Rosberg dismisses Hamilton’s ‘easy’ claim

Nico Rosberg admits he has “taken notice” of Lewis Hamilton’s claim he will have an easy weekend at the Chinese Grand Prix, but doesn’t agree with his team-mate.

Hamilton will receive a five-place grid penalty in Shanghai as a result of a gearbox change after Mercedes discovered his original gearbox was damaged in Bahrain. Knowing he can start no higher than sixth on the grid, Hamilton said Rosberg is set for “an easy weekend”, a claim which the German dismissed.

“I mean I have taken notice of that but it hasn’t really changed my approach at all because a Hamilton that starts sixth is still going to challenge for the win and we know that, so from that point of view it doesn’t really change much for me,” Rosberg said.

“I’m still fully focused and not taking anything for granted at all, because not only him there are still Ferrari who haven’t shown at all what they can do yet, we mustn’t forget that, there’s a lot more in them because they’ve had such a messy first two races, it couldn’t have gone any worse really for them.

“So I know that as well, and therefore I am fully focused for the attack and looking forward to any battle that may arrive.”

Despite errors from his main rivals playing a part in his two victories so far this season, Rosberg is not taking confidence from his good fortune at this early stage.

“It’s two races into the longest F1 season we’ve ever had with 21 races, so thoughts like that don’t come across my mind because it’s just massively early days.

“It’s been two races and yes I am really happy how it’s gone but I’m battling Lewis Hamilton, and we all know how quick he is and his track record in the last two years, and that’s not going to be any different this year, he’s as focused and as motivated as ever internally.”

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