Rosberg: Every race a cup final


Nico Rosberg is treating every race as a "cup final" as he battles it out with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton for the Formula One world title.

Rosberg won an action-packed Belgian Grand Prix from pole last weekend, but championship leader Hamilton worked his way through the field after starting on the back row of the grid to finish third.

Hamilton leads the German by only nine points ahead of the Italian Grand Prix this weekend and Rosberg is eager to erase the memories of an engine failure with three laps to go in Monza last year.

He said: "It's great to add a classic circuit like Spa to the list of wins. It wasn't a straightforward weekend for us - but everybody did a fantastic job and the car kept improving with every session, so hopefully that puts us on a good curve as we head to another legendary track in Monza.

"This is a race I really enjoy and one I'd really love to master. The tifosi create such an incredible atmosphere every single time, no matter who wins the race.

"Last year obviously didn't end so well for me there, so I'm hoping for a bit more luck and a little less fire this time... I'm really enjoying the battle out there right now.

"We've got several cars in the mix now which is exciting for us and also the fans. For me, I'm taking every race like a cup final.

"It's great to know you have the team and the car to just go out there and lay it on the line. I can't wait to make our Silver Arrow fly at Monza."

Hamilton won in Italy last year on his way to claiming a third world title and the Brit is targeting a carbon copy on Sunday.

Asked about racing at Monza, he said: "It's just so iconic in every way. Standing on that amazing podium, looking out over a sea of fans on the straight, has to be up there as one of the most incredible experiences a sportsman can have.

"I had a perfect weekend on track there last year. If I can repeat that it would be amazing but we'll see how we look when we get there. It's game on for me now with the penalties out of the way and fresh engines ready to use. I can't wait to get back out there."