Nico Rosberg: Every race is like a cup final

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Nico Rosberg says he is treating every grand prix like a win-or-lose cup final as he attempts to close his nine-point gap to teammate Lewis Hamilton at this weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

Rosberg went into the summer break with a 19-point deficit to Hamilton but in the knowledge his teammate would have to take a monster grid penalty in Spa-Francorchamps to stock up on new engines. However, an impressive recovery drive by Hamilton from 21st to third at Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix saw him minimise the damage to his title lead, with the gap now standing at nine points with eight races remaining.

"I'm really enjoying the battle out there right now," Rosberg said. "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."

Rosberg was pleased to add Spa-Francorchamps to his list of wins and is hoping he can do the same in Monza after an engine issue saw him retire from last year's Italian Grand Prix.

"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..."