Nico Rosberg may have put an end to Lewis Hamilton’s four-race win streak with a lights-to-flag victory in last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, but his teammate’s recovery from the back of the grid to third prevented the German from retaking the lead in the championship.
That makes this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix a must-win event for Rosberg. Having lost out to Hamilton at favourite tracks like Monaco, Austria and Hockenheim, Rosberg needs to strike back at his teammate’s own hunting grounds if he is to keep his title challenge alive.
With traditional Hamilton tracks like Suzuka and Circuit of the Americas dominating the latter half of the season, it’s imperative that Rosberg builds on the momentum of Spa to take back control of the championship – just as he did at the start of the season.
“It’s great to add another classic circuit like Spa to the list of wins,” Rosberg said. “Hopefully that puts us on a good curve as we head to another legendary track in Monza.
“Last year obviously didn’t end so well for me there, so I’m hoping for a bit more luck and a little less fire this time… I can’t wait to make our Silver Arrow fly at Monza.”
But if Rosberg is heading to Monza emboldened by his performance in Belgium, so too will Lewis Hamilton, who also has the added psychological benefit of three recent Italian Grand Prix victories to his name.
“I had a perfect weekend there last year,” Hamilton said of his most recent Monza win. “Standing on that amazing podium, looking out over a sea of fans on the straight, has to be up there as one of the most incredible experiences a sportsman can have.
“It’s game on for me with the penalties out of the way and fresh engines ready to use. I can’t wait to get back out there.”