Rosberg: Defeat to Hamilton is my greatest motivation


Following his ninth defeat to Lewis Hamilton in the last ten races, Nico Rosberg has explained to NBCSN how he hopes to turn his fortunes around and get back into the fight for the 2015 Formula 1 world championship.

Rosberg’s only victory over Hamilton since last August came at the Brazilian Grand Prix some six months ago. In the 2015 season, his record against his teammate currently reads 0-3.

This weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix is an important battleground for the two Mercedes drivers, given that it was the site of their titanic battle in 2014 that is regarded as one of the finest on-track battles in the last decade of the sport.

Hamilton won that day by just one second, and Rosberg explained that he has been studying the footage from last year’s race in a bid to give himself a better chance of winning this time around.

“That was very frustrating,” Rosberg told NBCSN. “I just looked at the pictures now, and I should have won it.

“Back here again now. I learned a lot definitely in the car to car battle, so I think I would do better if it happened again. Who knows, maybe again there will be such opportunities this weekend.”

Rosberg has traditionally run well in Bahrain, setting the fastest lap on his F1 debut back in 2006 when he was racing for Williams and starting on pole position for the past two years.

“Great memories here on this track, so many things,” Rosberg said. “Even going back ten years, I won the GP2 championship here which allowed me to get to F1, so a lot of things have happened on this track.”

Although he recognized that Hamilton’s recent form does give him the momentum, Rosberg believes that breaking this in Bahrain could spur him on to enjoy a similar run of success.

“Naturally that gives him a bit of riding the wave,” Rosberg said. “That’s the way it is, and I need to try and get out of that.

“Last year I managed that really well, because just after he won four times I had the best run of the season. That’s what I need to try and do again.

“It’s the biggest motivator, to want to beat Lewis.”

You can see more of the interview with Nico in the Bahrain GP edition of Paddock Pass.

AJ Foyt Racing promotes Benjamin Pedersen from Indy Lights to IndyCar for 2023 season

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing

Benjamin Pedersen is the first driver to land a promotion from Indy Lights into IndyCar for next season as AJ Foyt Racing confirmed Wednesday he’ll be part of its 2023 lineup.

Pedersen, a 23-year-old dual citizen of Denmark and the United States, spent last season running the full Indy Lights schedule for HMD Motorsports. Linus Lundqvist, his teammate, won the Lights title, and Pedersen finished fifth in the final standings. Pedersen earned his only win earlier this month when he led every lap from the pole at Portland.

Pedersen also ran four races for HMD in 2021 with back-to-back runner-up finishes in his debut. Pedersen landed on AJ Foyt Racing team president Larry Foyt’s radar through a “trusted colleague” and Pedersen spent most of last season shadowing the IndyCar team.

His promotion to IndyCar comes ahead of all four drivers who finished ahead of him in the Indy Lights standings, including champion Lundqvist.

“We are really looking forward to having Benjamin as part of the team,” Larry Foyt said. “His enthusiasm is infectious, and he is 100 percent committed to IndyCar, AJ Foyt Racing, and doing the best he can to win races.

“It’s been great to have him embedded with the team this past season, and everyone is excited to hit the ground running when testing begins. It is also great to have a multi-year program in place, which will help him and the team grow together.”

Foyt did not announce a car number for Pedersen. Kyle Kirkwood spent his rookie season driving AJ Foyt’s flagship No. 14 but Kirkwood is moving to Andretti Autosport. The team has not yet announced if Dalton Kellett will return for a fourth season, and a third car for Tatiana Calderon was pulled from competition after seven races because of sponsorship non-payment. Shutting down Calderon’s team removed the only semi-regular female driver from the IndyCar field.

Pedersen, however, was signed to an agreement Foyt said “spans multiple seasons as the team plans to develop the young rookie and is aligned to a longer-term plan for AJ Foyt Racing.”

Pedersen was born in Copenhagen but raised in Seattle and currently lives in Indianapolis. He said his time shadowing the IndyCar team has given him a jump on his rookie preparations.

“I’ve spent a lot of time this season with AJ Foyt Racing learning the ins and outs of making the jump to IndyCar and it’s been really nice to do that in conjunction with my Indy Lights season,” Pedersen said. “IndyCar has been my target goal since I started open wheel racing in 2016. The racing, atmosphere, fans, events, tracks, etc. are all awesome.”