Nico Rosberg believes Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton is mentally strong enough to bounce back and challenge him for the Formula 1 title despite dropping points early in the season.
Rosberg has won all four races this season, extending his winning run to seven, to lead Hamilton by 43 points at the top of the standings. Hamilton has remained upbeat despite his run of form, which included suffering an identical MGU-H problem in both Chinese and Russian Grand Prix qualifying.
No driver who has won the first four races of the season has failed to go on and win the title in the history of F1, but with 425 points still to play for, Rosberg is not getting taking anything for granted.
“They [drivers who won the first four races] didn’t have Lewis Hamilton as their teammate,” said Rosberg. “That’s the battle I have. This is completely not worth talking about yet, at this point in time.
“Lewis is driving as strongly as ever, as you have seen in the last few weeks. He will bounce back. He doesn’t have an issue with fighting back with his head – he has always shown that.
“I’m sure we’ll see more of the battle between us. It’s always going to be tough against him.”
Rosberg disagreed with suggestions his four wins this season have been easy.
“Winning F1 races is not like an open goal,” he said. “I don’t think that’s a good comparison. It’s not something that I could’ve expected, but now that’s the way it is and I’m very happy about it.
“It’s been a great four races, very enjoyable and I’m aware that it’s not going to continue like that forever.”