Rosberg happy, set for close scrap in Bahrain

 31 Mar 2016 - 16:41

 Rosberg happy, set for close scrap in Bahrain
German Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Mercedes AMG GP waits for the start of a press conference for the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at the Sakhir circuit near Manama, Bahrain, 31 March 2016. EPA/VALDRIN XHEMAJ

Manama: Nico Rosberg compared himself to English premier league leaders Leicester City on Thursday when asked to reflect on his winning start to the F1 season.

The 30-year-old German driver, who beat his Mercedes team-mate and defending three time world champion Lewis Hamilton in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, said he wanted to be a dark horse in the title race.

"Maybe I can be like Leicester City, not one of the main favourites, but win and then, well, just go," the soccer-loving driver laughed.

"I have made a good start!"

Rosberg added that he relished a chance to win again in this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix where, he said, "there is always a good chance to overtake".

"It is not done or dusted if I don't get the start right," he told Sky Sports News. "I can win if I am not in front because you can always overtake."

Earlier, Rosberg dismissed the statistical boost he gained by winning his fourth successive race and said he is prepared for another close scrap with British team-mate Hamilton this weekend.

Rosberg, who took advantage of a poor start from pole position by the defending champion in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, said he felt satisfied with his efforts in Melbourne.

But, he added, he did not consider last year's results to have any relevance to this season - and was looking ahead not backwards.

"It was a very important win for me - a good way to start the season," he said. "Four wins? That may be nice, statistically, but I'm not thinking much about last year -- except that it gave me a positive mood going to Melbourne.

"Now, I'm here," he said. "Another race, another weekend. It was very important to start the new season with a win so, so far, perfect job!"

Rosberg's confidence was not dented, he suggested, by Hamilton's return to form in practice and qualifying in Melbourne where the Englishman claimed his 50th pole position.

Hamilton, however, said he too felt confident.

"I have a good feeling about my pace," he said. "I was ahead all weekend, until the race started, last time out, so I'm confident of course for Bahrain."

Rosberg added that he recognized the increased threat from Ferrari.

"I enjoy the fight with Lewis and with Ferrari," Rosberg said.

"We (Mercedes) still have some lead, but Sebastian (Vettel) is quite close to us now."