Is Rosberg a deserving world champion?

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The debate over whether Nico Rosberg deserves the 2016 world championship title began long before he won it.

Before the Abu Dhabi finale he earned the endorsement of Damon Hill, the only other son of a world champion to win the title himself, who said Rosberg would be a fitting winner.

But only now the season is over and the title is won is it fair to assess whether Rosberg’s year-long performances make him a worthy world champion.

Is this a case of ‘all world champions are equal, but some are more equal than others’? Is the points tally all that matters in the final reckoning? Have your say on Rosberg’s title triumph.


It’s absurd to suggest Rosberg doesn’t deserve a championship when he has beaten a team mate of Lewis Hamilton’s calibre. Rosberg has overcome a formidable team mate in a team which has scrupulously given both drivers equal equipment, opportunities and strategy.

The only driver who has won more races in F1 than Hamilton is Michael Schumacher. Rosberg has been team mate to both these drivers and has now beaten both of them over at least one season. This championship success serves to highlight how underrated he has been.

While Hamilton has been unfortunate to suffer some unreliability, Rosberg has had problems too: an MGU-K problem during the race in Russia, suspension and brake-by-wire failures in Austria and the same incorrect engine setting as Hamilton in Baku.


Rosberg may have beaten a top-class team mate but he did it with a more reliable car. While he’s scored more points than Hamilton he also had a greater opportunity to score points due to his team mate’s race-ending retirement in Malaysia and qualifying setbacks earlier in the year, which more than accounted for the five-point difference between them.

Saying Rosberg deserves a championship victory in 2016 because he drove well and was underrated in previous seasons is excessively charitable. Fernando Alonso’s had championship near-misses in 2007, 2010 and 2012 but that doesn’t meant he automatically earns a third title.

In 2016 Hamilton won more races and stood on the podium more often than Rosberg. A driver’s best benchmark is always their team mate and Rosberg was beaten by his so it’s hard to say the best man won.

I say

Keke Rosberg’s title win was less convincing than his son’s
Like father, like son? Keke Rosberg’s 1982 world championship success was considered by some to be a product of good fortune at least as much as good driving. He took a single win in a season when Ferrari’s title-contending drivers were killed and maimed, while others experienced dire unreliability with their turbocharged cars.

This seems a more extreme example of a driver riding their luck all the way to the championship. Keke Rosberg scored 44 out of a maximum 144* points – just over 30%. That compared to 73% for Nico Rosberg this year. Clearly these are two very different championship achievements.

Sharing a team with one of the best drivers in F1 today, there’s no denying Rosberg has raised his game in 2016. He’s chipped away at Hamilton’s qualifying advantage and shown a new ruthlessness in wheel-to-wheel combat – something which has got him into trouble at times. And given a car which was tricky to launch from the line, Rosberg got it sussed more quickly than his team mate, and reaped the rewards.

There’s no denying he cannot rival Hamilton when the track is wet: Monaco, Silverstone and Interlagos gave ample evidence of that. And though Hamilton’s occasional slip-ups hindered his title chances, the difference in reliability between the two clearly played a more decisive role.

I think a fair verdict is that Rosberg deserves the championship, but Hamilton deserved it more. So it’s a ‘slightly’ for me.

*The ‘best 11 results count’ rule notwithstanding

You say

Do you think Nico Rosberg deserves to be champion this year? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Do you agree Nico Rosberg deserves the 2016 world championship?

  • No opinion (1%)
  • Strongly disagree (8%)
  • Slightly disagree (7%)
  • Neither agree nor disagree (3%)
  • Slightly agree (18%)
  • Strongly agree (63%)

Total Voters: 480

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The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – your verdict

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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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198 comments on “Is Rosberg a deserving world champion?”

  1. Voted no opinion, as I think its only the points that matter.

    1. I voted strongly agree, but I like your interpretation!

      1. I voted strongly disagree for the following reasons:

        He didn’t prove he was the best driver on his team especially on track
        He didn’t fight for the championship for 4 races at the end
        He lost the Pole Championship to his teammate in the same year
        He lost the GP Championship to his teammate in the same year
        He won by just 5 points while his teammate lost a ton of points to all kinds of issues
        His only response when he sees his teammate passing him is to crash into him

        For me a worthy champion has to be a fighter first and foremost. If Nico had fought and lost, I might have given him the championship for at least trying. There were times in 2015 where Nico actually was a much more deserving champion than 2016. 2016 was a clobbering of Nico on track by his teammate. Yes he miraculously got more points with Mercedes even having to call God to ask for divine intervention in the last 2 races…

        1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
          29th November 2016, 14:03

          So you’d give him the title if he lost? Your logic in trying to belittle Rosberg and place Hamilton on a pedestal is rapidly crumbling. Your posts are getting increasingly desperate.

          1. @peppermint-lemon I’d give it to him if he fought and lost by a few points because Lewis is of course much better. If Nico could fight hard and come close to winning that would impress the hell out of even the staunchest Lewis supporters.

            The issue with Nico has always been his tactics. He beat Schumacher by being the “safest” driver on track while Michael was taking crazy risks to advance. He did the same this year.

            I can assure you that Nico really wanted to win the last few races to make a statement that he can beat Lewis but unfortunately Lewis outqualified him commandingly especially in the last race and in all 4 of the last races.

            He gave him a whole race to pass him at Abu Dhabi but Nico was too afraid to engage which he should have if he wants to be a deserving WDC. Lewis was slapping him with his glove for so many laps and Nico just stood there and took the blows. That’s not a deserving champion in anyone’s mind.

            Did you see the pictures of Nico flying Daniel and Max around to make sure they let him win? Seriously? Champion… In what world does a champion act like Frank Underwood?

          2. @freelittlebirds, check out that scene from “The Fast and The Furious”, where after Dominic Torreto (Vin Diesel) beat Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) in a drag race, the latter was still smiling on the basis that he thought he almost beat the winner. To which Torreto famously replied:

            “Ask any racer, any real racer. It don’t matter whether you win by an inch or a mile. Winning’s winning.” (

            You would be hard pressed to find anybody saying Rosberg is more talented than Hamilton. But as they say in the fight game, “it’s not about which of two fighters has more talent, it will come down to who will be the better fighter on that night”. Clearly, in 2016, Rosberg was the better man. It sucks for Hamilton (and his legion of followers), but hey, that’s racing. That’s life.

            PS: you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel by insinuating Nico’s friendship with the Red Bull boys helped him win the title. In many instances this year, those guys actually took points away from him. BUT if your theory/accusations are proven correct… then hey, Nico Rosberg is a genius in his own right. Gotta give it up to a man who exploits every possible option to win.

          3. @rafael-o Isn’t Vin Diesel riding motorcycles in the sea in his new movie? Ask any racer, any real racer- it doesn’t matter if you are wearing a Speedo or not or look like Yul Brynner, you simply never drive your vehicle into the water on purpose…

            Now if only Nico had won the championship wearing a Speedo and goggles, he’d deserve the championship for being the most eccentric racer ever :-)

          4. @rafael-o oh man, I totally forgot the underwater Lotus from “The Spy Who Loved Me” – submersible sports vehicles with gorgeous women are 100% approved and allowed by everyone in any sport!!! Was Roger Moore a deserving 007? By all means!!!

          5. @peppermint-lemon

            I lolled, yeah it’s getting desperate :-)

        2. I think its a bit unfair to say he doesn’t deserve it. There’s no doubt he gained from Hamilton’s misfortune but what is he supposed to do ? I do agree with your point regarding previous years. For me, 2014 was a stronger season for Rosberg along with some of his wins in 2015. I said in a previous thread that there hasn’t been a big step up from him this year. That said, his form has always good enough to compete for wins and poles at most tracks, so there’s no doubt he’s a worthy WDC.

          If you look back over the past 3 years Rosberg won 5 races in 2014, 6 races in 2015 and 9 in 2016. This year though Hamilton suffered 3 issues in qualifying meaning he was out of the picture for the win. If you take those into consideration that’s still a solid 6 wins but no massive jump in performance from previous years. If he’d won that amount of races without Hamilton’s mechanical issues then I’d say he’d upped his game, but let’s not forget he was out qualified in Australia and Bahrain, so it’s not like he came into the season with lots of additional pace. Overall he’s a solid driver who is no doubt WDC material having pushed Hamilton so much over the last few years. I just wish he’d won it more convincingly and without Hamilton’s issues, but he can’t control those so the short answer is yes, he’s a deserving Champion.

        3. @freelittlebirds
          I agree that Hamilton has overall been the better driver but simply nowhere near as you are making it sound.

          Quoting your points:
          He didn’t prove he was the best driver on his team especially on track

          I mainly agree with this although some race weekends, Especially Sinapore, he certainly performed better than Hamilton but overall yes, I agree.

          He didn’t fight for the championship for 4 races at the end

          He simply didn’t need to. He thought carefully about it ant to me, made a smart decision. He kept is clean and kept out of trouble. He could well have purpously have just followed Hamilton home each race as there was always a very small risk of something going wrong that could possibly cost him the championship. He did enough and that is what he needed to do.

          He lost the Pole Championship to his teammate in the same year

          This is a fact and yes, Hamilton did miss one or 2 of them as he couldn’t take part. But Rosberg has at leased managed 21/21 front row starts. Even if I include the races that Hamilton did take part in qualifying in, there were 2 occasions where he could easily have been in the top 2 positions and he failed. Europe and Singapore. Those were 2 very poor qualifying sessions for Hamilton, Especially Europe which ended in a crash. Rosberg as I said has at leased qualified 1st or 2nd every time he’s had the opportunity. Qualifying often doesn’t really affect the race so long as you start on or close to the front row anyway.

          He lost the GP Championship to his teammate in the same year

          I think I must be having a blank moment as I can’t quite understand what you mean by this. I won’t guess what it is.

          He won by just 5 points while his teammate lost a ton of points to all kinds of issues

          He did win by just 5 points but it doesn’t matter in the slightest how many points you win the championship by as it still makes you champion if you are just 1 ahead! Hamilton has had worse luck but he certainly hasn’t had a very good year. Several bad starts that he can’t really blame anyone else for and then he had one retirement more than Rosberg. Its not that unusual for one driver to have more bad luck than the other. Rosberg had 2 retirements against Hamilton’s 1 in 2015. I know Hamilton has also suffered otehr issues as well but he could well still have been champion if he had done a better job in other weekends. Like in Europe. It was his own fault that he ended up qualifying 10th and then aparrently him and Rosberg both had the same technical fault yet Rosberg knew how to fix it and Hamilton didn’t and the team obviously couldn’t help him. If he didn’t make that mistake in qualifying and knew what to do in the race to sort out the issue, he could have gained a enough more points there alone to beat Rosberg in the championship if things went the same way they did after then. Rosberg has also had some poor race weekends I’ll admit but he’s made the most of it when Hamilton’s been having his bad luck. It’s not like he’s lucky, it’s just that Hamilton’t been unlucky to have worse reliability. It certainly isn’t just that that has helped Rosberg beat him.

          His only response when he sees his teammate passing him is to crash into him

          That did happen in Austria and that was a moment that Rosberg was certainly was at fault and he paid the price and got a penalty. The other time they came togeather in Spain, I think you have give both of them 50% of the blame. People who think Hamilton has had such a clean season just are not right. I am very aware Rosberg has not had a great season either and I think a driver like Ricciardo is probably the most deserving of it as he pretty much never makes mistakes.

          I do think that Hamilton is better overall, But Rosberg still is certainly a very deserving world champion. When Hamilton was having his bad luck, he made the most of it and did much better job than Hamilton quite a lot of the time even when Hamilton wasn’t having any problems. Rosberg can’t help that Hamilton has had bad luck and can’t help that he did well in the races Hamilton couldn’t do so well in and that doesn’t stop him deserving the championship IMO at all.

        4. Anyone seriously saying rosberg doesn’t deserve the title is at the same time saying Hamilton doesn’t deserve 2008 title..

        5. Not talking about teammates, but Hamilton won less races in 2008 and won the championship by only 1 point against Massa, who himself lost one certain win (Hungary) and one likely win (Singapore) due to a mechanical failure and stupid team error. As much as I can say Massa ALSO deserved the title, Hamilton surely adeserved that championship.

          What impresses me the most is that by now we all know that Hamilton is the better driver, even Rosberg acknowlegdes that whan he calls Lewis “one of the best in history”, and anyway he managed to win the title doing the best he could, and with a little luck.

          The “hatgate” in Austin last year seemed to fire him up and made Nico extract that cliche “110%” that he needed to overcome Lewis.

        6. I’ve realised that the only ones who get upset when this question is asked seem to be illogical. Points are the only thing that Nico won..just and as a result, the championship. But it must be faced by anyone willing to admit facts to himself, if all things were equal (car wise), Rosberg would not have won…just like the previous seasons, and EVERYONE knows that despite the bold acts they put up in his defense. He is not a deserving champ, he can’t even drive in the wet for God’s sake. But if you rather lie to yourself about these facts, then so be it. The worse lie a man can tell is to himself.

    2. Why is this even a question? Of course he is deserving. Reliability issues are part of the game and can affect any driver. Rosberg was there to take advantage as any champion would.

      1. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend – On this we can agree. Every championship has twists and turns. Rosberg did what he needed to do to win this one.

      2. I actually will never get why people think that these reliability issue are due to the luck only… As an engineer I just can’t believe that Hamilton’s aggressive driving style has nothing to do with it.

        1. @toxic – The part I do not understand is some people believing that teams spending millions to win would ever do something to make one of their drivers have “reliability problems” on purpose. And yet, some folks persist.

          To your point, some drivers are masters at being fast while still holding the equipment together. Jim Clark comes to mind. Some drivers are harder on the equipment. Sometimes things just break…

        2. You can’t be a very good Engineer Toxic!

          If you think faulty insulation in the MGU-H requiring a redesign along with a new spec oil pump being required after Malaysia is down to aggressive driving (did you see Malaysia?) then you really do need to return to school.

          No LH was just unlucky to fall foul of Mercedes quality assurance that’s all..

          Even Paddy Lowe agreed!

    3. I second that. At the end, after 20 years, 2016 will be remembered as the year Rosberg won the championship. No one will remember whether he deserved it or not. Opinions don’t matter. Result does.

  2. He wasn’t driver of the season, but how often in recent years has the champion been the best driver?

    Rosberg was presented with an opportunity this year to win the title, through no fault of his own. He took it. He won. He had the most points. It’s as simple as that. Of course he’s a deserving champion. Is there any driver in F1’s history who isn’t?

    1. To me Schumacher was the best driver from 00-04 whereas Alonso was the best driver in both 05 and 06.

      Afther that Hamilton should have won 2007 imho and Massa in 2008 imho. The 2009 season was a joke with Button being better than Barrichello but not much else to say in terms of ‘the best driver’ because of the Brawn GP advantage during the first half of the season.

      Alonso should have won 2010 and Vettel was better than Webber in ’11 but the RBR was to far ahead for any other driver to be involved. Hamilton was the best to me in 2012 and again in ’13 Vettel was better than Webber but the RBR was to far ahead.

      Overall I think every champion deserved the title in the years they won, but you have to say that luck and the car are things out of the drivers hands that needs to fall in place too.

      1. Forgot to say that Hamilton was better in 2014 and 15 but the Merc was to far ahead again (like ’09,’11 and ’13)

        1. forgot to say, Hamilton also had the more reliable car in 2014 & 2015

          1. You keep suggesting this.

            It is factually untrue – in 2015 Rosbergs one extra engine blow had zero bearing on the championship. The points gulf was three times a DNF at that stage.

            In 2014 LH had far more reliability issues requiring back of the grid starts in season. He started off with a DNF!

            In the last race Rosbergs issues had no bearing on the championship. He had already lost. Only the double points made any difference. And he had still lost.

      2. Hoooooow on earth was Alonso better than RAI in 05?

        1. I remember reading a comment once (can’t remember the forum/website), where it was referred that after Imola 2005, some McLaren insiders thought Kimi’s driveshaft failure in the race was caused by him going too hard over the kerbs. I thought it made sense and confirmed my theory all along, that Raikkonen’s driving style at the time was blindingly quick but too hard on his car. Since if you compared the reliability record of his main team-mate, Montoya did not suffer as many mechanical set backs during 2005. So Alonso wasn’t as quick, but he was still consistently quick, and was able to do so without straining his machinery (no doubt helped by Renault’s decision to focus on reliability over speed, up until the championship was won).

          1. Well, a few thoughts on that: 1. First i’ve heard about it 2. was it always the same/a similar failure 3. Remember, like honestly remember, what Kimi did that year. Think about monza qualifying. Think Suzuka. And then remember that at the time it was widely accepted Montoya was the fastest guy in the business. And he was DESTROYED by Raikkönen. I know i’m a kimi fan, but damn, the 2005-Kimi was well and truly unbelievable.

          2. Since the start of the European races that season (where the MP4-20 was firmly established as the car to beat), most of the problems suffered by Kimi were engine related. Usually requiring a change of unit during the middle of the weekend, which earned him grid penalties in qualifying and therefore compromised his race (no DRS back then, so harder to fight through the field). Juan Pablo though didn’t have as many reliability issues though. I think the only race that year where he had a technical failure was in Hungary, with a broken driveshaft (but it is also said that the cause of it had to do with Montoya’s accident while navigating his car to its grid slot; when he idiotically collided with a generator being used by BAR Honda!). []

            Also, I’m not sure if Juan Pablo was ever considered the fastest guy in the sport. I think what you may be referring to is that the Colombian set the fastest lap record in F1 history, in terms of average speed (162.95mph) — a record he still holds today. Other than that, he was quick but too inconsistent and error prone. I once read that his application and driving style was considered more fit for the 1980s, rather than modern day F1.

            I completely agree with you though that Raikkonen was a beast during his McLaren days. Remember 2003? When he drove an aeging McLaren MP4-17D (an upgrade of the previous season’s car) and nearly wrested the WDC from Michael Schumacher, despite only winning one race versus the German’s 6. That was something special (also forget about Verstappen’s drive in Brazil this year. Rather check out Kimi’s drive in similar/worse conditions in the same track in 2003, and also in Silverstone 2002. Both times he was using Michelin tires, then considered inferior in the wet compared to the Bridgestones used by Ferrari).

            Sadly, he’s no longer as potent now. I predicted his decline in 2007, where despite winning the title and the most number of races that year, he took a bit long to be consistently competitive in the F2007 and with the switch to Bridgestone tires (compared to Alonso, who also struggled with the switch from Michelin, but was more consistent), and also had more off-days than usual (Monaco qualifying 2007). I think his decline in form since the McLaren days has a lot to do with missing the discipline imposed by Ron Dennis’ (“paternal”) presence, compared to Jean Todt’s approach of just “letting him go do his thing”. Whereas Hamilton flourished after escaping Ron’s controlling nature, the reverse is (probably) true with Kimi.

          3. @rafael-o Before the move to mclaren montoya was indeed widelyconsidered most naturally gifted/fastest Driver on the Grid. A lot of People expected him to Wipe the Floor with Räikkönen.
            You have to remember his Spell at williams, fighting shuey on Track, having a series of poles in 02, his 03 Campaign.

      3. Rosberg finished second to Hamilton 5 times, including the last four races (when that was all he needed to do). Hamilton finished second to Rosberg only three times. If Hamilton hadn’t raced this year, Rosberg would have had 14 wins for Mercedes. If Hamilton hadn’t raced, Mercedes would have had only 13 wins. Rosberg did what he needed to do.
        You can point to mechanical issues but you could also point to a blunder in Baku qualifying by Hamilton when he clouted the wall, placing him tenth on the grid, after dominating most of practice. He lost enough points there through poor grid position to lose the championship and it was widely speculated in the media even then that it was potentially critical.
        Keke Rosberg was asked about his own ’82 title, only one win in one of F1’s most turbulent seasons. His answer? “It was enough.”

      4. Obviously you never watched the 05 and 06 season with that summation.

        1. We’re talking about the ’16 season.

    2. @craig-o Well, when the best driver is on the same team, you’d kind of expect the better driver to win especially in 2016 with the reliability that Mercedes has had – well, they’ve had that reliability as a whole for everyone except Lewis… But were it just reliability Lewis would have made it through, I think that Mercedes realized that Lewis can overcome bad reliability, bad strategy, and a missile-like teammate… They actually needed more and Nico was jet-setting all the drivers, Toto was calling everyone and begging for them to let Nico win, cars were on fire, cars wouldn’t start, Trump promised to make F1 great again… You get the point!

    3. Nico did nothing wrong. Sure he was not my driver of the year, not even the best within Mercedes, but Lewis issues don’t make him less deserving.

  3. The only person who deserves the title is the one who won most points.

    1. @maciejs Can you people stop mentioning points please???

      what we’re trying to do is figure out who’s the best driver across a season.
      Points is just one method we have, it could have been gold medals or top 10 result counts… whatever it may be. Simply saying ‘current rule book says Rosberg is champion so it must be so’ is way too simplistic view.

      1. I think “who was best?” is a different question than “Is Rosberg a deserving world champion?”.

        I agree you can look beyond points to answer the former question.

        The second is dead simple. Yes.

        Regarding who was the best this year, one needs to consider the context. Rossberg happened to have an advantage and wisely focused on lowering risk. Hamilton, especially toward the end, had to risk. Others like RIC and VES could risk all the time. RAI had an opportunity to capitalize on VET’s frustration. F1, if one likes it or not, is not about driving always the fastest, it’s abut calculation. In this light, I’m not sure how well would ROS drive in wet if not the desire to preserve the advantage, something people assume was down to his abilities, perhaps it wasn’t.

        1. @maciejs

          I think “who was best?” is a different question than “Is Rosberg a deserving world champion?”.

          Spot on. Either Hamilton or Rosberg would have been deserving champions. Hence my vote is ‘Strongly agree’.

      2. “Can you people stop mentioning points please??? what we’re trying to do is figure out who’s the best driver across a season.”

        Not true. If it were, they would all drive the same cars, have randomised pit crews, etc. It is almost impossible to compare drivers in isolation because they all have different cars, race engineers, pit crews, teams etc.

        We are trying to decide who has the best driver/car/team combination. This year, that was Rosberg, which is shown by that fact he finished with more points

        1. No Fair! What if the spec-car was designed more to Vettels liking than Alonsos?

  4. Hamilton and his supporters are being bad losers by continuously pointing at reliability issues.

    Had Hamilton been properly focused on the job at hand in the early parts of the season (and indeed, halfway) he’d had nothing to worry about. He shouldn’t blame reliability, but should instead look at what he himself could have done better. He was beaten by Rosberg because he let his focus slide at too many times.

    Rosberg remained focused all year and that’s why he is the deserving champion.

    1. *Some of Lewis’ fans are being bad losers.

      Rosberg maximised all his opportunities; was never dirty or overly physical with his car towards his title rival; and had a few phenomenal weekends like Baku and Singapore.

      I don’t think he was the best driver at Mercedes this year but I believe he is still a deserving champion.

      1. Calum…

        “Rosberg maximised all his opportunities; was never dirty or overly physical with his car towards his title rival; and had a few phenomenal weekends like Baku and Singapore.”

        Really? Did Rosberg not plough into his teammate & Kimi this year?

        And what does, “overly physical with his car” even mean?

      2. Never dirty? He got a penalty for being dirty, TWICE!!.

      3. I don’t think he was the best driver at Mercedes this year but I believe he is still a deserving champion.

        I agree, and I think that nicely encapsulates the whole discussion. The best driver doesn’t always win the championship but that doesn’t automatically mean the champion doesn’t deserve it.

        I’m still going to vote “no opinion” though, because none of this really matters.

    2. Hahaha… these type of comments make me laugh. you just have to wonder how some people reason in everyday life. This cant be normal or can it?

      dude won most races, most poles, podiums and broke years of records all with one of the worst seasons he’s had and he wasn’t focused?

      Maybe he needs a sixth sense type of ability to for see and engine blow up just before it happens or use his super-focus ability to hold up the car ’till it crosses the line.

      The hate is real. Congrats to Nico for using his ‘focus’ better.

      1. @lums all those most this/that are hugely flattered by the fact that there is way more races these days than say in the Schumi-era.

        HAM doesn’t need a sixth sense. He wasn’t quite focussed at the first 4 races of the season. And in Singapore. But he wasn’t.

        1. scratch ‘but he wasn’t’

        2. First 4 races of the season

          Australia – got pole, slow start recovered to finish 2nd

          Bahrain – Got pole, slow start got hit at T1 by Bottas, recovered to finish 3rd

          China – MGU-K issue, started at the back of the grid, got hit at T1 trying to avoid a recovering Vettel

          Sochi – Yet another MGU-K issue, started 10th, loss of water pressure during the race. Recovered to finish 2nd

          Now point out to me how he was not focused in the first 4 races?

        3. You mean the Singapore where he missed FP1 and FP2 because of a hydraulics failure and suspension failure.

          Yeah, that’s right, 2 separate mechanical failures before Qualifying and Race day that is on top of the Gearbox or Power Unit problems he had through the year.

          I get it, it’s easy to ignore failures like that and pretend they didn’t happen.

          People seem to forget, or don’t know, that he had a separate Engine problem in Baku that was only discovered after the race as well that resulted in the team having to bin it. Which doesn’t get included in the already ridiculous amount of PU problems he had over all the other Mercedes powered drivers.

      2. After Japan Nico didn’t need i win anymore races. He didn’t need to strain his car and risk a failure.

        He played the game perfectly and after that DOMINATING weekend at the “drivers” track Suzuka he earned the right to finish second in the remaing races.

    3. Rosberg was less consistent than Hamilton @hanswes. Let’s see…

      Slow away in Oz
      Nightmare in Monaco
      Silly position in Canada T1
      Spun in Canada
      Bad start in Germany
      Penalised in Germany
      Settings error in Spain
      Collision in Spain
      Got passed in Becketts
      Last lap error in Austria
      Got penalised in Austria
      Got penalised in Sepang

      The one metric by which he ‘deserved’ the title is mechanical reliability.

      1. @lockup still that was consistent enough. HAM needs to look at himself.

        1. I don’t think you’ve made that case @hanswes. If you’re saying Hamilton lost because he didn’t drive the first perfect season in history then that’s not too convincing.

          The first 4 races of the season went:
          Nudged off by NR in T1
          Punted by Bottas in T1, floor damage
          ERS fail in Q1, started last, lost FW with Nazr swerve in T1
          ERS fail in Q3, started 10th, finished 2nd with a water leak

          So if you think this was ‘not quite focussed’ then you (a) didn’t watch and (b) make stuff up

          1. @lockup All of those things are all in the game.

            Bottom line is I think Hamilton-supporters are acting like sore losers when pointing to reliability as the sole cause of Hamilton losing the championship.

          2. Thats a little unfair about Australia. If he hadn’t had a bad start, he wouldn’t have been in that position. Again for Bahrain, if he hadn’t had a bad start, he wouldn’t have been in a position to be hit by Bottas.

          3. No @hanswes, you just don’t have any basis for your opinion, so no reason for anyone else to share it.

          4. @bombinaround In Oz they were both beaten off the line and in Bahrain it was a small difference, 2,1 instead of 1,2 and we saw that happen both ways round several times during the year, as is pretty normal.
            In any case the point is that neither outcome was a result of ‘focus’.

          5. @hanswes: Without the failure in Malaysia alone, Lewis would be champion, and by a bigger margin than Rosberg is today. It’s perfectly reasonable to point out reliability when it has been so lopsided all season long, even influencing a race where there was no problem with the car (Spa). Lewis was the better driver over the season, and the markedly uneven reliability issues significantly handicapped Lewis (and pretty much just Lewis).

            Of course Nico deserves the championship – he was a great driver, and was in the right place at the right time. But as @keithcollantine says, Lewis deserved it more.

          6. @fluxsource Without screwing up like 4 Starts from Pole or something with Rosberg winning he’d be champion. So how is Reliability the Problem?

          7. @mrboerns Because reliability is something outside of his control, that in theory should be broadly similar between teammates. That it wasn’t produces a very uneven playing field.

            Yes the starts were within his control – but so were the performances where he went on to win. Entirely within his control, and what (I feel) is what we’re measuring when we talk about whether a driver “deserves” to win.

            You can always play a game of what ifs and craft scenarios where your preferred driver would come out on top – I’m as guilty of that as anyone. But reliability this year has been a pretty clear cut issue that significantly changed the outcome of the championship.

          8. @fluxsource YES! Reliablility is not within his control. Or Nicos. Or Totos. When the car did hold together though he threw away more than enough points to explain why he’s not champion. So he failed on his very own in scoring more points than rosberg.

          9. @mrboerns *sigh*

            Ok, if you want to go down that route… Lets look at the percentage of available points AFTER engine failures are considered. For Nico that’s 525 – every race. He scored 385 points, which is 73.33% of those available. Which is pretty impressive.

            For Lewis that’s 500 points – he was totally removed from Malaysia due to Engine failure. This does not take into consideration the potential points lost due to starting further down the grid due to failures on qualifying, or grid penalties taken at spa. With the 380 points Lewis got, that’s 76% of those available – a better figure than Rosberg, after accounting for only ONE of the engine failures. If you want to look at the comparison of points if Lewis’s engine hadn’t failed in Malaysia, the difference is greater – 77.14% for Lewis vs 72.76% for Nico.

            I’m NOT saying the Nico is an undeserving champion – he worked hard for it and earned it. But saying Lewis should have performed better is silly – he DID perform better.

          10. @fluxsource Well you know… I still think Hamilton threw away too many points on his own. You could now of course argue that Rosberg threw away too many points as well, but i fell this just makes no sense considering he won the championship so in a way he threw away pretty much as many points as he could afford.
            On a side note, I know i differ with the majority here in my assessment of some Ham/Ros events this year (Austria, Spain, Canada,…).
            On another side note, i hear all this talk about how hugely unluck Hamilton was in malaysia, people seem to forget that Nico got basically taken out in the first corner through no fault of his own. He also did a quite inspired comeback drive, which some people seem to think he never proved to be capable of.

        2. @hanswes

          When you are in a hole…stop digging….

        3. @hanswes Which part was bad? The clutch issue is extremely controversial – they somehow resolved it when it was too late. No one knows how they fixed it or why they waited forever to fix it.

          What we know is that it was fixed once Lewis couldn’t win the championship by winning every race. Coincidence?

          If we knew half the secrets of any F1 team, it would make the Volkswagen scandal seem like child’s play. All teams have secrets – that’s how they compete. If you play fair and square, you’d be Manor forever.

          Didn’t Nelson Piquet have a major sight issue that he kept hidden? That’s only the tip of the iceberg. Imagine about the ones that you could get a couple of years of jail time for:-)

          Kudos to Jos Verstappen for outing Toto to the press! Did you guys see Paddy’s reaction after he asked Lewis to speed up? You could tell he didn’t want to…

          1. @freelittlebirds actually we all knew about the clutch being tricky. Ros spent a huge amount of thougt and training on the Issue, even having his Gloves redesigned in order for the seam not to be in the way. At the Time ham was quoted as “not needing any of this”. Word Is he later adopted rosbergs redesigned Glove. But i Imagine that is nothing skysports f1did ever tell You

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            30th November 2016, 3:18

            @mrboerns thanks for the info – I’d read about the glove and to be honest I think I heard it on NBCSN in the US.

            I don’t remember seeing anything about Rosberg doing something special – do you have a link about that? I know Mercedes claimed they fixed it after Japan Oct 9th which is incidentally where Nico got over the 28 points he needed.


          3. @freelittlebirds don’t have a Link, Too lazy to google. It was Part of extensive prerace Coverage in Austrian Television(wich tends to be accurat) Shorty after the summer Break, trying to explain Nico’s better getaways im recent Races. It was also another few Races with Advantage rosberg After that before ham adopted the glove.

          4. @mrboerns

            so you actually believe that the new glove corrected the clutch issue 100% for both drivers as of October 10th? Obviously Nico’s glove wasn’t perfect before because he was also hampered by the clutch although to a lesser extent…

            So instead of correcting the clutch to provide more feedback (assuming that was the issue), they modified the gloves to provide more “clutch” feeling to the drivers and the gloves are now clutch perfect? I’m skeptical…

      2. This season is very similar to 2008. Massa indeed has mechanical failures but also made some mistakes, however he was the fastest driver in almost every other occasions. Saying that Rosberg did not deserve this title is the same to say that Hamilton did not deserve to be 2008 champion because of Massa problems. Indeed Hamilton had an undeserved punishment in Spa, but Hamilton did so many mistakes that season too. If car reability is what we are looking to, Hamilton didn’t deserve to be 2008 champion for sure.

    4. First of all congratulations to Nico for his win and I do think it is unfair to ask if he deserved the championship – he won it and there is nothing anyone can do about that.

      However to say that Lewis needed to be focused more on the job is absolutely ridiculous.
      Lewis’s only real weakness were his starts, but possibly one or two were not his fault – there were clutch issues and damp on the track in two of the races. However too many seem to forget that Nico also had poor starts and also made a terminal mistake in Spain not changing the setting (did the initial setting assist in his launch at the start of the race?) of his car back in time which caused him to lose power and ultimately cause his team mate to crash into him.
      Furthermore in Austria Nico again didn’t leave Lewis space when, Lewis, was just ahead on the corner causing another collision.
      Finally Rosberg collected race penalties this season and could have had one more for ignoring a gentleman’s agreement under double yellow flags (Yes what he did there was as bad as if not worse then Lewis backing up the race in Abu Dhabi) to get a sneaky pole. In contrast Lewis had no penalties for his driving (just two reprimands).
      So Nico’s season was far from flawless and I also think it is a myth about him improving this season.

      Lewis on the other hand had one of his best season’s and I think if not for the reliability issues at
      China, Russia, Baku, Malaysia and the grid penalty at Spa – he may have wrapped up the driver’s championship much earlier than in 2015. In fact it is remarkable to think how he nearly twice overturned a 43 and 23 point deficit.

      To summarise the unbelievable and disproportionate amount of problems Lewis had with his car this season were the main determining factor of who won the championship. Considering that most cars are so reliable nowadays and that the Mercedes was near faultless in preseason testing, why he had so many issues remains a mystery.

      The only question in favor of Nico is would he have done more in the last four races had Lewis not had the failure in Malaysia ?

    5. @hanswes – It would appear some Rosberg fans are being poor winners working overtime to try to discredit Hamilton instead of celebrating like Nico.

      Neither Hamilton or Rosberg are my favorite driver on the grid, but I don’t dislike either one. I think Hamilton is the better driver, but Rosberg did what he needed to do to win WDC for 2016 and Lewis has to live with that. Be happy!

    6. Over the course of the season, Hamilton was the better driver. But that doesn’t make Rosberg undeserving.

    7. @hanswes your assessment is pretty poor mate. Nico won the WDC, but he did not “beat” Lewis, we all know that. We can point to Lewis bad starts (Nico had a couple as well) but what about all those issues that compromised his qualifying? Would we be here discussing that if Lewis engine did not blow up in Malaysia?

  5. All this is Rosberg deserving of a champion is blown out of proportion. Do people remember Hamilton won 5 to Massas 6 in 2008, Denny Hulme 2 to Jim Clark 4, Piquet 3 to Mansell 6, Piquet 3 to Prost 4. No we remember who won the championship whether they were the better driver or not. As much as you like it or not Rosberg is the World Champion that is an achievement in itself. People can try and make excuses as to why he won but he had the most points no matter what you do history will remember Nico Rosberg as the 2016 World Champion not Lewis Hamilton 2016 “unreliable”.

    1. When Keke Rosberg became world champion he won just one race while no less than 5 other drivers won two times that year… Just counting wins won’t cut it right.

      1. And people still remember that, don’t they? Even a 30something guy like knows it. All this “people will not remember” bs is nonsense and discussing such a thing does not diminish Nico’s remarkable achievement any inch, pretending that it does is overreaction.

    2. Very well said. I think he deserves it, he beat Hamilton over a whole season. Luck, reliability, skill, intelligence – call it what you will, but it all boils down to that he beat the driver everyone wants to beat. Tons of seasons have been decided by coincidences. I still blame Grosjeans start-crash at Spa for costing Alonso the title that year. But it is, what it is. In the end Vettel just scored more points and thus deserved the title.

    3. “Do people remember Hamilton won 5 to Massas 6 in 2008”

      Do you remember why that was? because i do ;]

      1. I do too, and it’s still Ham 5 vs Massa 6.

    4. @jamiejay995
      “Do people remember Hamilton won 5 to Massas 6”

      No. Lewis won 6. Massa won 5. Lewis was stripped of one win, and it was given to Massa – thus Massa ended up with 6. Your first statement is disingenuous; as it doesn’t take into consideration how Massa ended up with 6 wins on the record books. This may be pedantic, but the devil is always in the details – especially when you are trying to prove a point.

      1. If you are going to take that Spa win away from Massa, you’d better give it to Raikonnen. Hamilton wouldn’t have made the pass on Kimi at La Source if he had properly gone through the Bus Stop chicane. Yes, he crashed later on the very next lap, but you don’t know what would have happened if Kimi had been dictating the race from the lead instead of having to risk getting back into the lead(which he did do briefly in the craziness that was lap 42) . What I do know is that by cheating the chicane and then tucking himself into a competitor’s slip stream for the La Source pass- that was penalty worthy, and he received one.

        1. @reg go watch that again.

  6. Don’t forget what Rosberg did in Monaco: he let him pass (?!) when he was ahead of Hamilton.

    1. He had no choice, he was like bambi on ice.

  7. You don’t deserve a championship, you win a championship.

    1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      29th November 2016, 14:07

      Absolutely spot on.

    2. Succinctly put 👍

  8. Slightly agree. He won the most points and did what he needed to be champion, end of story.

    Though, if you want to look into it further, he’s not that good. There are numerous drivers on the grid who are faster than him and have significantly better racecraft – not least his team-mate, I admit begrudgingly. He almost certainly has benefited from having one of the best cars F1 has ever seen as in lesser machinery I doubt he’d ever have gotten close.

    But that was his car, and the other drivers weren’t in it – Rosberg was. He did what he needed to do when Hamilton wasn’t doing what he needed to do, and that’s that really. Personally I’m not that keen on him or Hamilton.

  9. Rosberg is a good enough driver to win one WDC in his career… and now he has it.

    Does he deserve a WDC more than some of the drivers who have won it in the past? Yes. I’d consider this more earned than Villenueve’s and Button’s championship years.

    Do I think he’ll win one again? Hell no. At least not with Hamilton with his teammate. A lot of things had to go his way this year, and he did capitalise on everything that went his way, and sometimes that’s a job done well enough.

    He got the title and that’s all that matters.

    1. ^ Well said. I don’t see him winning another championship with Ham as his team mate or even if any of the top 7 points finishers were his team mate. But who knows, maybe next year’s changes could suit him better than Hamilton and he will dominate the season if Red Bull and Ferrari don’t get their ish together.

    2. Fredrik Tackman
      29th November 2016, 13:08

      I think he will take another step now and win a couple more, imop he didnt wanted to be in front of Ham in case of “mishaps” for the latter part of the season.

    3. Well said. I don’t think even he thinks he will win another championship. He has one. I think he will relax and enjoy a few more seasons and then bow out (hopefully not do a Kimi)

    4. I see what you mean @todfod. But when I think back that I really didn’t believe he could do it in 2014 and despite a bit worse reliability, he still got close enough. Then, seeing how for example Coulthard had faired next to Mika, I expected Rosberg to fall back into the no. 2 driver role.
      And at first it looked like that was exactly the case, but by mid 2015 Rosberg suddenly started showing more and more that maybe he had not given up yet. Without the Sochi engine blowup, he might even have been able to put up a fight for that title too. Now he defeated himself with a(nother, not really unexpected) mistake.

      And then he got into that run of poles and victories, held on and held through to take the battle to Hamilton this year and win it. So by now, I really am a bit curious. Because on the one hand, surely Hamilton will want to take that string of 4 pole-wins he has now had on and he is certainly capable of it. But maybe Rosberg will show the same we saw with Button after his championship year, and he will be in the mix as well, riding on the extra confidence he got from that title.

      Off course we don’t know whether either of them will really have the car to be there next year (will it be Red Bull again?), and in those circumstances, again, I would expect Hamilton to be the more likely to be in the hunt for the championship. But you never know, maybe we suddenly have Rosberg be there too. He wasn’t all that shabby in 2010 either.

      1. @bascb – Very nice viewpoint, particularly about his comeback mentality.

        Its not easy being a teammate to a talented and crowned driver like Hamilton, Alonso, etc. because one would often struggle in the first competition of beating the teammate, before even competing against the other cars. And instead of rolling over and accepting that situation and Lewis’ victories in the past 2 years, he came back strongly this year.

        Rosberg might not win another championship, but I don’t see him going down without a fight. The only reason that might change is if he gets into a mindset of “mission accomplished” which often leads to retirement somewhere down the line.

  10. The problem with this year is aside from the above examples Keith mentioned for instance the crash in Spain (-7 for Rosberg not playing the blame game but he WAS in the lead), the crash in Austria which obviously would have been avoided if MGU-K/suspension didn’t fail so it went kind of rollercoster to the bottom for him that race and especially monaco gift to Hamilton. The questionable stewarding this year was against Rosberg also.

    Also we have to remember we are not in the cockpit. For instance when Hamilton was backing him to others in my own head aside from driving he was kinda switching also between conserve fuel in slow parts, qualifying mode in fast parts something Rosberg might not did to defend avoid any engine issues and I trully believe he was conserving his car heavily in the last 4 races in the very least during the races. I mean come on only when they told him its “crucial” he pushed (both engine, tires, being more risky in general) and overtook Max on the spot.

    Anyway the last 4 races in my own opinion due to him being especially conservative (thats his style) masked a lot of the performance throught the rest of the year. But he did what he should have done in his own road so its a slightly deserve for me as well.

    1. I don’t think Monaco was a gift. He was several seconds a lap slower. Ham would have had him. Team just ensured it was a risk free pass

  11. Anyone who even gets in to F1 let alone wins the drivers championship is deserving… It takes a lot of everything to get there.

  12. Strongly agree, for one reason alone: He had more points than anyone else at the end of a season.

    Whatever happens throughout the year, if you have the most points at the end, you deserve to be the champion.

  13. Rosberg has never overtaken or defended an overtake attempt from Hamilton succesfully. (As a sidenote it’s remarkable how few head-to-head fights we have seen between them over these 3 seasons, apart from racestarts where HAM generally won out when it was wheel to wheel). I have never seen Rosberg take an epic, or lets say, classic victory in general really.

    Rosberg has started every single race from the front row this year, which is expected when you drive a mercedes without any technical issues, whereas Hamilton has had multiple issues that forced him to start well down the field.

    Rosberg also did not have any issues during races (apart from the minor settings issues in Baku and I believe austria where he took a 10 sec penalty for the team assisting him) and he finished every race apart from the Spanish GP. Hamilton severly missed the points from Malaysia, no fault of his own. Rosberg was poor in Monaco in the rain and messy in wheel to wheel battle for example in Germany, Austria and especially Canada.

    Hamilton has messed up several starts and wasn’t at his best in qualy in Baku or in the race in Singapore that cost him a lot of points. Even with these screwups from Hamilton, he would have still beaten Rosberg if he didn’t have as many reliability issues or if Rosberg would have had an equal amount of reliability issues as his teammate I recon.

    However, in the end Rosberg is still a deserving champion imho because he has been incredibly consistant and, since reliability is something that you can’t control as a driver, he maximized the reliability advantage. The final race must have been incredibly hard given the title was on the line and I respect the hell out of him for keeping it together in what was a very difficult race for him. Major props.

    To me Rosberg has deserved this years championship despite that Hamilton is the better driver by quite some margin in my opinion.

    1. Rosberg has never overtaken or defended an overtake attempt from Hamilton succesfully.

      USA 2015.

    2. Rosberg outplayed Hamilton in 2014 in qualifications 11 to 7, but then was having lots of problems in most races. Still I don’t remember people saying that Hamilton deserves the championship yet Rosberg is a better driver. Talking about prejudice.
      Then again, Rosberg lost 20 points and a victory in Austria this year thank to failed breaks. Then again, who knows how things would go, if Vettel wouldn’t kick him off the track in Malaysia.

      1. @regs That’s mainly because Rosberg isn’t a better driver… ;)

      2. Actually in 2014 Hamilton suffered slightly more problems with his car than Rosberg, including two problems which meant he was unable to participate in qualifying and he certainly lost more points as a cumulative effect of all these failures. Lewis twice had to come back from points deficits to take the world. championship.

        1. Back then Rosberg had problems in nearly every race.

  14. Massive Lewis Hamilton fan here. I really admire him on and off the track. Have had the pleasure to meet him twice and despite what people may think of him, for whatever reasons they do, I think he is just an honest guy doing what he loves.

    He may dress or live his life differently to what many traditional F1 fans are comfortable with but at the end of the day we are here to judge him on track and I think his record speaks for itself and that is all that matters.

    That being said although in a perfect world I think he should have won the championship that has nothing to do with Rosberg. As they say in football “you can only beat the team put in front of you” and Rosberg did just that. It is not his fault that Lewis suffered more failures than him. He was dealt his own chips and came up on top. That’s just the way sports work, and in truth life.

    As such Rosberg is a deserving champion. He could only focus on his own “race” and he did what he had to win it. Congrats to him as I am sure we all know it has taken him years of hard work and skill to even reach the position he is in. He has earned his spot in the record books.

    Deserved Champion

    1. +1

      There is a clear criteria in becoming champion, which is getting the most points. Nico did that. He may not be the most exciting driver, or rthe best driver. But he is the driver that did what was required of him to win.

    2. @img343 +1

      Nico collected more points without doing anything wrong, he drove well and made the best of any circumstances during the season. Lewis has no reason to be ashamed, he put on great drives and gave his all to win but as mechanical sport, luck or lack of it can play a big part in the end and what happened to him was not neither his or Nico’s fault.

  15. Strongly agree. Nobody is calling Nico one of the greats, and nobody can deny LH is better on average, but that doesn’t change how Nico had to prepare and run his own race each day. Nico can’t and couldn’t do anything about LH’s issues. He was there when LH’s car faltered or he faltered, and this is racing. Many teammates have done so much less with the same equipment as their WDC teammate. He’s earned it, he has the trophy, and he deserves it.

  16. My rating of Rosberg hasn’t changed as, to be frank, I don’t think he’s driven drastically differently this year to any other year. Of course, he didn’t need to as so long as he was in position to capitalize on his opponent’s issues and mistakes, which he was. He’s still done some silly to downright insidious things this year, but he was there when it mattered and that’s what got him the championship.

  17. Rosberg helped develop the Mercedes car over the years, including before Hamilton arrived, even die-hard Hamilton fans (like me) have to recognise the input he’s made to a car that enabled Hamilton to win two championships.

    He capitalized on his chances against a faster driver and better all-round racer, one of Formula 1’s greats in fact. Hamilton, a superior talent, didn’t fully capitalize on his chances. He had more bad starts, which may be down to paying less attention to the issue than Rosberg, who knows, but more importantly he had two poor race weekends by his standards. Those dips were greater than the variation in Rosberg’s (generally slightly lower) level of performance.

    History will probably say Hamilton lost because of Mercedes engine unreliability with his car alone, which is true, but also recognise Rosberg is a very good driver who took his chance in unspectacular fashion, also true.

  18. Rosberg a worthy champion. He scored the most points but more importantly has the respect of the other drivers and most fans.
    Hamiltons arrogance does him no favours.

    1. @topscot The other drivers know Mirabeau was deliberate, so I wouldn’t be too sure about the respect.

  19. Nico Rosberg deserves the championship in the sense that he scored the most points, and that’s pretty much all that matters.

    That it took him driving one of the most dominant cars in the history of the sport, in combination with his teammate’s misfortune should keep him off most people’s shortlists of F1 legends, but that doesn’t make him “undeserving” of the WDC.

  20. Depends what ‘deserves’ means, really. He was good enough to be 5 points ahead after his teammate had 5 races removed from his challenge. Is that ‘deserved’ as in ‘was the best car/driver combo’?

    Well he was, if we admit it was not ‘in the same car’. It’s a kind of one-man team, with the best car. I don’t go for the politically correct version, personally, in that I think the same of him as I did before.

  21. Hamilton and Charlie Whiting ( for that matter ) are sour grapes. Nico drove like Prost ( with commen sense ) and looked after his machinary much better. Any idiot can drive off into the distance and distroy your car but Nico looked after his car and engine and thats why he had less failures. He even had to drive against Charlie Whiting knowing they will punish him at any and every stupid opportunity ( just look at his fantastic passing manoever on Kimi ) . Nico knew that if he attepted to pass LH then there was a very real and possible chance that LH would bump him off the track and LH would get away with the move like allways. Nico for champion.

    1. This “looked after the car better” theory is pure garbage. Mercedes themselves – who are vastly more knowledgable about their cars then any of us will ever be – insisted it wasn’t down to driving style, or anything Lewis had done differently. And alleging that Charlie Whiting is biased is just plain insulting.

      1. @fluxsource I agree with Ernst’s comment regarding “looking after the car”. I hold the opinion that how a driver uses the car engine affects its reliability. This is a racing engine that can destroy itself if the driver let it, so the engine has to be managed carefully or its reliability will be reduced. I think Rosberg did a better job than Hamilton, so the Championship was deserved.

        1. @drycrust Except Mercedes themselves debunked that theory. Unless you have some additional evidence, I don’t think you can really claim that as being relevant.

          1. @fluxsource Do you have a link for their statement? I’d like to see the wording.

          2. @drycrust

            This has also been stated a couple of other times in interviews with Toto and Paddy, although I haven’t managed to pin point others yet. I’ll have more of a look later today – they did a lot of interviews this year!

          3. That article relates to the MGU-H, which is a turbine with an alternator attached to it. I wouldn’t have expected this to be susceptible to how the driver drives, and in fact they were adamant that it wasn’t Hamilton’s fault. I tried to find what the outcome was, and the best I could do in the time available is it appears Mercedes had to upgrade their fuel injection system to remedy the situation, so maybe Hamilton was doing something other drivers with Mercedes engines weren’t doing, which is what I said. Upgrading the fuel system suggests the problem wasn’t actually the MGU-H after all. Also, I don’t know how you can upgrade the fuel system and yet stay within the fuel consumption limitations, but apparently you can.

          4. After some thinking, I’m now of the opinion that the problem was most likely caused by the way Hamilton was driving the car. He was the only one with this problem, the other 7 cars with Mercedes engines in them didn’t experience this problem, and the fix included upgrades to the fuel system, which is influenced by the driver. It is his responsibility to drive the car in such a way as to get the desired performance while adapting to its idiosyncrasies. Nico Rosberg drove his car so he didn’t have this problem, got pole position, finished first, and is now, by a margin of 5 points, World Drivers’ Champion; Lewis Hamilton didn’t adapt his style of driving to get around the problem, Qualified as 10th on the grid, finished second, which got 7 points less than first place, and is no longer World Drivers’ Champion.

  22. Well, Hamilton wasn’t less of a champion in 2014 when Rosberg had more reliability problems, nor when he lucked intro Massa’s title.

    We can also say that his poor starts were as much to blame for the championship loss as the reliability problems.

    Hamilton was favored by team orders against Rosberg (handing him a win in Monaco) and had the better side with penalties (Rosberg penalized by radio rules that were immediately thrown away, and for his move on Verstappen that was so many times allowed on other situations with other drivers).

    Rosberg wasn’t as lucky as at first it may seem. And he has beaten Hamilton fair and square in many races.


    1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      29th November 2016, 14:10


    2. It’s not just a question of more or less failures, it’s about what failures they are and when they happen, the significance they have on the outcome. For example, when Hamilton was at McLaren with Button, people used to say Button suffered just as many failures as Hamilton, but fail to take into account that Buttons failures happened in say, Monaco where he was in 10th place, compared to Hamiltons in Singapore, when he was leading the race.

      2008 Massa’s title? Please. Go and re-watch Malaysia and Silverstone and try to keep a straight face, not to mention Spa, where he was in the process of being schooled by both his teammate and Hamilton, until…well we know the story there.

      Monaco 2016 handed the win? You mean given the opportunity to catch first place who was being allowed to disppear up front, which also, if Redbull didn’t botch their pitstop, wouldn’t have been a win for Lewis anyway. Oh and don’t forget our new ‘Champion’ being overtaken by a Force India on the last lap just to rub it in how shockingly poor Rosberg was that weekend.

      “Rosberg penalized by radio rules that were immediately thrown away” – You mean the rules that meant the team couldn’t help Hamilton get out of a wrong engine mode they’d incorrectly set pre-race?

  23. I think there’s no person on this planet in any doubt who the better driver is (including Niko himself).
    All that said the best method to determine an F1 WDC is points.

  24. It’s not a case of wether he deserves it.

    I’d say the best way it can be described is that he’s fortunate that Hamilton was unfortunate.

  25. The author’s conclusion “I think a fair verdict is that Rosberg deserves the championship, but Hamilton deserved it more. So it’s a ‘slightly’ for me.” is itself paradoxical. How does he even concludes the Hamilton was the best driver on the grid when all the other drivers except Mercedes are driving in inferior equipment. Hamilton did well against Rosberg, but Ricciardo and Verstrappen also did great (may be even greater in some eyes). Even Alonso/Perez did great given the car they had. How do you compare across teams? So its better to just accept that Rosberg is Champion instead rather than going into an discussion.

  26. Back in 2007 Kimi won “by chance” in the last race, but no one can argue, that Kimi was and is a great driver, battling Schumacher at the height of MS career and only McLaren`s unreliability stopped him from grabbing title earlier. Same can be said for 2008 title, no one can argue that Lewis was not driving to the max, with many great moments on track.
    On the other hand many people (including Williams team) downplay Hill`s title, because his main rival was injured and skipped few races, yet put up a great fight. And even more people are sceptical about Jacques title. Yet almost everyone are praising Mansell and surely he deserves more than a one title…
    So F1 had many “questionable” champions, and many true “shoulda woulda coulda”champions, but that`s part of the sport, sometimes you just need to be in the right place at the right time to pick up title.
    Title aside- Rosberg is a no match to Lewis at all, period.

  27. He managed to score more points than one of the best drivers the sport has ever seen so of course he deserves it. Yes there was an element of luck.

    If Mercedes had closer opposition would he have won it? I don’t think so, Nico’s been very consistent and managed to finish well more or less every weekend and with Hamilton having issues/dropping points it was enough.

    As a big Hamilton fan i will say i thought over the season Lewis was the BETTER driver, but he had days where he dropped the ball (Baku – he was flying all practice then qualifying came and he binned it in the wall when he could have just got 2nd on the grid and 18 points).

  28. To be honest, I think that such a question is valid only if there are serious doubts about legality of the champion’s actions or if there are reasons to believe that “the system is rigged”.

    For instance, tyre rules were revised in the middle of the 2003 season and that change clearly favoured Ferrari. Also, I still believe that Rosberg deliberately blocked Hamilton’s flying lap in the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix qualifying. In such cases I would doubt the worthiness of the title or victory.

    Some Hamilton fans will surely say that something similar happened this year as well but I do not believe it, which is why I strongly agree that Rosberg is a deserving 2016 world champion.

  29. From the top ‘For Column’…
    “Rosberg has overcome a formidable team mate in a team which has scrupulously given both drivers equal equipment, opportunities and strategy.”

    Over the course of this last season, can we REALLY hold this to be true?

    1. “Don`t buy Mercedes, it may be made for Lewis Hamilton”…

    2. I guess you’re right: they did force Rosberg to give Lewis that Monaco win. They shouldn’t have. :)

      1. They didn’t give Lewis the win, they gave him the opportunity to go and catch Ricciardo who was disappearing into the distance because Rosberg’s pace was diabolic. If it wasn’t for Redbulls botched pitstop, Ricciardo would have still won.

  30. Rosberg fully ‘deserves’ the title because he scored more points; all the rest is irrelevant.

  31. Well, Rosberg won on points, while not doing anything underhanded (though at the time I wondered about Spain).

    He knows that when all else is equal, Hamilton is on the whole a better racer and slightly faster driver, this year he took advantage when things were not equal, and usually did the best he could otherwise, not giving up before he got the WDC.

    To me that makes him worthy of the championship.

    1. @bosyber – Good points, agreed on all.

      It is never a straight line, one race drive to the championship. That is what makes it most fascinating. There are many examples of the best driver in a season not winning the championship for a variety of different reasons. That does not make the winning driver a bad driver. Has there ever been a bad driver win the WDC? (Just thinking out loud…) :-)

  32. Deserving world champion? Is this a question that comes up every year, or just the non-Hamilton years?

    1. Non Hamilton years. This never came up in 2012 or 2010. The author of this article himself feels Hamilton ought to have been champion speaks volumes of the authors leanings

      1. It did come up in other years though @balue, Ani – the first I recall was after 1994 [didn’t yet follow earlier seasons], and then 1997 again, 2008 too keeps getting discussions from people who believe Massa should have won; 2012 many said Alonso would have been the worthy winner, etc. I left 2007 out bc. one of those who “should” have won is Hamilton, but that reminds me that many feel Raikkonen was let down by his engine in 2005 and should have won it then (rather than in 2007). So yeah, it happens a lot, though not every year. How do you feel about Button in 2009?

    2. Bingo!

  33. He had three opportunities with the best cars ever to win a championship. Won and awful lot of races with it.

    And to tell the truth, i find odd that Hamilton’s difficulties with the cluctch ceased the moment Rosberg had enough of a margin that cruisin for second place, the thing he has done the most for the past years, was enough for him to be the WDC.

    Almost like last year after Hamilton clinching the title, he suddenly wasn’t a match for Rosberg anymore.

  34. This complaint that Rosberg wasn’t “deserving” of the championship just ridiculous.
    I heard it in 2012 with everyone saying that Alonso was “more deserving” of the championship than Vettel, and now it’s Rosberg that “doesn’t deserve” the championship. IMO, this is all just crap. The driver “most deserving” of the championship is the one who scores the most points at the end of the season. End of story. This isn’t a popularity contest, or even a test of character…it’s a competitive sport with more points awarded for finishing races ahead of the other guy. This season, that was Rosberg.
    This is motorsport which, unlike most sports, is HEAVILY reliant on the machine you are in. Automobiles, especially F1 cars, are HUGELY complicated devices and are built by men, which means they are flawed and will break. The fact that Hamilton’s car broke more often than Rosberg’s doesn’t mean Hamilton deserved the championship more than Rosberg. It means that Rosberg was presented with more opportunities than Hamilton this season and he (Rosberg) capitalized on that…and won.
    The whole conspiracy theory that Merc was deliberately sabotaging Hamilton is ridiculous. Why would a profit-driven company like Mercedes spend a king’s ransom on cars, personnel, computing systems, vast “motorhomes”, fuel research, and the like, to say nothing of Hamilton’s enormous ego…er… I mean, salary, only to have one of their drivers purposely not win? Especially the driver they pay considerably more for?
    Hamilton finished off 2015 in lackadaisical style and began 2016 the same way. After Austin last season, Rosberg was a machine and took the fight to Hamilton who didn’t respond until well into the 2016 season. Hamilton’s performance this season was inconsistent as compared to previous and, to my eyes, he just didn’t have the drive he had in 2014 or 2015. Perhaps that attitude translated to his mechanics? Perhaps he drives the car harder than Rosberg and put additional strain on his engines? Either way, at the end of the season Rosberg scored 5 more points than Hamilton and that’s why he won.

  35. Rosberg fully deserved this 2016 WDC.

    Probably he already deserved 2014 WDC, but then Mercedes was more focused asking him to apologize childdish team errors…

  36. Yes, Nico is a deserving World Drivers Champion, he won by 5 points. Many previous drivers have won by much less eg. Lewis and Kimi in recent years won by 1 point, further back Prost won by 1/2 point from Niki Lauda. You could analyse any F1 Championship and pick holes in it, but after 21 races this season Nico Rosberg came up top by 5 points.

  37. Was he the best driver on the grid in 2016? No.
    Was he even the best driver in his team in 2016? No.

    But to me, he still deserves the title. He had his best season to date, pushed a better driver very hard and performed closer to his own personal ‘ceiling’ than (I think) anyone else on the grid. That’s enough to deserve a world championship, regardless of anything else.

  38. Had Hamilton sprinted off and won by 30+ seconds, I would have said probably not deserving. However the race Nico drove on Sunday earn him the deserving title. The 2 titles for Ham and 1 for Nico reflects how close they were in performances during the Mercedes dominate era.

  39. Whoever is the world champion is deserving of it. End of Story (be it Hamilton or Rosberg)
    World Champion is the World Champion

  40. He deserves a championship, but just not this year.

  41. Other than total points Rosberg quantifiably performed worse than Hamilton this year. Subjectively from watching them on track, Hamilton was a superior driver.

    But, he deserves the championship. I’d struggle to take an argument that Rosberg is a better driver than Hamilton seriously, but Hamilton had moments of weakness of his own doing that a truly great driver wouldn’t. I don’t think someone like Alonso would have had his inconsistency (although he may not have topped Rosberg in qualifying anyway) and I think Hamilton from his slip ups deserved to lose. And Rosberg did enough to pick up the crumbs left by Hamilton to ultimately finish with more points, which is the only quantifiable metric that counts.

  42. A championship is a culmination of a full year’s worth of effort. I don’t see how you can fluke that. I’ve never seen a championship won by a driver who didn’t deserve it and Nico is no exception.

    In the grand scheme of things, the history books will show this Mercedes era (assuming it’s now over) as being two championships for Hamilton, one for Rosberg. Considering how Hamilton has usually been the stronger of the two, but Nico has outraced him multiple times and has at least been a match for him more often than not, I think HAM 2-1 ROS is a fair way to summarise the last 3 years.

  43. Actually i felt hamilton deserved it more as he had more outstanding performances while rosberg delivered nothing special this season, but then hamilton had been terrible for half the season as well, so i guess neither deserves it.

  44. Not a fan of Rosberg, i find him too distant, too introvert. Also, i don’t think anyone thinks he is the fastest man on the track, or the best wheel to wheel racer, or a rain specialist… in general, he is not the best at any of it. BUT…. he is consistently good enough that when his teammate drops the ball he takes it.

    And this season, due to mechanical faults, he got a chance. And then Lewis screwed up a few starts more then Nico did, extending the possibilities and in the end, Nico did what his father did very well. Win the championship without being the best racer on the grid.

    I am impressed he managed it, surprised even. I don’t think he will be a much spoken about world champion for quite a while (maybe, like Damon hill, he will come more into his own right later after F1). But right now he is a deserved world champion.

    I am looking forward to next year, Lewis will have to race his a-game every race, he has figured that out now. No more “party” then race, more serious, more on the ball, more practice, more effort. All in all 2017 looks great due to Rosberg winning, so congrats to him and congrats to F1 fans.

  45. Deserved, had a good season except for some minor rumbles, but I still don’t think he is elite, he only ever was great when having a great car, while others drivers showed skill and winning qualities in less superior cars

  46. Neither agree nor disagree. I don’t know what it means – to “deserve” to win. Seems to me the driver with the most points always ends up as the champion and that might be because he has the fastest car (and an obedient team mate – Andretti), because he has the most reliable car (Keke, although he squeezed every drop of horsepower out of that old Cosworth against a field of turbos, and Jack Brabham’s second and third championships), because his competitors were too engaged in their fights with others to notice him (Keke again but also Kimi). Sometimes the best driver does actually win the championship through sheer ability (Senna every time – I make no secret of the fact I think he was the best ever although Max might have something to say about that in years to come) but never is it won by someone without ability. Did they all “deserve” it? Yes and so did most of the other drivers in the field.

    1. Well said @clive-allen . Although I’ve always felt Clark was best. :)

      Of course, that kind of comparison is always fraught with peril considering the impossibility of ever having any head to head comparisons there. I will say I don’t think there are any better than either of those two. Think you’re right about Max though, having some kind of say in that regard in the future.

      Agree too that there are some who have deserved it who never got it. The championship and racing can be fickle at times.

      1. Although I was already following F1 when Clark was racing, this was mainly through the medium of magazines. TV coverage was rare, abbreviated and not exactly HD quality. So my opinion of him was shaped largely though the eyes of others. But from 1978 onwards I was able to follow the races visually, thanks to television. And Ayrton impressed me to the extent that I was won over after having been extremely dubious to begin with. He was clearly head and shoulders above his contemporaries and anyone before or since (although Hamilton may be his equal and I fear that Max may be even better). Perhaps I should have said that he is the greatest driver I have seen with my own eyes..

        1. I found F1 because of Jim Clark so I guess that made a lasting impression. Was a fan as a young boy of stock car racing, my uncle raced dirt tracks, became a fan of Indy Car, particularly the Indy 500 then. Jim Clark came along and won it and in learning more about him found out about Formula 1. Much like you describe about tv F1 broadcasts then, here we had the condensed version on ABC Wide World of Sports. Still like magic to this youngster with the Jim Clark poster on his wall. Later it was more about stats, video footage, comparisons. Senna was special too. Amazing. I see that in Hamilton most of the time too. And Verstappen seems to possess it too while he continues to learn…

  47. Trump is not my President and Rosberg is not my champion! Period!

  48. Clearly deserved. I checked the points, Rosberg had more points than any other driver in the field at the end of the season. If a driver was more “deserved” to have won the title, then that driver should have scored more points than the driver that is the Champion. It’s really pretty simple how that works.

  49. I think he deserved it, even more so than Lewis.
    Not because he was necessarily the best driver this year, I think Lewis is the better driver of the two over all and this year as well.
    However, the way Nico came back from last years defeat, where Lewis wiped the floor with him, is an astonishing achievement. He started the season making damn sure to be in the best possible position to take the title if the chance presented itself, and when it did he didn’t let go. It took a bit of luck and good fortune, but had he accepted his role as 2nd best, which I think was blindingly clear last year, he wouldn’t be able to call himself world champion now.
    Mentally he has been unbreakable and I think that makes him a very well deserving world champion.

  50. Reliability it part of the game. Being fast and driving well is useless without getting to the finish line so I think it’s unfair to hold that against Rosberg. They both would’ve been deserving champs, and Nico is at least as good as other one time champions.

  51. Rosberg did not “beat” Hamilton. Hamilton had 12 poles, Rosberg 8. Hamilton’s average qualifying advantage over Rosberg across the season was 0.14secs. In races where they actually competed against each other with no issues on hamilton’s car, Hamilton came out on top 11 times and Rosberg 6. Hamilton won 10 races while Rosberg won 9.
    How on earth can you say “Rosberg beat Hamilton”?

    1. How many points did Hamilton have at the end of the season?
      How Many Points did Rosberg have at the end of the season?
      Now you say… “Rosberg beat Hamilton.”

      1. Nah. Lewis lost out to unreliability in the end. You can’t “beat” someone who is unable to compete because his car is dead.

    2. Rosberg had more first row results on qualifying sessions than Hamilton. Clearly the best, then, right?

  52. The headline implies that British website’s are PRO Hamilton and cannot accept that someone else not being British is world champion. HAM. does not to be WC because he is acting like a spoiled child he is acting like Vettel whining!!

  53. @keithcollantine I voted as a good F1Fanatic Citizen :) but sorry to say this I did not like this poll and it is senseless.

    I see this poll as a way to undermine Roseberg’s championship. If Rosberg had won by cheating then it would have made some sense but he just won the championship plain and square. Just because people believe that his team mate has more talent one cannot conclude that he did not deserve the championship.

    In the end it matters who came on top, it is not the other factors like who won more races or had more fastest laps etc. All these things puts a new spin “who deserves the championship more” which is a very subjective question. Maybe if the rule was that there were only points for winners then Lewis would have won the championship but that is not what the rules are and everybody knows that best.

    If you start another poll in which you ask who deserves the championship the most you will get differing opinions , some would say Verstappen , some Alonso, some vettel , Some Button, Some Massa … (i am sure everybody will get a vote) with a lots of Ifs & Thens. IF they all had the same car and identical equipment and ran on same track we might have surprise winner too !!! But that is not Formula 1 and that is not how we want it to be.

    I understand that there are lots of disappointed fans in UK but ….

    In the end who wins the most points deserves the championship the most . period . !!!!!

    1. I thought the same about this being a way of undermining Rosberg’s Championship. Leave it to the Media though.

  54. Hamilton choked the title because of his *several* poor starts. That’s it right there, full stop. If he nailed just one of them, the title would have been his. All the whining about reliability is ridiculous.

    That’s the way it works. sure, Hamilton is faster but F1 is MUCH more than that. Hint: F1 is great because EVERY race and every lap has equal import. Hamilton dropped the ball more than Nico.

    1. “Hamilton dropped the ball more than Nico”

      He didn’t though, that is the point. Of the races not affected by reliability Hamilton outscored Rosberg, meaning that he was the better driver. Unfortunately for Hamilton Rosberg gained more points through better reliability that Hamilton did by outscoring Rosberg. That’s it right there, full stop.

      To paraphrase you:

      Hamilton lost the title because of his *several* reliability issues. That’s it right there, full stop. If in just one of those races his car held up, the title would have been his. All the whining about starts is ridiculous.

    2. Except he didn’t. Whether you exclude the result of Malaysia, or “reinstate” Lewis’s win there, without that engine failure Lewis would have clearly won the championship. Lewis also proved capable of driving in the wet. Nico and Mercedes dropped the ball more than Hamilton.

  55. Hamilton ‘deserved it more’? I certainly don’t agree with that. Faced with a teammate like Hamilton (who I think is a formidable opponent, although I’m no fan) many would wilt, move teams or leave the sport. Rosberg just kept on coming back. He did not have a faster car than Hamilton, but over the course of a long season, he beat him. The championship standings do not lie. Rosberg did a better job this year. Hamilton ran it close in the end, but Rosberg absolutely, definitely deserves full credit. Anyone who beat Hamilton in the same car would do.

  56. What the hell with ‘strongly this’ or ‘slightly that’, it’s either YES or NO.

    I don’t think there is ever been an F1 champion who do not deserve (as this is the word everyone shout) its title. This is a ‘game’ and the simple rule is that you need to get more points that all of your rivals. Period.

  57. This topic is an absolute, utter and total waste of time.

  58. Of course Rosberg’s deserving. He won.

  59. That’s a pointless, and quite frankly, somewhat clickbait-y question to ask.

    Sure, Hamilton’s the better driver, but why would that mean that Rosberg is not a deserving champion?

    Sure, Hamilton was held back by reliability, but if ‘deserving’ equates to driver skill, you could just as easily argue that Ricciardo, Verstappen or Alonso would have been the most deserving as they were held back by a slower car.

    And if only the best driver is actually deserving of the title, does that mean Hill, Villeneuve, Hakkinen and Alonso didn’t deserve their titles against Schumacher? And Schumacher, Prost, Mansell and Piquet didn’t deserve theirs against Senna? And so on…

    “Deserving” is a pretty meaningless concept.

  60. No opinion. Ridiculous question. Nico won, period. What’s deserving got to do with it?

    I have a strong opinion about a related matter. Had Lewis won the title he would not be a deserving champion after his picnic on the grass in Mexico.

  61. F1 is about a combination of many things. Driver skill, engineering, good fortune, and the rules. Some World Champions demolish their competition through sheer, unrelenting speed. Some World Champions demolish their competition through attrition and tactical superiority. Some World Champions were in the right place at the right time, and maximized otherwise relatively limited potential.

    That’s the history of the sport, and that’s how it’s always been. If you’re going to win on talent alone, your talent has to outclass the rest of the field to a degree that it makes your luck irrelevant. Very few WDCs have been that good.

    Rosberg did what he needed to to win, and he succeeded. Hamilton *didn’t* do what he needed to win. Does that make Hamilton less great? No – it just means that his superiority to Rosberg still happened to fall in the band in which luck & reliability play a factor. In previous years, luck swung his way. He *is* a faster all-around driver – it’s hard to argue otherwise. So luck & reliability have a smaller effect on HAM than they do on ROS. But he’s not better *enough* to make them irrelevant, and that’s how it goes.

    Rosberg did a great job managing the odds. Hamilton wasn’t fast enough to make those odds irrelevant. Both great drivers in significantly better cars than the rest of the pack.

    Rosberg deserved the WDC. Hamilton may have been a *better driver*, but he didn’t *deserve* the WDC, because he didn’t get the job done. End of story.

  62. He only won because he had a more reliable car than his team-mate, and his team-mate only won the last two years because he had a faster car than his usual/closest rivals (on ability).

    Question: Would Hamilton deserve the WDC if he won even though Max, Dan, Alonso all had arguably better seasons? Did he deserve in 2008 when Massa had worse reliabilty?

    If you answer yes to the above then you should believe Rosberg deserves the WDC imo

  63. This is not even worthy of a poll. Very poor form.

  64. Hamilton is a good driver but Rosberg won, not much difference really, actually most drivers in the grid would have won it with that car advantage

  65. What an utter waste of time.

    @keithcollantine This poll has seriously eroded the trust I had in your good judgement. What is the point of asking this question? To generate traffic to your site?

    Any driver winning races in a season aspires to be a champion, hopes to be a champion, works to be a champion.
    Nico Rosberg did what was necessary to be a champion.

    The question being asked by this article is not who deserved it more, because that would be a stupid thing to ask. Rules are written so that points, and not opinion, decide the world drivers’ championship. Instead, the headline of this article questions the legitimacy of Rosberg’s championship which is quite frankly, poor journalism.

    Shame on you, Keith.

    1. Agreed. I guess Niki didn’t deserve his championship which he won by .5 points against Prost because of the Monaco race? So who is to blame..God for making it rain and cutting the race to half distance? Using the same logic and assuming you believe in him, God seemed to think Niki “deserved to win” as I don’t think the governing bodies have figured out a way to control the weather…yet. Hey, maybe all this Hamilton mental case talk about a ‘greater power” not wanting him to win has some validity to it after all? Who knew?

  66. First of all i’m a huge HAM fan from the 2005-06 seasons. Then, i should say ROS was a complete deserve champion this year.

    Don’t think that anybody can say ROS is a better racing driver than HAM. But, to become a world champ, you should be more than being better than anyone about racing. HAM was failed this year on that aspect. Malaysia fail and qualifying problems mean a lot, but, HAM is passed by his teammate on more than once ontrack, and if wouldn’t, Malaysia would only cause some little hiccups for him about losing champ.

    ROS is not a better racing driver than HAM, everyone knows that. But, has been a better championship contender this year, that’s all.

  67. Rosberg deserves to be champion because he scored the most points and that is what the Drivers’ Championship measures. It has never been a measure of the best driver each season just as the Constructors Championship is not a measure of which car is fastest each season, as sometimes the team with the fastest car has not won the constructors title due to poor reliability.

    As I mentioned elsewhere on this site I think the only way I wouldn’t class the champion as deserving would be if that driver had cheated or done something controversial to win the championship, and that is not the case with Rosberg.

    Reliability is an important part of F1 and the car advantage Rosberg had over Hamilton due to reliability is no different to other times when the champion has had a car advantage over their rivals.

    Now if the question was who deserved to be champion more out of Rosberg and Hamilton then I would say Hamilton, Hamilton has been better than Rosberg over the course of the season just as he has been throughout their careers. With equal reliability he would have finished ahead in the championship table and being champion, I simply don’t see how people can argue against that.

    Some people are trying to claim that reliability played no part in Rosberg becoming champion and that Rosberg was better than Hamilton this year or even that he was the best driver in 2016.

    If you look at all the points Hamilton lost due to his multiple engine failures this year, then if he had had the same near perfect reliability that Rosberg had then Hamilton would have sealed the title in Brazil if not earlier.

    In my opinion Rosberg’s performances this year have been on a similar level to the last two years he has had the same strengths, being quick and consistent, and the same weaknesses, relatively poor race skills compared to other top drivers and basically not being on the same level as Hamilton.

    It will be interesting to see what finally winning the championship does to Rosberg, will he loose some motivation and his level drop now that he has achieved his life’s ambition or will it give him confidence and make him better.

    Rightly or wrongly most top drivers believe that given the right equipment they could become world champion and even if they are beaten by their teammate they will manage to explain it away, with Rosberg it seems that he had accepted that Hamilton was better than him, I say this because in interviews this year whenever stats such as anybody who has won the first so many races has gone on to become champion were mentioned, Rosberg always said but they never had Hamilton as a teammate, it is one thing dismissing the stat by saying “there is a long way” to go “or it ain’t over till it’s over” which is the sort of thing I would expect in sport, but it is another thing saying I may not win because my teammate is great.

    Regardless of how well you may think Rosberg has driven this season maybe the end result might give him the belief that he can beat the top drivers.

  68. I always find that it’s redundant to say ‘deserving champion’. If someone’s champion there shouldn’t be a need for adjectives to prove it. That so much effort has been poured into arguing over whether the word applies to Rosberg is just indicative of most observers’ opinion that Hamilton is a superior talent. Which he obviously is. He’s also a major ****. On the other hand Rosberg is just about as interesting as tepid milk. But he’s the one with the most points. Sure he got lucky here and there, but he drove a cleaner, smarter season overall in my opinion and now he’s champion and that’s that. Though frankly I couldn’t care less. Is there anyone out there passionate about Rosberg as a driver?

  69. What a crock, no driver ‘deserves’ to win a championship.
    Rosberg won the WDC and that is that.
    He used his head and never panicked, collected points all the way and took his first WDC in style.
    Anything else is irrelevant.

  70. Agree with those who are saying that the term ‘deserves’ is inane. Turn the tables around. Massa won more races in 2008. He crossed the finish line in 1st at the title decider and if it wasn’t for Glock’s very conspicuous extra 20 seconds of lap time magically appearing and HAM passing him in the 2nd to last corner…would have been the champ. So HAM has less wins than MAS, MAS had more mech failures and HAM wins by 1 point. So HAM was, by the same logic, the lesser deserving of the 2 drivers to win in 2008. correct?

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