Despite moving 43 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton at the top of the table, Nico Rosberg has said that he can’t feel ecstatic about winning races when his teammate has been so handicapped by unreliability.
— Nico Rosberg (@nico_rosberg) May 2, 2016
Rosberg secured his seventh consecutive win in Russia last weekend while Hamilton was once again struck by a series of mechanical issues preventing him from making the most of the race.
Hamilton has defeated Rosberg in every season of their three-year partnership but this year he has been waylaid by two engine failures and three first-corner collisions. As a result Rosberg says that he is lacking the sense of battle on the track which would make the wins feel even better.
Before Saturday’s race in Russia Mercedes were forced to charter a private plane in order to bring spare parts for Hamilton’s engine in time for the race. In the race itself Hamilton started in tenth due to mechanical problems in qualifying but moved up to fifth in the first lap. He managed to avoid the Daniil Kvyat chaos of the first corner and despite being held back by Valtteri Bottas for ten laps he did manage to get within seven seconds of Rosberg before a water leak forced him to back off. As a result many believe that he was the best driver in the race with superb overtaking throughout, particularly when he scythed his way past Kimi Raikkonen. Raikkonen was trying to move ahead of Bottas, running wide, which allowed Hamilton to sneak through down the side.
Rosberg has now become only the fourth man in F1 history to win seven consecutive races and even if he finishes the next six races in second place behind Hamilton he will still be leading the championship.