Rosberg pleased, but knows the job is only half done

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Nico Rosberg is slowly approaching a near-perfect week after securing pole position for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim today.

Since the British Grand Prix, Nico has got married, seen Germany win the FIFA World Cup and signed a new long-term contract with Mercedes, and winning his home race for the first time would undoubtedly cap off an incredible month so far.

He took a big step towards doing so today by securing pole position for the race, but he did not have to beat teammate Lewis Hamilton after the Briton crashed hard during Q1 on Saturday. His championship rival will start down in 15th position, but Rosberg knows that the job is only half done.

“To get pole is fantastic,” Rosberg said after the session. “Of course, I would have preferred if it was an open fight with Lewis, a little bit less happier with the result because Lewis didn’t have a shot at it again.

“All in all, yeah, fantastic week up to now, but no points for today. The points is just tomorrow, so still a long way to go, but it’s a good start.”

Hamilton suffered a front-right brake failure, causing him to spear into the wall at turn eleven. As the two Mercedes drivers run with different brake systems, Rosberg was not affected by the issue.

“No, I don’t really know the details about the car,” said Nico when asked about Lewis. “There wasn’t anything that applied to my car. From that point of view, I was comfortable to keep on pushing.

“For tomorrow, it’s supposed to be a bit colder, which should make it easier on the tires because these tires are very very soft, so degradation is high.”

Rosberg now has a golden opportunity to extend his lead at the top of the championship, and perhaps make up for his retirement last time out at the British Grand Prix.

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.