One streak over, Rosberg aims for another

Tue May 24, 2016 9:41am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MONACO (Reuters) - One winning streak ended with a bang for Nico Rosberg in Spain but Monaco's tight, metal-fenced streets could see the continuation of another remarkable run for the Formula One championship leader on Sunday.

Only one man -- triple world champion Ayrton Senna -- has won more than three times in a row in the Mediterranean principality's showcase race but Rosberg is on the cusp of stepping up alongside the late Brazilian.

The Mercedes driver, whose hopes of an eighth successive win ended at the previous race in Barcelona when he and triple world champion team mate Lewis Hamilton collided on the opening lap while fighting for the lead, completed his hat-trick last year.

Four wins would still be one behind the Brazilian, who won five in a row and six in total, but still a sequence that multiple champions like Graham Hill, Alain Prost and Michael Schumacher never managed.

Monaco is a home race for most of the drivers but even more so for Rosberg, the German-born son of Finland's 1982 world champion Keke, who grew up and went to school there and this time returns in the form of his life.

"I have memories from every corner going right back to my school days and I always have great support there from my family, my friends and the fans, which gives you that extra boost through the weekend," he said.

"It's been amazing to win there for the past three years -- but I know it will be tough to repeat that with Lewis, the Ferraris and the Red Bulls all so strong now."

Hamilton has not won since he took his third world championship in Texas last October, and the collision at the Circuit de Catalunya left him 43 points behind the German with 16 races remaining, but he is still the bookmakers' favorite.   Continued...

Formula One - Spanish Grand Prix - Barcelona-Catalunya racetrack, Montmelo, Spain - 13/5/16 Mercedes F1 driver Nico Rosberg attends the second free practice. REUTERS/Juan Medina