Lauda: Rosberg’s lap time shows he is not playing it safe

Date published: November 12 2016

With Nico Rosberg enjoying a 19-point lead on the Drivers’ Championship, Mercedes’ Niki Lauda has insisted that the German is not playing it safe, using his similar lap times to Lewis Hamilton as a reference.

Rosberg will start the Brazilian Grand Prix P2 after Hamilton edged him out for pole position by 0.102s.

Despite the Silver Arrow driver only needing two P2 finishes in the remaining races, Lauda said Rosberg is smart enough not to take it easy.

“Lewis does not have any pressure because he can attack all the way as he has nothing to lose,” the F1 legend told Sky Sports F1.

“With 19 points in hand, you could put yourself under pressure, which would restrict you in your driving.

“You should not do that and take it like any other race, which Nico is doing… As you can see, he is doing the same lap time as Lewis.”

Reflecting on Saturday’s action, Rosberg couldn’t help but feel disappointed he wasn’t able to snatch pole from his team-mate.

“It was very close and that is when it is disappointing because you think ‘one tenth maybe I could have pulled out a tenth there or wherever’ so that is never ideal. But that is the way it is,” he concluded.