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Rosberg declares game on for Spanish GP

2014-05-10 20:30

STAGE SET FOR A MERCEDES DUEL: Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg (left) and Lewis Hamilton will once again tussle for victory as the pair line-up on the front row of the 2014 Spanish GP. Image: AP/Alexander Yuan

BARCELONA, Spain - Championship leader Nico Rosberg declared Sunday's (May 11) 2014 Spanish GP  to be game on and with everything to play for despite Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton pulling out an ace in qualifying.

In the battle of the minds between Formula 1’s runaway title contenders, Hamilton landed another big psychological blow at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Hamilton’s fourth pole in five races  left him perfectly placed to take a fourth win in a row and seize the overall lead from Rosberg, who had been fastest in final practice at a circuit that saw him beat everyone in qualifying in 2013.


Rosberg said:"I don't particularly enjoy coming second to Lewis. I am of course disappointed but in the end it was a good lap from me, so Lewis just did a better job and that's just the way it is.

"Anyway, it's still all to play for tomorrow all it takes is a good start tomorrow and then I'm in the lead again."

Hamilton's pole  will still have stung, with Rosberg well aware that the Circuit de Catalunya is not a track that has favoured the 2008 champion in the past.

Rosberg, winner of the season-opening race in Australia and second in the rest, said:"Obviously it gives him momentum and momentum is a part of the sport. The mental is part of it and that does give the momentum. I just need to stay on it, stay strong - which I am - keep pushing and try and turn it around to my favour."


Hamilton also rubbed a little salt in the wounds by emphasising how he had been wrestling with the car's handling and how much faster he might have gone.

Hamilton said: "I lost a bit of pace today, so I'm really even happier knowing that I dropped a bit of pace but was able to get back at the front."

Hamilton had been fastest in Friday practice  (May 09) but a few very minor tweaks, just half a millimetre here and there, made overnight to improve the car had the opposite effect.

He was heard on the radio during the first phase of qualifying complaining that they had made the car worse and there was little he could do about it.

Hamilton said: "In Q1 you saw I was half a second off Nico, just struggling to put a lap together. But at the end I just did it by the skin of my teeth."

At the 2014 Chinese GP, Hamilton dominated all the way through qualifying and he said Saturday's (May 10) pole was perhaps more satisfying.


Hamilton said: "When you've been on the back foot and clearly your team mate's got the upper hand but you manage to pull out an ace card just for that last lap, it's a great feeling. But still deep in the back of your mind you know 'I wasn't quick enough today'."

In Bahrain, the third round of the season, Hamilton and Rosberg duelled for the lead in the most thrilling race of the campaign so far.

While neutral spectators hoped for a repeat of that wheel-banging scrap on Sunday, Hamilton said he would do his best to prevent that from happening.

"I am ready for whatever but we're going to work as hard as we can to make sure that is not the case," he smiled.

2014 Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya:

Qualifying times
Third practice
Second practice
First practice

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Spanish F1 GP weekend. 

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