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Austrian GP: Nico Rosberg throws hat in the Ring

"Why don't you drive every race like this?" former Anthony Hitchens Youth Jersey grand prix driver Gerhard Berger asked Nico Rosberg on the podium in Austria on Sunday after arguably the most impressive win of the German's Formula 1 career. With that one cheeky question, Berger got right to the nub of what has so far made the difference between Rosberg being a very, very good Formula 1 driver and a great one. Rosberg's third victory of the year moved him to just 10 points behind Hamilton in the world championship. And the interest the result creates goes beyond the mathematical reality of what is now a very tight title battle. It was the first time this year - and arguably, depending upon how you look at it, the first time since the start of 2014 - that Rosberg had beaten Hamilton in a straight fight without there being any nagging "what ifs" hanging over the result. Hamilton beat Rosberg in all the first four races to build a 24-point championship lead, at which stage the world champion appeared in complete control of the season and well on course for a third world title. Until Austria, Rosberg's only wins had been in Spain and Monaco . In Barcelona, Hamilton was stuck behind Sebasian Vettel for much of the race after a bad start, so the question of what would have happened had the Mercedes drivers raced throughout remained unanswered. In Monaco, Rosberg was gifted victory by a Mercedes team error, a decision to call Hamilton in for an unnecessary late-race pit stop during a safety car period which dropped him to third. Hamilton bounced back from that with an emphatic victory in Canada two weeks ago, and the sense that there was no real threat to the Englishman's ascendancy remained. After Austria, though, things look a little different. Hamilton looked uncomfortable throughout the practice sessions at the Red Bull Ring, suffering a series of spins or other off-track moments. Rosberg appeared much more at home. In first practice, he did what Andre Caldwell Youth Jersey Hamilton has done for the last two races - come out of the blocks fast and set a time well out of reach of his team-mate in the first half-hour of the session. He went on to head Hamilton in both sessions on Friday, and again in the first two parts of qualifying, only for the world champion to pull out a stormer of a lap at the start of the top 10 shoot-out and take pole. Would Rosberg have pipped Hamilton had he not gone off on the last corner of his final lap, after Hamilton had spun on the first of his? It was too close to call - Rosberg was neck and neck with his team-mate's time when he lost the car into Turn Nine. As it was, Rosberg didn't need to. A better start put him alongside Hamilton on the run to the first corner, and therefore into the lead, and after fending off an attack in Turn Two Rosberg never looked back. Hamilton admitted afterwards that he could do nothing about Rosberg: "Nico did a fantastic job. It was very close in the first stint, but he was quicker in the second stint. I lost it at the start." As he pulled into parc ferme, it was clear how much this win meant to Rosberg. His smiling eyes visible through the narrow gap in his helmet, he struggled to get out of the car and then made a bad attempt at crowd-surfing with his Mercedes mechanics. BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard said: "This level of performance from Nico Rosberg this weekend, he needs to deliver that more often. And if he can…" The sentence went unfinished, but the sentiment was clear. If Rosberg can drive like this more often, Hamilton would have a real fight on his hands. But whether he can is a different question. So far, Rosberg has not been able to do so consistently enough for it to be credible to suggest he can mount a convincing season-long challenge to Hamilton. Coulthard has a unique insight into this http://www.seahawksofficialnflonline.com/WOMENS_YOUTH_BOBBY_WAGNER_JERSEY.html scenario because it is not so very different from the one that faced him throughout much of his career. The Scot was team-mate at McLaren for many years to Mika Hakkinen. Like Hamilton, Hakkinen had a towering natural talent, incredible speed but an occasional vulnerability.

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