Nico Rosberg insists he can still catch his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in the race for the Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship.
World champion Hamilton holds a 48-point advantage over second-placed Rosberg going into the Russian Grand Prix this weekend.
The German has not tasted race victory since Austria in June and he has just three grand prix wins this season compared with Hamilton’s tally of eight.
Rosberg qualified on pole for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka last time out but Hamilton made a daring overtaking manoeuvre going into turn three and that was enough to seal a comfortable race victory for the British driver, with Rosberg recovering to finish second after dropping to fourth as a result of his early skirmish with Hamilton.
The 30-year-old has yet to be crowned drivers’ champion in his career but he insists this season is not yet beyond him, citing the overall performance levels from the Mercedes team as a reason to keep believing he can overhaul Hamilton.
“I’m not backing down and in my mind it’s not over yet,” Rosberg said.
“The gap on Lewis is quite big but the way the whole team has performed this year – from the factories to the garage – has been just incredible. I have the car I need to get back to the top step.”
Rosberg knows he needs to get to winning ways quickly with just five grands prix left and will be hoping to rediscover the sort of form that saw him pick up three race wins in four starts earlier in the campaign.
Rosberg is 3.50 to win the Russian Grand Prix, while Hamilton is 1.50.
The German can be backed at 15.00 to win the drivers’ championship.