Rosberg joins select group but title is the target

Sun May 1, 2016 3:19pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Nico Rosberg joined an ultra-select group of Formula One drivers with his seventh win in a row for Mercedes at the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday but the German will remain the odd man out for some time yet.

Only four drivers since the championship started in 1950 have won seven races in a row and only four have triumphed in the first four rounds of a season.

Just one, Rosberg's compatriot Sebastian Vettel, has won more than seven in a row -- nine for Red Bull in 2013 when he won his fourth championship.

All, bar Rosberg, were title winners but he is well on the way with a 43-point lead over triple champion, team mate Lewis Hamilton, who suffered power unit problems in both qualifying and the race, with 17 races remaining.

"It sounds cool. But beyond that it's not my focus," Rosberg said when asked about the streak that started in Mexico last November. "It's great stuff but I just enjoy winning and I enjoyed winning today.

"Of course it's not something I could have expected, to start the season with four. But now that's the way it is and I'm very happy about it. It's been a great four races, very enjoyable.

"I'm aware it's not going to continue like that forever. Sport is always about up and downs and the down will come at some point," he added. "I just need to mentally prepare for that to then come straight back up when it does happen."

That moment might almost have come in Sochi on Sunday, according to Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff, even if Rosberg gave every impression of enjoying a sunny afternoon drive in the Olympic Park.   Continued...

Formula One - Russian Grand Prix - Sochi, Russia - 1/5/16 Mercedes F1 driver Nico Rosberg of Germany shoots a selfie with the trophy and the Mercedes team. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov