Nico Rosberg says desire to make up for Austin spurred him on to Brazilian GP win

nico rosberg and toto wolff brazilian grand prix

Nico Rosberg says a desire to make up for his Austin disappointment is what spurred him on to his Brazilian GP clean-sweep this weekend.

Rosberg held off Mercedes team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton to take his fifth win of the season on Sunday, having also been quickest throughout practice and qualifying at Interlagos.

Hamilton pressured Rosberg throughout, although the result might have been different had the Briton not lost time with a spin ahead of his second pit stop on lap 28.

He closed up again during the closing laps – but not close enough, according to Rosberg, who could do nothing to stop Hamilton getting past him at last weekend’s U.S. GP.

“It’s been a great weekend, definitely,” he told Sky Sports F1 afterwards. “After the setback that I had in Austin – Austin was tough on race day, so I really worked at it, to try and understand what I need to do better.

“I was able to step up my game here and in Brazil, to not only qualify on pole but also in the race always make sure Lewis never comes within striking distance – that was the mistake in Austin: I let him come too close.

“Today, I always managed to keep the gap, so that worked out really well.”

Speaking to Martin Brundle, Rosberg stopped short of saying that beating Hamilton this weekend was psychologically important to him.

“It’s just that I had to improve,” he said. “I had to raise my game, especially from what happened in Austin. And I managed to do it.

“My team-mate knows how to drive a car quite well; that’s the big issue in all of this – that the level is extremely high, that he’s ‘on’ all the time.

“So I need to be ‘on’ him 100 per cent to beat him.”

The result means that Rosberg has cut Hamilton’s title lead to 17 points ahead of the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

Double points there means that a repeat would still enable Hamilton to take the title, although Rosberg was quick to point out that another error by his team-mate might, perhaps, cost him dear.

“It’s not in my own hands anymore, unfortunately, Abu Dhabi. He needs to finish not higher than third, so I need a bit of help from somebody – from him or from a Williams, I don’t know what,” he added.

“He made a mistake today, so anything can happen.”

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