Nico Rosberg insists he was the fastest driver in Bahrain despite defeat to Hamilton
But German does still retain the lead of the World Championship
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 07/04/14 8:48am
A frustrated Nico Rosberg is convinced that he was the fastest driver in the Bahrain despite losing out to team-mate Lewis Hamilton in Sunday's critic-silencing thriller.
At the culmination of an epic 57-laps no-holds-barred contest between Hamilton and Rosberg, just one second separated the two Mercedes drivers as they passed the chequered flag with the German unable to challenge over the final three laps after losing grip on the faster but more brittle soft tyres.
"I'm very disappointed, I was quicker and just didn't manage to get past him," Rosberg told Sky Sports F1.
"It was very intense, a big battle and really aggressive, putting everything to the limit and so many times I thought 'now I've got him' and he just came back at me.
"You can't say the sport was boring today, so that's a small positive, but I need to go one better next time. I was very quick today and the quickest out there."
Hamilton echoed those sentiments after the race, admitting that he would need to study the data from Rosberg's car to understand the discrepancy in much the way that Rosberg went to school after being on the receiving end of a Hamilton masterclass in Malaysia last week.
Although the impact, if any, of the psychological advantage Hamilton has scored over Rosberg in the course of securing back-to-back victories remains to be seen, the considerable consolation for Rosberg is that he still holds an 11-point advantage over his team-mate at the top of the World Championship.
Moreover, with three victories in as many races this year and having registered a one-two in every session at Bahrain this weekend, there is no dispute that the Mercedes W05 is in a different league to the rest of the field. In just ten laps after being unleashed from behind the Safety Car, Hamilton and Rosberg built up a 23-second lead over the third-placed Sergio Perez as the blistering speed of the 2014 Mercedes was unveiled.
"We are looking great, we have good momentum and we need to keep pushing," added Rosberg. "We are strong and it's a nice moment to be with this team with an opportunity of winning every race. And I mustn't forget in this difficult moment that I am still leading the championship by 11 points."
The next race takes place in two weeks' time in China, venue of Rosberg's first win in F1 two years ago.