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Wolff: no question marks over Rosberg's mental strength

11 Sep 2014

Nico Rosberg has the right mentality to recover from the mistakes which cost him a chance of victory in last Sunday’s Formula 1 Grand Premio d'Italia 2014, according to Mercedes-Benz's head of motorsport Toto Wolff.

Rosberg twice out-braked himself while leading, with the second error handing a race-winning advantage to team mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton. The German subsequently admitted the pressure of Hamilton's mid-race charge had contributed to his mistake, but Wolff played down suggestions that Monza could hand Hamilton a significant psychological edge.

"Mentally he is very strong," said Wolff of Rosberg, speaking to the Mercedes team's website. "If you want to be world champion you have to go through the highs and lows.

"Lewis has had many of them and came back - Nico had the same at Silverstone and also came back. So he has the mental strength to recover."

Wolff said Rosberg's error was just the latest example of how momentum in the duel between the drivers is constantly shifting, adding that both have the tenacity and belief to not succumb to the pressure of the title race.

"You need extreme mental strength to make it to the end and win the championship," Wolff said. "I think both of them have that in them - to bounce back after bad weekend.

"Before the incident in Spa they were going back and forth, when one had a good week and the other one not, but neither of them ever really had a low afterwards."

Wolff also praised Hamilton's spirit in dealing with adversity, adding: "I've been impressed with Lewis - he's had some dreadful weekends but he has always come back with a smile at the next race. He is always in good spirits, and I think that is something that is impressive in general."

Hamilton's victory at Monza means he is now 22 points behind Rosberg in the 2014 championship fight, with six races to go.

Mercedes, meanwhile, hold a commanding lead in the constructors' standings, having amassed 454 points this year - almost 200 more than Red Bull, who are second with 272.