Nico Rosberg believes Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s good form could help rather than hinder him in his Formula 1 world title battle with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Rosberg finished behind Hamilton for the second successive race in Malaysia, where Vettel went on to clinch his first victory since joining Ferrari. But because Vettel finished ahead of both of them, Rosberg only dropped three points to his team-mate rather than seven if Hamilton had won in another Mercedes one-two.
“Vettel can be a help, yes,” said Rosberg ahead of this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix. “Already in Malaysia he was in a sense, because Lewis only took three points from me and not seven. But it depends because he can also become a big problem if he keeps winning.
“I want to win, so of course having Sebastian win in Malaysia was not good and I hope to beat him and Lewis here and that is it.”
Hamilton leads the drivers’ standings by three points from Vettel with Rosberg 10 points adrift – the equivalent of a fifth-place finish. Rosberg believes there is no reason to be concerned about the gap just yet.
“It’s a long season and I see it as 10 points to the leader of the championship at the moment with still 350 or whatever to be had,” said Rosberg. “Of course, every race is important, but there’s still a long way to go and consistency is still going to be very important as we saw last year.
“All of these things are going to play into it so I’m not panicking in any way or anything as such, but of course I want to do a great job and try to win here.”
Ferrari ended a 30-race run without a victory in Malaysia as Mercedes was beaten for the first time since last August’s Belgian Grand Prix. But Rosberg is confident Mercedes will be back on top in China.
“I am sure here we will have a stronger car than in Malaysia,” he said. “I’m expecting us to be the best again.”
DRIVERS’ STANDINGS AFTER TWO ROUNDS: