2016 Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg says the body language displayed by Lewis Hamilton following his run of bad luck in the title battle is one that he’d “never seen” before from the Briton, and suggested that the four time world champion is beginning to show signs of “disbelief” as he bids to beat Vettel to a fifth world title.
Lewis Hamilton suffered a hydraulic problem during qualifying for the German Grand Prix, and will start 14th — pending any possible gearbox penalties that could be attached to his failure. Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel went on to take a dominant Formula 1 pole position at his home race, breaking the all time record at the Hockenheimring.
Germany wasn’t the first time Hamilton’s championship has taken a blow with bad luck and reliability issues. The Austrian Grand Prix saw Hamilton’s comfortable race lead taken away from him over a wrong strategy call during the VSC period, and later went on to retire from the race following a transmission problem on his Mercedes. A week on at his home race, the Mercedes driver was hit by Raikkonen, and the Brit subsequently dropped to the back, while Vettel cruised away upfront.
Rosberg, who was Hamilton’s long-time team-mate at Mercedes from 2013 to 2016, found himself locked into a fierce season-long title battle with his team-mate from 2014 to 2016, and Rosberg says the body language displayed by Hamilton in Silverstone and now Hockenheim is sometime he hadn’t seen before, and admits he is “worried” about his title defense.
“This is something I’m a bit worried about,” Nico Rosberg is quoted on Sky Sports F1.
“I’ve never seen that body language from him before.
“We saw it for the first time at Silverstone, and now again for a very long time there – disbelief, or something.
“Of course it’s tough but this is a new body language, I’ve never seen that from Lewis.”
“This is such a huge setback,” Rosberg continued, “because Vettel is out there, the car is flying, he is odds-on favourite to win the race, and Lewis again has to start from somewhere back.
“So that’s going to be a very difficult day tomorrow for him.”