July has been a mixed month for Nico Rosberg. On the one hand he has a new two-year Mercedes contract in his back pocket, and on the other he is facing the prospect of another title defeat to Lewis Hamilton.
Rosberg’s campaign began in flying form as he claimed four wins on the trot and, according to the sport’s history books, was assured of the World title given that every driver who has ever won the opening four races has gone on to win the Drivers’ Championship title.
Throw in the fact that he had a 43-point advantage over Hamilton, and he was smiling all the way to the chequered flag.
And then it all changed.
Following their lap 1 double DNF in Spain, Hamilton burst back with six wins at the next seven grands prix to claim 160 points from the 175 available.
Rosberg, in sharp contrast, won just one race and only made it onto the podium in two others.
This heralded a turnaround in the standings with Hamilton 19 points ahead of his team-mate after Sunday’s German GP win.
So it is all over for Rosberg?
Mathematically of course not, there are still 225 points to play for.
There are also Hamilton’s pending grid penalties to come, which could see him drop as many as 15 places at one race, and that you’d expect would hand Rosberg a free run to the chequered flag.
It is the mental part, though, that may the German’s undoing.
An arduous home race in which he struggled to get off the line from pole position was followed by a cheap move on Max Verstappen, one that resulted in a penalty for Rosberg.
As such instead of fighting back at his home grand prix, he fell even further off the pace.
He is, however, adamant that he has the fortitude to come back from this.
“I have enough evidence to show myself that I’m strongest after difficult moments, time and time again, so no issues there,” he said.
However, history – his own history and not those of the legends of the past – and his inability to beat Hamilton to the crown in previous seasons says otherwise.
Perhaps this year Rosberg will make his mark as the one driver in F1’s history to win the opening four races and still come up short.