German GP: Vettel vs Rosberg

2013-07-05 08:08

NURBURGRING, Germany - Nico Rosberg's strong recent form and some fighting talk about his fellow German Sebastian Vettel has intensified their rivalry ahead of their home Formula 1 GP this weekend.

Red Bull's triple World champion Vettel has dominated Formula 1 in the last three years but Mercedes has laboured in its comeback as a works team, hurting its image of German perfection and sending Michael Schumacher back into retirement.

Rosberg has won two of the last three races for the improving Silver Arrows, however, winning in Monaco and then taking advantage of Vettel's gearbox problem at Silverstone on Sunday to seize victory in the 2013 British GP.


The 28-year-old, son of Finnish 1982 F1 champion Keke Rosberg but born in Germany, is not daring to look at the championship standings yet and has his eyes fixed on Vettel. He told a news conference with Vettel sitting by: "Short term, I just want to annoy Sebastian and Red Bull a little bit race-by-race, by being ahead of them - that's the most important thing, really."

Sixth-placed Rosberg is 50 points behind leader Vettel in the standings after eight of 19 races; Mercedes has moved up to second in the Constructors' championship, 48 points behind Red Bull.

Rosberg commented: "It's too early to say (we are title contenders). We're really focusing on getting our momentum, keeping it going, and concentrating one race to the next. It's a really nice time in my career. It's new. I've never had a car as quick as this."

On the other hand, Vettel refused to take Rosberg's bait and wanted to talk about his own situation after disappointment at Silverstone, despite avoiding the tyre curse which affected other drivers.


Vettel said: "It was quite frustrating to lose the lead due to a technical problem but, as I said after the race, these things happen. I think we've understood the problem, fixed the problem, so we move on."

Vettel and Rosberg have never won their home GP and the champion tried to play down its importance despite looking forward to an abundance of fluttering German flags in the stands. Vettel said: "The championship points you can score here are the same as every other but it's something special to race in front of your home crowd."

The German race alternates between Hockenheim and the Nurburgring, which has been in financial trouble, prompting F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone to step in and make sure the GP took place this year in the famous forested venue.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 German GP weekend.