Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2014

Hamilton was the best driver this year – Rosberg

2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2014Nico Rosberg said Lewis Hamilton deserved to win the championship despite the technical problem which spoiled Rosberg’s race in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton was on course to take the title before a problem with Rosberg’s power unit caused him to drop out of the points from second place.

Rosberg admitted he was “very disappointed” with the outcome but added, “in the end my race didn’t make a difference because Lewis won the race fair and square anyway”.

“So I don’t dwell into my issue today or anything. He deserved to win today and he deserved also to win the championship. He was this year just that little bit better and so it’s fully deserved.

“He’s done an amazing year, an amazing job and he was the best driver on the grid this year, for sure.

“It was a great battle between us, and that’s what I race for, for such battles, to go up against Lewis in the team. Very intense at times, of course, but most of the time fantastic and very proud, also, to be a part of this moment with the team. It’s been special. Having such a car, unbelievable.”

Rosberg said the title-deciding final race had been “an incredible experience for me”.

“I’ve never had that before, so much support from everybody, from fans all around the world – and even the British, I know of course a lot of Brits of course were for Lewis but still there was a lot of British fans here and it was so nice to see even after qualifying everyone just acknowledging and respectfully applauding and everything, it was very nice and I’m very thankful for that.”

2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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47 comments on “Hamilton was the best driver this year – Rosberg”

  1. Hamilton was the best MERCEDES DRIVER this year.

    1. I think he meant that. The overall best was surely Ricciardo, then Bottas.

    2. Who do you think did better this year? Ricciardo? Bottas? Button? Alonso? Fighting your teammate with equal status, and with WDC on the line is pretty tough I think.

      1. ricciardo, alonso and maybe botas were better drivers but their cars were 1-1.5 secs slower. so YES Hamilton is the best MERCEDES DRIVER THIS YEAR.

        1. So you can’t be better in the best car?

          1. YES, you can, BUT HAM was not, there were drivers that won hin partner almost every race he did not.

    3. Passive aggressive comments with no clarification? Those are the best kind of comments. Or should I say INTERNET COMMENTS to better reflect the tone?

      1. passsive agresive? why? it is just obviuos.

        1. You are indirectly saying he is not the best driver, but you make no effort to make an argument or even name the better driver(s). That’s pretty passive aggressive, mate.

          1. indirectly? not at all i was Really clear, he was the best MERCEDES DRIVER. he was not the best DRIVER, he drove the best car, by far.

        2. Not obvious, just trite. First you can’t really compare drivers in contention for the title and those not: the pressures are hugely different. Second the absence of focus on the non-title contenders means their mistakes and mediocre weekends – Bottas today for example? – go unremarked while even minor mistakes by those in the limelight get blown up into major errors and flaws. Third Hamilton was the best driver all season! He was up against a talented, fast and motivated rival and still won 11 races. None of Ricciardo, Alonso and Bottas have been at Rosberg’s level of consistent performance under pressure, yet alone Hamilton’s.

          1. Yes, well said

  2. Rosberg has been in damage control in the media since Spa he was very ungracious yday though then Karma struck. He turned the team against him i have seen one man agree with me and that is Keith(not Keith Collantine). Now he is lucked at as so sporting he was far from it most of year check his driver press conf in Abu Dhabi.

  3. That’s my lad. Chin up and go for it again next year

  4. Would love to have a Sliding doors moment and see if Hamilton would say something similar had he been the one to suffer the fault.

    Rosberg’s surely a graceful loser coming up with such level-headed quotes so soon after the end of the race, a lot of people wouldn’t want to talk to anyone.

    1. I remember a quote from somewhere in the build-up, from when they were karting teammates: “Nico accepted second, but Lewis would cry.”

      Now, that’s not a judgement on them, it just helps to further highlight those utterly different characters.

    2. It’s not as if he was extremely close or lost out through his own fault. He must have been coming to terms with it from the moment his clutch bogged down at the start

  5. Not buying into Rosberg’s PR campaign trying to re-brand himself as a graceful loser. Had he handled himself a little better throughout the year and leading to the final race, he would have gained so many fans and respect from fans and fellow drivers. Going into the season, he had so many people including myself supporting him because he was the underdog going up against a proven. It wasn’t long before we saw how desperate and gutless Rosberg was. Of course the goal is to win, but how you win is just as important as the win itself.

    1. Keep on hating dude!

      1. @gdewilde, Great come back buddy! No, I’m not talking about your comment, I’m referring to Hamilton’s drive all year. Never gave up despite the devastating set backs. Most importantly, he kept his dignity and showed what great character he has. Can’t say the same for Rosberg…which is why he was getting booed. Rosberg has gained back some dignity and respect since. His humility after losing the title, whether genuine or not has help his image. We’ll see what happens next year if adversity comes knocking at Rosberg’s door.

    2. Agreed entirely. I was fairly neutral towards Rosberg and was surprised at his raw speed compared to Hamilton (I thought it would be like Hamilton vs Kovalainen again).

      But he revealed a lot of his true character this year, he seems to be a very cynical driver and has quite a fake media persona, whereas Hamilton is the opposite, almost childishly innocent as a driver and too honest with the public.

    3. So, in your view, one man who simply acknowledges the truth (that Hamilton was the better driver over the course of the season) is surely lying because he wants to re-brand himself? I think Rosberg gained/regained fans with this statement, one of a gentleman and a gracious loser, as I find the statement and his whole behavior after the race genuine.

  6. Thank you Mercedes for this season.

    Nico and Lewis have just shown us what the years of Red Bull domination would have been
    like with a more sporting attitude to intra-team competition. If Red Bull had let a second driver,
    like Lewis, like Alonso, or indeed Nico in when it became clear that Vettel had the upper hand we would have
    had seasons like this throughout.

    1. I don’t know. Red Bull domination was never even close to the domination that Mercedes had this year. Every year from 2010-2013, there were some other cars (especially McLaren and Ferrari) that could win against Red Bull even when things were going smoothly at Red Bull.

      This year, no-one could really make a dent into the Mercedes domination. Only when things went wrong at Mercedes did other teams get a sniff at success (maybe the only exception was Massa’s pole in Austria).

      I tend to rate more highly (and more interesting) battles between two different cars and manufacturers rather than intra-team battles. And we had this in every Vettel season, except at the beginning of 2011 and the second half of 2013.

  7. The measure of the man is not how he acts in winning but the manner in which he can accept loss. Not a Nico fan but was impressed with the grace he showed today.

  8. Much respect to Rosberg for showing such class with congratulating Hamilton in person immediately after the race and in all his post race interviews. He didn’t have to to do it, but he did and said everything with honor.

    Neither Rosberg or Hamilton are my favorite drivers in F1 now, but Hamilton deserved the title and Rosberg was ever so close. Thank you to Mercedes for letting their drivers race rather than trying to fix outcomes. It wasn’t easy, but somehow it all worked out.

    1. It’s apparent that the fallout from monaco and spa hurt Nico greatly not just within the team but with how fans saw him. Being booed at the podium after every race must have been soul crushing. He probably made a concerted effort after that to put on a better “character” and act more professionally even though it slips sometimes in interviews.

    2. Well said!
      Neither I am the fan og the Mercedes pair but right now I’m leaving the crowd who booed him on podiums and applaud Nico.
      Nico accepted the defeat in style – too bad he didn’t show such sportsmanship earlier in the season but anyway his reaction is a cherry on the pie.
      Thank you Toto, Nico and Lewis!

  9. I hope he can win at least 1 WDC in his career.

    He’s no less of a driver than Raikkonen or Button.

    1. Rosberg has shown a few moments this year that weren’t very positive, but I sincerely believe that had his teammate been any other driver on the grid (except, possibly Alonso), Rosberg would be the 2014 F1 Champion.

      I hope he negotiated a better salary when they extended his contract. :)

  10. I feel sorry for Rosberg a little more than I would for most of those losing contenders I don’t cheer for.

    Not because I cheer for him, but purely because most of those other drivers had their team to consolidate him, to feel for him 100% – Nico will almost surely have no-one who will feel for him 100%, because every single member of the Mercedes team will direct their energies at least a bit towards feeling the joy of Hamilton’s victory. Perhaps the engineers he worked with will share his disappointment the most, but it will never be the same emotional backing a losing contender would feel, if this wasn’t an intra-team battle for the championship.

    1. You can bet that his side of the garage, and the few Germans in the team, will all be very disappointed and Lewis’ win will not be the outcome they wanted at all.

  11. It’s easier to admit defeat when you know that what you’re doing is not enough.
    He was behind and unable to close the gap and challenge Hamilton, like many times before this year.

    Then the car failed and it was it.
    It would be pathetic to blame the car. The main thing he have to blame is about his poor start, that threw away immediately any strategy he ever had about making other guys overtake Hamilton.

  12. No one can say that Lewis didn’t deserve to win, coming back twice when he couldn’t count on other mid-field teams cars to have an effect on ‘the other car’ which was identical to his is a massive achievement. I have backed Lewis ever since testing started before the first race for the championship, but loved the fact Nico was a threat every race and pushed him to drive to his full capabilities. After some of the moves he pulled off and his pure speed compared to Nico, when talking about the best driver of the season, it baffles me people don’t consider Lewis, Daniel, Valterri ect in the same breath…..

    1. And to clarify, I’m not saying Lewis was the best driver, but he should be included in that group of ‘nominees’ as such

  13. Lewis hamilton is the best driver of the season.he had some qualifying mistakes but except Brazil he didn’t made a single mistake in races.look at that drives in baharain,suzuka they were epic no one can do that.everybody hails Ricardo he is a good driver but people over rated vettel that is why Ricardo get some votes.

  14. Did anyone see how Martin Brundle kept ranting on how Nico was able to manage the car to the end without mentioning how great Lewis did to keep the car in one piece till the flag.

    1. @usukpam
      What else would you expect from Martin Brundle?

      His voice sounded like he was at a funeral when Nico started experiencing problems.

  15. Nico did not win the race nor the championship but he clearly has the quality and character of a true champion. GO Nico….. Thanks, Norris

  16. Rosberg may one year win a WDC but not while Hamilton’s his teammate.

  17. Finally Rosberg says something that makes sense!

  18. Rosberg is right, Hamilton was the best driver this year. Bottas, Ricciardo and Alonso were all exceptional as well but overturning 25 and 29 point deficits to your team mate who is driving the same monster car that you are is remarkable. Suck it up all you nay-sayers; he was great.

  19. I was one of those who considered Nico a brat all season. I expected him to eventually lighten-up a bit for PR reasons, but he went much farther today in his praise for Lewis than would be expected if he was simply mending his image. I think Nico has actually grown-up a lot recently.

  20. By the way, imagine the response from fans if Lewis had said post-race, in the spirit of a recent past WDC; “Rosberg did not DESERVE to win the championship!”

  21. I already predicted he will say this, because the way he bring the car to the chequered flag. I really respect Rosberg attitude in Abu Dhabi, he just being a gentleman, and never give up until he lose everything. Above all, i really hope Rosberg improve his starts and race pace so we could see a much closer fight of Mercedea duo

  22. Anyone who has a high, media profile will have been coached on how to present themselves. In fact, both drivers’ managers would have probably emphasised the need to avoid appearing like a sore loser…while the whole world was looking on.

    Rosberg’s actions have already made him the target of fan disapproval (Monaco qualifying and the Spa collision, for example). Whether the disapproval was justified is a moot point. The fact that Rosberg has been roundly booed on the podium is a bald (and sad) fact. The last thing he wants is to hand out ammunition for further booing next season. Imagine the negative PR that would result from him appearing less than gracious in defeat. The reaction? Rosberg’s image would suffer (again) he would probably be booed on the podium next season and the Mercedes’ team management would be less than pleased.

    Image is a major part of F1. The teams and the drivers know that full well.

    I’m not hating here. I try to be even handed in assessing drivers in my own, amateur way. I’m just saying it as I see it.

    Finally, Hamilton’s start was the launch of the season for me. Wonderful getaway, one that would probably have won him the WDC, even without Rosberg’s technical problems.

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