Nico Rosberg may be heading into the 2015 Formula 1 season as the underdog, but he has said that the heartache of his championship defeat in Abu Dhabi last year will motivate him for the new campaign.
Rosberg went toe-to-toe with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton for the championship last year, but ultimately lost out by 67 points following his retirement at the final double score round in Abu Dhabi.
The German driver said that he feels rejuvenated following the winter break, and is motivated for the season ahead as he looks to avoid a repeat of his title defeat in 2015.
“It’s been a great winter, although it has actually seemed very long to me,” Rosberg said. “The lucky thing about this sport as a driver is that you get a lot of down time between each season to rest, recharge, spend time with the family and really hit the training hard. But now I am eager to get back to work and go maximum attack for another season.
“I know the feeling of winning and of fighting for a championship after last year – but I also know the feeling of not winning in the end and I don’t want to repeat that. It’s an extra boost and it gives me so much motivation for the year ahead.”
Rosberg also called on the team to carry the momentum it built up in 2014 through to the new season, although he does think it will be tough for Mercedes to match its record-breaking exploits of last year.
“I’m so proud to be in this moment with the team, coming off the back of a fantastic year, putting the Silver Arrows right back at the front where they belong,” Rosberg said. “It will be massively tough to repeat what we achieved in 2014 but we all want to keep that momentum going and to dominate the sport for many years to come.
“We know the opposition will be right there, so we have to keep pushing flat out to have any chance of doing that. Nothing is for certain but, whatever happens, I know it will be another great battle with Lewis. This year is the rematch for me and I’m massively motivated for it.”