Nico Rosberg said that Ferrari’s run of bad form has put them in “nothing to lose” territory as they struggle to keep up with Red Bull.
A few months later though and a combination of car faults plus bad team decisions have seen them and Charles Leclerc slip well behind Red Bull in both Championships.
Form is definitely with Max Verstappen and co. having won the last six races but 2016 World Champion Rosberg has argued that this has inadvertently taken some of the pressure off of Ferrari.
“It’s kind of nothing to lose anymore,” he told Sky Sport’s Any Driven Monday. “So just go for it and then see what can be maximised. Of course they need to get on top of their reliability issues but the pressure is kind of off a little bit now.
“I mean, they were huge favourites after the first couple of races but now they’re so far behind. So you have nothing to lose. Go for it. Big push and let’s see what they can do.”
Rosberg was also asked which car he would prefer to be driving of the Red Bull and Ferrari and, despite Red Bull’s problems earlier this season as well as with Sergio Perez in Canada, the German was clear on which seat he would rather be in.
“Definitely Red Bull,” the ex-Mercedes driver said. “Maybe it’s not actually such an easy question, but feeling wise I do say Red Bull because recently it’s been the Ferrari not the Red Bull [that is breaking down], they’ve kind of got on top of their things.”
The 36-year-old was also rather damning on Carlos Sainz and said that he did not have it in him to be a World Champion.
“Sainz has got it in him to be a good, decent driver within Ferrari,” Rosberg said. “But at the moment he has not got it in him to be a World Champion.
“Because on performance, [Charles] Leclerc has been outdriving him every single race this year.
“So there he still needs to find quite a bit of progress to be on level terms with Leclerc, he is still somewhat away from there.
“That comes as quite a surprise after last year but of course the car is completely different so maybe it takes him more time to get on top of things.”