before the race. Worked out well, worked out perfectly – but this is a really, really difficult track to get close to the guy in front. “I still got close – Turn 10, the last lap ... could have got gone for a kamikaze move but it wouldn’t have worked. Lewis did a great job the whole weekend and just that little bit ahead. “But there’s a lot of positives for me to take out of it. I’m fully motivated to just try to get that little bit extra and to edge him out next time – and it’s do-able.” In the meantime, a tyre strategy similar to that in Bahrain, with Lewis saving his ‘Hard’ stint until the end, ensured he retained the track position he had from the start, from pole. He’s reveling in the Mercedes dominance: “In all my career, I've never before had a car or a performance gap like this,” he concluded post- race. “I struggled to keep (Nico) behind, but I just managed it at the end. I had the same problems with the car this afternoon that I found yesterday in qualifying: I couldn't attack the corners properly because of snap oversteer and that's where Nico was catching me. “ We have our bosses from Mercedes-Benz here today and it's great for the team that we were able to give them a one -two finish.” For his part, Nico’s comments confirmed the intra-team contest and strategy freedom: “Once it was clear that I was in second place, we chose to go with the slower strategy using the prime tyres in the middle stint to get a shot at Lewis at the end when I was on the options. It was very close, but not quite close enough, so naturally I'm disappointed but I can take a lot of positives from this weekend. We have an amazing car and my pace was really strong here so I just need to find an extra little edge to capitalise on.” Missed it by that much ... 27 GPWEEK.com // 27 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> SPAIN PARTNERS: