Now I want to break Lewis Hamilton’s momentum at the toughest track on the F1 calendar
- I started badly in Barcelona, which is a weakness of our team right now
- Despite being quicker than Lewis during the race it is very tough to follow and pass the car ahead on that track
- Because of our tyre strategy, one more lap in the race and I could well have overtaken Lewis
- Mercedes’ dominance is not having a negative impact on the sport
- The Monaco Grand Prix is an amazing race to drive – there is no tougher track on the calendar
At the last race in Barcelona, I was out there to win, but unfortunately it didn’t quite work out for me.
I narrowly missed out on pole position to Lewis in qualifying, so my next chance was at the start of the race, but I didn’t get away well and that is a weakness of our team at the moment.
From then on, I was quicker than my team-mate during the race which was positive, once again, but in Barcelona it is very, very tough to follow the car ahead and not only that, but to pass the car ahead, too. You also have to factor in that we both have the same cars and identical machinery.
Chasing: Nico Rosberg was faster than Lewis Hamilton in Barcelona but it’s a very tough track to overtake on
In the lead: Hamilton has now won four races in a row – but Rosberg hopes to break his dominance
So, we tried everything with the strategy, and the team gave me the best-possible chance to have a good chance of winning at the end of the race.
The only way for the guy behind – which was me in this case – to have a chance of overtaking is to get a big speed differential at the end of the grand prix.
So, you do that by taking on the hard Pirelli compound in a longer middle stint, and then finish the race on the soft, option tyre with a shorter stint. Whereas the other guy – which was Lewis – would have the hard compound tyre in the final stint.
This strategy is slower on total race time, but if you are quicker but stuck behind – as I was – it gives you the best possibility to overtake. I said after the race that I needed one more lap to give it a shot at overtaking Lewis and that was definitely the case because it was so close. The race was just one lap too short for me.
Too short: One more lap and the German driver would have had a shot at overtaking Hamilton
Mercedes dominance isn’t boring
It was amazing to see that not only did we retain our dominance in Spain, but maybe we even extended it, and that was spectacular from a team point of view and really showed that we have come of age and that we are really are becoming a serious force in F1 which is great and hugely impressive.
I don’t believe that our dominance however, is having a negative impact on the sport. Of course, I like having a quick car, but even at the races where Mercedes have been faster than the rest we have seen exciting races, like in Bahrain and Barcelona where Lewis and I are battling each other.
It is a fresh start for the sport and a change from the dominance of Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel, and I think that is a good thing for Formula One.
Dominance: Mercedes have now won the opening five races – but that is not a negative thing for the sport
The magic of Monaco
Of course it is important to stop Lewis because, at this moment in time, he has the result momentum and I need to try and break that this weekend. The Monaco Grand Prix is very different to any other race. It is just that little bit more intense, and more spectacular with the track, the atmosphere – it is right in the city – and the fact that it is just amazing to drive.
There is always loads happening, especially for the team and the sponsors and I also have my friends coming down for the weekend.
I have a friend’s birthday party on the Thursday, so I will be spending time with my mates, and with the race team doing numerous sponsor events.
Monaco is my home town, too, and I have great memories of winning there last year, so I am looking forward to racing there again. It is just the ultimate driving challenge.
To get it right on a Monaco lap is so difficult, so in my opinion, there is no tougher track on the calendar.
Winner: Rosberg celebrates his brilliant win at Monaco last year – the race is his favourite on the calendar
Victory: The Monaco race was one of two wins for the 28-year-old last season
Pump up the noise
As a team we are really thinking about the sport and we want to make it better. At last week’s test in Barcelona, we trialled this ‘trumpet’ exhaust but unfortunately it did not have the effect on the sound when we took to the track as it did when we tested it back at the factory. So, everybody needs to keep working on it. The noise is an important part of the sport, and I understand that the fans want more sound so the sport has to find a solution.
Trumpet: The ‘trumpet’ exhaust did not produce the desired noise, and everyone will keep working on it
Meeting Rossi and Co in Le Mans
I spent last weekend at the Le Mans MotoGP which was really cool. It was the first time that I have been to a MotoGP event and it is very exciting to watch. The racing is spectacular and the machines are unbelievable; they are so fast! But it is not something I would ever like to have a go at. The risk, for me, is just one step beyond what I would be willing to take to have fun, so I think I’ll stick to my race car. It was amazing to meet Valentino Rossi and some other drivers and to watch their starting procedure.
Spectacular: Rosberg spent last weekend at the Le Mans MotoGP with the likes of Valentino Rossi
On the grid: Rosberg poses with Oxford-born rider Bradley Smith, who eventually finished 9th
I also managed to watch Bayern Munich’s cup triumph over Borussia Dortmund. We won 2-0, and I saw the game with my whole family on the television. We had a bit of a lucky break to be honest, because Dortmund scored – the ball was well over the line – but it didn’t count because the referee didn’t think it had gone in.
It was still great to get the victory, because winning is all that matters, but that said, they are not at their best, and they need to turn things round again. Bayern’s manager Pep Guardiola has done a great job, but somehow the team has lost its touch.
Double: Nico was also at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin to watch Bayern Munich win the DFB-Pokal Cup
Over in England, you also had the FA Cup last weekend, and three Germans, Lukas Podolski, Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil, were part of the winning team for Arsenal which is fantastic for the World Cup because it will give them a huge confidence boost ahead of this summer’s tournament. I will meet our boys in the training camp next Tuesday to do some photo shoots and marketing activities with Mercedes-Benz. I always look forward to joining them before a big tournament. It’s nice to exchange thoughts and get some impressions of how their training is going.
Nico Rosberg’s fee for his column will be donated to the Grand Prix Mechanics’ Charitable Trust, which is dedicated to providing help to former and current Formula One mechanics and their families, putting F1 mechanics throughout the world in touch with each other and raising funds to help in times of need. You can follow Rosberg on Twitter @nico_rosberg and MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS @MercedesAMGF1
Source : Daily Mail