Nico Rosberg thinks Williams will be the team to fear in Austria, not the two other big names on the F1 circuit.
After a run of poor results in Canada, Monaco and Spain, he re-established a 24-point lead over famed rival Lewis Hamilton after some stellar driving in Baku. And he’s determined not to make this triumph a one-off thing as he heads to the Spielberg track, a circuit he’s been dominating for the past two years since it re-opened after a ten-year hiatus. But Hamilton is not the only one he’s afraid of. He’s expecting some serious competition from Williams dup Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
FW37 is here, Valterri Bottas & Felipe Massa raring to go. pic.twitter.com/UtNYErCE6E
— M@£®! (@ray_ray1_6) February 1, 2015
“It’ll be tough against the Williams cars in particular, as they’ve pushed us hard there before. But I think our Silver Arrow is still definitely the best package on the grid and I can’t wait to see what it can do in Spielberg.
“To have two wins from two races at any track is pretty special, so if I could make it three in three, that would be awesome.”
So why is he feeling cornered by the Williams team on a track that has rebranded the Red Bull Ring? Well, just as he has been working magic at the Austrian GP since 2014, Massa and Bottas have been achieving some enviable things in the past two years. Williams claimed a front-row lockout in 2014 with Bottas snagging his maiden rostrum result while Massa ended up snapping at the heels of the Mercedes pair all the way to the podium last year. To Rosberg, it’s not about how big the names are but how much of a run for his money individual drivers are giving him. It appears that the Williams double threat have been proving their mettle on his track since its reopening.
Felipe Massa – Williams Mercedes pic.twitter.com/zLQTr6e9X8
— Autosport pictures (@Autosporthelmet) June 28, 2016
There are definitely drivers to watch and to watch out for outside of Mercedes, McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari. With talk of the payment distribution plans being redrawn to reflect merit, they may soon be receiving their just rewards and due recognition at long last.