Mercedes-Benz motorsport, team boss, Norbert Haug has regarded Nico Rosberg’s maiden victory as one of the most memorable of his career. The German driver stood pole at the China Grand Prix in Shanghai on Sunday.
Nico Rosberg’s maiden grand prix victory, in his 111th race, was not just a matter of celebration at Shanghai, but the moment was also a gala back home in Stuttgart, at Mercedes-Benz’s glorious headquarters, and Brackley, the race team’s base. When he first arrived on the Formula One track after winning GP2 in 2005, he was not the most popular driver on the grid, and was reckoned self-pleased.
Like Jenson Button, who won his first race at the 113th attempt, the son of 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg waited long for his first victory. This gave Nico the patience and humility that he needed for the long wait and when he finally nailed the job, it was greatly appreciated by all. “It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Rosberg announced after raiding to checkered flag with over 20 seconds gap from the McLaren’s Jensen Button and Lewis Hamilton. “It has been a long time coming.”
The 26-year old’s victory was a huge win for Mercedes and their first as a works team since the 1955 Italian Grand Prix. This makes the Mercedes GP team a serious threat to Red Bull Racing and McLaren team. The German was a key factor in helping create the modern day ‘Silver Arrows’ at the start of 2010, after his bosses agreed to buy the then championship-winning Brawn GP outfit, and secured the prodigal return of Michael Schumacher.
However, his teammate Michael Schumacher suffered an early retirement from second position after facing a mechanical failure in his car. Daimler had split decision on having a factory team at Formula One, and this victory probably gives them a chance to reconsider.
After the astonishing victory, there have been talks on the upcoming Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend. There have been strategic competitions between drivers opting for two pit-stops and those going for three. While McLaren’s Button started fifth on the grid and Hamilton on seventh with three-stops, Rosberg opted for two-pit stops. The British racer, Button chased Rosberg and was on the verge of taking the lead, until a pit-stop delay bought an end to his ambitions.
Shanghai Grand Prix witnessed a spectacular battle for second position between Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus in second place all the way back to Paul di Resta’s Force India in 13th. However, the victory was of Mercedes team and Rosberg was praised by three-time world champion Niki Lauda.
“I was convinced my time would come when the car is ready,” Rosberg said. “Niki said to me ‘From now on winning gets easy’. So if that’s the case I’ll take it.”