Nico Rosberg rules out complacency
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg rules out complacency, despite having the quickest car on the grid at present.
Lewis Hamilton secured pole position on the grid ahead of the season opener in Australia but he was forced to retire as team-mate Rosberg won the grand prix fairly comfortably to take maximum points.
Despite their apparent dominance in terms of pace Rosberg insists Mercedes cannot afford to take anything for granted, as he is well aware the other teams will be working hard to close the gap.
“We look to be the quickest at the moment which is fantastic, but again we need to be careful with that – the opposition are not asleep and they are pushing like crazy,” he said in the Drivers’ Press Conference.
“At the moment it seems we have a bit of an advantage over the other people. However, Melbourne is not a benchmark as a race so we need to be a bit cautious with that, but we are looking good and it should be possible to do a great result here [Malaysia].”
McLaren boss Ron Dennis has warned Mercedes that they will not run away with the Formula One Constructors’ Championship this year.
The pre-season predictions based on winter testing suggested that Mercedes would be the team to beat in 2014 as their new W05 car, created to adhere to the new technological era of Formula One, has excelled in terms of speed and reliability.
Ironically British driver Lewis Hamilton was forced to withdraw from the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on 16th March because of engine trouble with his Mercedes. But his team-mate Nico Rosberg romped to victory over 26 seconds ahead of McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen, who was given second spot after Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull was disqualified.
Clearly it’s going to be challenging for all the other teams to catch that sort of performance lead, but it will happen.
Rosberg’s win highlighted the strength of the Mercedes car, but Dennis is confident that the Bracklay-based outfit will not have it all their own way this season.
Looking ahead to this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix with his McLaren team top of the Constructors’ standings thanks to their second and third places in Melbourne, Dennis told Autosport: “The racing was pretty close between everybody other than Mercedes, but it’s not the first time one team has had dominant form at the beginning of the season. Clearly it’s going to be challenging for all the other teams to catch that sort of performance lead, but it will happen.”
He added: “Their pace is only apparent in qualifying and qualifying in Australia is always confusing. It’s clear that they have a good 1.5 seconds on anyone else. That is challenging to close, but not impossible.
“We will see where we are in a month or two, because obviously these inter-continental races limit how fast we can develop the car. Nevertheless we will give it our best shot and we are confident we will be 0.5s quicker at the next grand prix for a variety of reasons, but of course that is not going to be enough to achieve our goal, but it will keep the pressure on those teams that are chasing us.”
Pre-Practice Betting Preview…..
Rosberg is confident he can follow up his win in Melbourne with another victory, with the German 2/1 to take maximum points. He added: “I am optimistic for the weekend and there is a possibility to win.”
Hamilton can be backed at 13/8 to win the Malaysian GP, while McLaren’s Jenson Button is 14/1 to come out on top having finished third in Australia.
There were two teams that performed above expectations in the wet Australian Qualifying, these were Red Bull and Toro Rosso. Given the prices available on both Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat we’d recommend a small EW bets on both drivers for Qualifying and the Race?
In the Podium market, there is one price that catches the eye, this is Nico Hulkenberg at 20/1 – the German has put in some impressive wet-weather performances throughout the last couple of years, and is powered by a powerful Mercedes engine.
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