Even though he emulated his father by winning the Monaco Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg thinks he is some way from being able to complete another father-and-son double by clinching the world title as well.
Rosberg kept his cool amid the chaos to win the crash-marred race on Sunday to give Mercedes their first victory of the season, as well as matching Keke Rosberg’s Monaco win in 1983 — the year after the elder Rosberg won his only F1 title.
However, Nico Rosberg is only sixth in the overall standings and is still 60 points behind leader Sebastian Vettel.
“I don’t want to talk about [the title] at all,” he said. “We should not get over-excited for the next couple of races. We still have a bit of an issue with our race pace and also with the development race.”
He played down the emotional significance of matching his father’s achievement.
“It’s special, but honestly that’s not what I was thinking of when I was crossing the finish line,” the Mercedes driver said.
Still, he did enjoy the occasion of winning only his second career GP in the place where he spent much of his childhood growing up.
“This is the most special race for me to win, it was incredible, unreal. That is what is special about the sport,” Nico Rosberg said. “When I was quite young watching this race, my first memory was Ayrton Senna with the yellow helmet in the red-and-white [car].”
He began from pole position for the third straight GP, but had to restart three times after the race was held up by a safety car, a red flag and the safety car again.
The German finished ahead of Vettel and Red Bull teammate Mark Webber — last year’s winner — while Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after starting from second.
The red flag came out with about 30 laps to go when Williams driver Pastor Maldonado was nudged into the wall by Marussia’s Max Chilton.
Earlier, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa crashed and the safety car came out a second time when Frenchman Romain Grosjean smashed his Lotus into Daniel Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso. Grosjean was handed a 10-grid penalty point for the Canadian GP in two weeks’ time.
After winning, the 27-year-old Rosberg danced on the bonnet of his car before jumping off to hug his team.
Nico Rosberg won his other race from pole at the China GP last year and his previous best result this season was fourth in Malaysia.
They were useful points for three-time defending champion Vettel, who extended his lead at the top of the standings to 21 points over Kimi Raikkonen and 29 over Fernando Alonso, who failed to repeat his Spanish GP win from two weeks ago and could only manage seventh place.
Raikkonen finished way down in 10th after being barged by McLaren’s Sergio Perez late on.
Crashes dominated as Monaco confirmed it is one of the most difficult tracks in F1.
Chilton lost control and moved across into Maldonado on his side, sending the Venezuelan off the wall and into the crash barriers. Chilton’s teammate Jules Bianchi was dragged into the crash, but no drivere were hurt.
Meanwhile, Massa ploughed into the wall and slid across the track in a carbon copy of his crash in Saturday’s third practice.
Early on, Frenchman Charles Pic’s race ended when he had to bank his Caterham onto the side of the track and quickly clamber out as flames started shooting up.
Hamilton had just pitted for new tires on lap 30 when Massa crashed. As a result, when the safety car first came out, it was cruel on Hamilton, who then dropped behind Vettel and Webber into fourth place when the race restarted.
“I don’t put it down to bad luck,” said Hamilton, who is fourth overall and 45 points behind Vettel. “I wasn’t good enough.”
Mini-battles raged everywhere before the red flag came out on lap 46 and the race was halted for the third time on lap 62 after Grosjean lost control coming out of the tunnel.
There was still time for another incident when Perez tried for the second time to get past Raikkonen on the inside and then failed to finish. They both blamed each other.
The race was eventful off the track as well.
A little more than one hour before the start, Red Bull launched an official protest against Mercedes asking why Mercedes were allowed to conduct in-season tire testing following the Spanish GP.