BUDAPEST: Nico Rosberg stayed cool on Thursday as all around him looked for signs of rising anxiety in the heat ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
After one win in six races, during which his Mercedes team-mate and nearest rival Lewis Hamilton has registered four victories, the world championship leader has seen his lead slashed from 43 points to just one.
But he insisted at a news conference at the Hungaroring that he is feeling no pressure.
“No,” he said. “For me, up until now, I have had the best season of all the drivers… That is the fact which I am focussing on, but as I’ve said before, in general, I don’t look at the big picture.
“The best approach for me to win races is just to focus on the weekend at hand, which is Hungary.
“We will try to get the best out of it and go for the win. It doesn’t feel any different to previous weekends.”
Rosberg has never won in Hungary and, after reeling off four straight season-opening wins to take control of the title race, does not look likely to end that streak on Sunday.
As he has lost momentum, Hamilton has gathered it in a streak of form that has seen the two Mercedes men collide three times, twice with damaging results.
Rosberg said he is not worried by such events or such form.
“I have reflected on each and every race, after it is done, and I’ve moved on,” he explained.
“I’m excited to be here and I’ve had a good season so far so I will try to win this weekend as well.”
He rejected suggestions that with Ferrari floundering and Red Bull inconsistent, the championship was down to a two-car race between the Mercedes men.
“It is too early to say that,” he said. “Ferrari and Red Bull have been a bit up and down, but there is still such a long way to go.”
Asked about the revised and clarified radio communications ruling issued on Thursday, he said: “It’s not something I think about, it’s not something I have an opinion on because I just want to make the best of what we have and let the people decide what’s best.”
He accepted his 10-second penalty at the British Grand Prix, which relegated him from second to third, with equal equanimity.
“The radio communications were reviewed and it was deemed to be beyond what’s allowed — and that’s it,” he said.
“I got a 10-second penalty and I have to accept that.
“Things have been clarified once more, so we need to stick literally to the wording given by Charlie (Whiting, the Race Director) and that’s it. It’s clear.”