SPORT

Nico Rosberg Claims He Has 'Edge' Over Lewis Hamilton

18/06/2014 10:35 BST | Updated 18/06/2014 10:59 BST

Nico Rosberg believes he now has the psychological edge over Lewis Hamilton after putting daylight between himself and the Briton in this season's Formula One title race.

In a championship game of swings and roundabouts between the Mercedes teammates, Hamilton's burst of four consecutive wins after Rosberg's triumph in the season opener in Australia, allowed him to finally edge ahead in the drivers' standings.

But events over the last two grands prix in Monaco and Canada have conspired against Hamilton, leaving Rosberg to open up a 22-point cushion going into this weekend's return to Austria after an 11-year absence.

nico rosberg lewis hamilton

Rosberg believes he has the "edge" over Mercedes teammate Hamilton

With Rosberg now in the ascendancy, the 28-year-old German said: "If your teammate has three or four wins in a row that's obviously going to strengthen his position.

"So it was really important to bring that run to an end because psychology is a big part of sports. If you have those results behind you, like I do now, it gives you that little bit extra, that little bit of an edge, so it does help. It's important."

Rosberg can also count on lady luck being on his side last time out in Canada after both he and Hamilton suffered identical issues with one of the car's two energy recovery systems.

Whereas Hamilton was forced to retire, Rosberg managed to nurse his through severe difficulties before claiming second place behind debut race-winner Daniel Ricciardo in his Red Bull.

Rosberg added: "In hindsight it was damage limitation in Canada, coming second, lots of points. I could look back and say it was still a decent day.

"For the team it sucked because our ambition is to do much better. With reliability problems like that, it's not good. We need to be bulletproof.

"It's a work in progress. We've been good with reliability, but we have had a few problems now, so we have to keep on going and make sure it's 100 per cent, but of course it's never easy."