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Rosberg ready to do his talking on the track

16 April 2015, 20:36

Sakhir - Nico Rosberg knows it is time he started grabbing headlines again for what he does on the track, rather than for what he says off it.

The German driver lost his composure at the Chinese Grand Prix last weekend, berating his Mercedes engineers and accusing teammate Lewis Hamilton of purposefully driving too slowly in order to scupper him.

Also read: Nigerian racing driver aims higher in motorsport

Hamilton has made a solid start to his Formula One title defense, winning eight of the past 10 races including two out of three this season. Rosberg has yet to win this year and only won once in his past 14 races.

"He is 17 points ahead and that's a fact," Rosberg said Thursday. "I have to try and get the points back as soon as possible and that's clear."

Asked if he could beat Hamilton on Sunday, Rosberg replied: "Yes. But I also thought that the last two races. I need to improve."

This weekend's Bahrain GP offers him a good chance to stop the rut.

He has taken pole position in Sakhir the past two years, while Hamilton never has although he beat Rosberg here last year in a thrilling contest when the Bahrain circuit held a night race for the first time.

Rosberg will be sharply focused in Saturday's qualifying, after just missing out on pole position to Hamilton in Shanghai. That was when his composure started to crack, as he bellowed "Come on guys" over race radio to his engineers.

"Was it not understandable at the time to be frustrated? So I'll shut up next time on the radio? I'll just say it to myself," an animated Rosberg said Thursday at an entertaining news conference, where he also tried to defuse his latest row with Hamilton.

"'Come on guys' was just sharing disappointment with my team," he added. "How annoying it was to miss out on pole by four hundredths (of a second)."

Rosberg insists there is no lingering animosity with Hamilton, who the German claimed drove slower than he could to push him back into a duel with Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel. Vettel is four points ahead of third-place Rosberg in the championship standings.

"We discussed Sunday's event and then everything was clarified and cleared and on we went," Rosberg said, acknowledging that he may have handed Hamilton a psychological advantage by losing his composure so easily.

"Maybe, because I'm standing here and I have to answer all of these questions," Rosberg said. "But other than that I will do it again. There was the need to discuss things, definitely, after that race."

Rosberg and Hamilton's friendship, dating back to their childhood days racing karts against each other was severely tested last season, when they had two major fallouts after races in Monaco and Belgium.

Despite insisting that this latest spat is over, Rosberg nevertheless spent most of his news conference energetically talking about it.

Asked if he'd changed his opinion of how last weekend's events unfolded, he snapped back: "It's not an opinion, I was stating facts," he said. "So my facts are still the same. Facts are facts."

Given his increasing level of frustration, Rosberg needs to win on Sunday.

- AP


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