Rosberg revs up for century

Adrian Sutil in action for Mercedes at the Nurburgring last weekend
Adrian Sutil in action for Mercedes at the Nurburgring last weekend

NICO Rosberg will start his 100th FIA F1 World Championship race when he lines up for the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend in Budapest, writes James Beckett.

The German will score his century while driving for the Brackley-based Petronas Mercedes GP team.

Having started his career with Williams in 2006, Rosberg is yet to miss a Grand Prix since and is closing in on his father Keke’s total of 114 races.

However, in 99 starts so far, Rosberg has only managed one second place and four third places, and he admitted that although the milestone was a nice one he was more focused on achieving success.

“Hungary will be my 100th Grand Prix which seems crazy when my father completed 114 races over his whole career,” Rosberg said.

“It’s a nice number but statistics aren’t that important to me. I’m looking forward to the weekend in Budapest as I like the Hungaroring very much, and I’m hoping for a better time than in 2010 when unfortunately I didn’t finish the race.”

>>Lewis Hamilton returned to winning ways at the Nurburgring last weekend, when the Vodafone-McLaren-Mercedes driver won the German Grand Prix, write Colin and James Beckett.

Hamilton saw off the challenge of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso - the winner at Silverstone, and Mark Webber to add further spice to the 2011 FIA F1 World Championship battle. Reigning champion, and dominator of the early part of the season, Sebastian Vettel, finished fourth.

Adrian Sutil racing infront of his home crowd, did a great job to drive his Silverstone-based Kingfisher Force India to sixth at the chequered flag.

He said afterwards: “I am really pleased. It is always great to have a strong drive at your home Grand Prix and this is a major boost for the whole team.”

Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher also scored point-scoring drives in their Brackley-based Petronas Mercedes GP cars, finishing the race in seventh and eighth.

The Mercedes duo had enjoyed drives in ‘Silver Arrows’ cars previously driven by Juan Manuel Fangio prior to the race weekend.

Schumacher said: “Probably these positions are a fair reflection of our pace just now. The car seems quite good in qualifying and practice trim, and the bottom half of the top ten seems to be where we are right now during a race.

“We can keep a strong focus moving forward and hopefully can gain some places at the Hungaroring in the next race.”

>>Brackley’s Karun Chandhok made a surprise race appearance for Team Lotus at the Nurburgring.

The team decided to stand-down their regular race driver, Jarno Trulli, in favour of Chandhok - the team’s test driver.

The Indian drove the Lotus T128 to twentieth at the flag.

Championship standings after round 10: 1. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 216; 2. Mark Webber (Red Bull) 139; 3. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 134; 4. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 130;5. Jenson Button (McLaren) 109; 6. Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 62. Next Grand Prix race: Hungary, Sunday July 31.