Rosberg must speed up to beat 'slow' Hamilton

Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:59am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Nico Rosberg may not have lost the plot, as some suggested in the wake of his outburst against Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton at Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix, but he is feeling the heat.

The German's accusation that the world champion had been selfishly slow as he cruised to a pole-to-flag victory in Shanghai spoke more of mounting frustration than any real grievance.

Hamilton has won eight of the last 10 races and Rosberg, last year's runner-up in a title battle that went down to the wire, has been unable to assert himself in qualifying either this year.

With Ferrari looking far more competitive, and Sebastian Vettel second in the championship after winning in Malaysia, Rosberg is facing pressure from more than just his team mate.

The mental cracks are starting to show and the next race in Bahrain saw fireworks last year as Hamilton won a wheel-to-wheel duel between the two.

Rosberg knows he needs to step up in Sakhir.

"Nico is just shooting himself in the foot by showing the world he's upset, as if the world can do something about it," commented 1996 world champion Damon Hill. "We can't do anything about it.

"Nico has to outqualify Lewis, he has to take the fight and take the high ground and then maybe he's got a case to argue," added the Briton.   Continued...

Second placed Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany (L) holds up his trophy next to race winner and team mate Lewis Hamilton of Britain on the podium after the Australian F1 Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne March 15, 2015. REUTERS/Brandon Malone