Rosberg ready to defend Monaco crown next weekend

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It can get quite tiring, this losing lark. Nico Rosberg knows that all too well.

He’s enjoyed a remarkable run of results at the beginning of the 2014 Formula 1 season, but after four second place finishes behind teammate Lewis Hamilton, the German driver is now hoping to regain the championship lead in Monaco next weekend by defending his crown there.

Rosberg won last year’s Monaco Grand Prix with a fine display of controlled driving, rarely being troubled by Hamilton or the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. It was something of an emotional win, given that Nico has lived in Monaco for most of his life and also that his father, Keke, won the race back in 1983.

“I associate many wonderful memories with this place,” Rosberg explained in Mercedes’ grand prix preview. “It’s where I grew up and where I now live as an adult. But in sporting terms too, I have had some great moments there.

“In particular, last year when I won there for the first time in my Formula 1 career. That was an absolutely incredible feeling. Driving a Formula 1 car there is simply fantastic and it’s an event every driver looks forward to each year.”

The German made no secret of his disappointment after losing out to Hamilton once again in Spain, but he is more determined than ever to make up for it and regain the lead of the drivers’ championship next weekend.

“Overall I was quite pleased with the last race weekend in Barcelona,” Rosberg said. “Disappointed, of course, not to have taken the win but happy that the team achieved another one-two finish.

“The championship battle is very close and to regain the advantage at my home race would be fantastic, so I’ll be pushing harder than ever to make that happen.”

Rosberg is still chasing a fifth career victory that would bring him level with Keke’s total, and he will also be aware that 2014 marks his best chance yet to emulate his father and win the Formula 1 world championship.

However, with four straight wins under his belt, Hamilton is the man with the momentum as he too chases a second win at Monaco, having won the 2008 race in wet conditions.

F1 2017 driver review: Kevin Magnussen

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Kevin Magnussen

Team: Haas
Car No.: 20
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P7 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 19
Championship Position: 14th

Kevin Magnussen’s move to Haas proved to be a win-win situation for both parties through 2017 as they banished the struggles of the previous Formula 1 season.

For Magnussen, the move came after a difficult one-season stint with Renault who despite offering him a way back into F1 after a year on the sidelines were unable to produce a car allowing the Dane to fight far up the order.

Haas had not expected to be able to be that much further ahead, but Magnussen nevertheless immediately offered an uplift in performance after replacing Esteban Gutierrez, who failed to score a single point through 2016.

Magnussen picked up Haas’ first points of the season with a solid drive in China, and was able to capitalize on the bonkers Baku race to take P7, which would ultimately be his best result of the season.

Consistency was a real issue for Haas throughout the year as it continued to have teething problems most new teams encounter, and while Magnussen was more able to drive around the problems than teammate Romain Grosjean, he lacked the ultimate pace of his teammate.

That said, Magnussen’s season highlight came in Mexico, a track Haas expected to be its worst of the season. The ex-McLaren driver qualified on the last row but produced a stunning display to finish eighth, soaking up pressure from Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton late on.

The signs are positive moving forward. Next year should be Haas’ best yet thanks to the stability in the regulations, presenting a good opportunity for Magnussen to prove his star quality.

Season High: Taking P8 in Mexico when Haas expected to be slowest.

Season Low: Lagging home P15 at Spa as Grosjean hit the points.