Nico Rosberg has taken no pleasure in proving Niki Lauda wrong. After the German broke through this year for his first career victory in China, and Mercedes’ first since the Brawn takeover, triple world champion Lauda assured Rosberg that his life would now be easier.
“Niki Lauda told me that the next victory is easy after the first one, but unfortunately that’s not right,” Rosberg, 27, said ahead of his home race at Hockenheim this weekend. “It’s not just automatic,” he insisted.
Indeed, since winning from pole in Shanghai, Rosberg has qualified on the front row and finished on the podium only once apiece in the six subsequent races.
“Our performance has been up and down recently, ranging from podiums to lower points finishes,” admitted team boss Ross Brawn. “We need to work hard to improve our level of consistency and ability to challenge at the front of the field.”
Indeed, the W03 struggled last time out at Silverstone: Rosberg failing to make the top ten in qualifying and teammate Michael Schumacher sliding from the second row of the grid to just seventh at the finish.
Rosberg said: “I think our car should suit this track (Hockenheim) much better than Silverstone. Hockenheim has long straights and short corners, which will be good for the silver arrow,” he added.