Nico Rosberg may have battled valiantly throughout today’s United States Grand Prix to pick up two points for ninth place, but the German driver is glad to see the back of the weekend after struggling for pace in Austin.
Having qualified in fourteenth place, Rosberg made up two spots on the grid thanks to grid penalties for Esteban Gutierrez and Jenson Button. He made up just one place off the line and found himself flirting with the points throughout the race. An early stop gave him the chance to exercise the undercut, and Rosberg did this well to battle his way past the longer runners with some fine overtakes on Daniel Ricciardo and Heikki Kovalainen. Nevertheless, he is disappointed.
“I didn’t have a great weekend here in Austin unfortunately,” Rosberg said. “It really started yesterday in qualifying where I struggled with getting temperature into the tires and starting from twelfth place makes your race really difficult, especially in a one-stop race.
“I made some nice overtaking moves but we weren’t able to do much with the strategy today because of the single stop so it’s disappointing to only have finished ninth as our car was quicker than that today.”
However, Rosberg is pleased that the team has extended its lead over Ferrari in the constructors’ championship, lying fifteen points ahead with one race remaining as the marques go head to head for second place.
“As a team we managed to increase the gap to Ferrari and that’s a good result. After such a tough weekend, I’d love to be back in the car in Brazil tomorrow and not wait another seven days! We’ll be pushing really hard there to end the season on a high.”
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.