Following the Australian Grand Prix two weeks ago, Nico Rosberg said that it would be nice if Ferrari could cut the gap to Mercedes and give the German marque some competition in 2014.
Few could have predicted that Ferrari would in fact defeat Mercedes soundly just one race later at the Malaysian Grand Prix, with Sebastian Vettel clinching his first win for the Italian team in just his second race since leaving Red Bull.
Rosberg struggled with tire management in Malaysia due to the extreme heat, leaving him third at the flag, 3.7 seconds behind teammate Lewis Hamilton.
When asked if he expected Ferrari to fight back so quickly after the race, Rosberg said: “No, but all I can say now on behalf of our team is ‘game on Ferrari!'”
Rosberg appeared to fall foul of a strategy error by Mercedes, with the team putting both of its drivers onto the prime tire early in the race instead of the medium compound.
However, Rosberg refused to take anything away from Ferrari, praising the team for its first win in almost two years.
“I don’t know about the exact details about the strategy because it was quite complex out there,” Rosberg said. “I’m sure we did a good job, and just congrats – Ferrari did an awesome job today. They derserved to win and we’ll be back next race.”
Rosberg has now set his sights on claiming his first win of the season at the Chinese Grand Prix in two weeks’ time, and vowed to push teammate Lewis Hamilton hard.
“China is a great track for me, so I look forward to that,” Rosberg said. “Of course, we’re going there for the win. Definitely, yes, I’ll be pushing him [Hamilton] hard, definitely.”