SLIPPING FURTHER BEHIND: Mercedes' Nico Rosberg will have to push himself in Spain to close the gap to team mate Lewis Hamilton. Image: AP / Andy Wong
MANAMA, Bahrain - Nico Rosberg slipped further behind championship leading Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton in the Formula 1 Drivers' championship on Sunday (April 19) but showed at least that he had lost none of his fighting spirit.
Hamilton is 27 points ahead after he grabbed his third win in four races at Bahrain. Brake problems which allowed Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen to pass and denied Mercedes a one-two finish.
Mercedes motorsport head, Toto Wolff, said: "Everybody who ever doubted Nico saw Nico at his best, fighting hard and overtaking.
"Losing that position because of a brake failure is a bit of a pity, but all in all a one and three must be satisfactory.
"We are four races into the season and there are another 15 left, so I have no doubt that after his driving today (on Sunday), which was exceptional, we will have a very strong Nico bouncing back in Barcelona."
Rosberg was third on the grid and immediately lost out to Raikkonen after being squeezed at the start.
From then on, while Hamilton led from pole, the meat of the race became the cut and thrust between Rosberg's Mercedes and the resurgent Ferraris.
Rosberg thrice passed Sebastian Vettel, only to lose out in the pit stops, before his compatriot made a mistake and damaged his car's front wing.
With Vettel no longer posing a threat, and finishing fifth, Raikkonen became more of one and the closing stages saw a battle between the two before Rosberg ran wide as the brakes gave out.
CAR WAS AWESOME
Rosberg said: "It started off on a disappointing note for me after the start with losing the position to Kimi. I just did the wrong...well, got caught out.
"But then immediately I felt that the car was awesome, so went full on the attack straight away and was happy to get by Kimi and Sebastian. Great fight with those...that was very exciting at that point in time.
"Unfortunately (I was) struggling with brakes a little bit throughout the whole race and just lost them. Two laps from the end I lost the brakes, so went straight on and had to carry the car home for the last two laps."
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