Nico Rosberg insists he is not concerned that Lewis Hamilton is now leading the World Championship after seeing his hefty 43-point margin wiped out in just six races.
Hamilton will head to Rosberg’s home race in Germany on Sunday – the final round before the sport’s summer break – in charge of the title race after winning in Hungary.
And following their dramatic crash at the Spanish Grand Prix, Hamilton has scored 49 points more than Rosberg by virtue of winning five of the six ensuing races.
But Rosberg, who has lost out to Hamilton in each of the past two seasons they have battled for the championship, does not fear the title is slipping away from him.
“I’ve always said I’m not counting points,” Rosberg, who won the opening four races of the season, said. “I fully expected him to come back and I didn’t expect to be 43 points in front all the time.
“It ebbs and flows and it’s always going to be a tough battle against him because he’s the world champion. It’s still close and it just takes a small thing to switch it the other way and I want to do that at Hockenheim on Sunday.”
Hamilton and Rosberg both ended up in the gravel at turn four on the opening lap of the Barcelona race back in May.
And Hamilton, who celebrated his victory in Budapest on Sunday night, believes the stunning crash was a pivotal moment in this year’s title race.
“I think Spain was definitely a turning point,” said Hamilton. ”It didn’t feel like it was, but it was rock bottom. The only way was up. I just managed to get my head together, and get my s*** together and get on with it.”
The early part of Hamilton’s title defence was curtailed by mechanical issues and bad luck. Mercedes swapped a number of mechanics from his championship-winning side of the garage to that of Rosberg’s ahead of the new campaign, and Hamilton also faces starting at least one of the remaining 10 races from the back of the grid under the sport’s complex engine rules.
”I have less engines, my mechanics had been changed, and all these different things didn’t seem to be working,” Hamilton added.
”But since Spain we’ve pulled together, and I’d love to come out of the next race with a result like this so when I do go to Spa or Monza and have a penalty and start from the pit lane or last place, that is a minimum damage.
”It doesn’t mean I’m 25 points behind. I don’t really want to go back to there.”
Press Association Sport
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