Nico Rosberg has praised his team mate Lewis Hamilton as being one of the best drivers in the world after beating him to the 2016 championship.
Speaking at a reception in Kuala Lumpur following his championship triumph Rosberg described his team mate as “one of the best in the world, one of the best ever surely”.
Rosberg and Hamilton have been team mates at Mercedes for four years and also spent two seasons alongside each other in karting. This year was the first time Rosberg has beaten Hamilton over the course of a season.
“It’s incredibly intense to race him,” said Rosberg. “It feels like we’ve been doing it forever and he’s always edged me out ever so slightly, so to finally get one back was awesome.”
“I’ve got great respect for him because he does an incredible job, he’s done so well over the years and he fought to the very last metre on Sunday. That made it extremely tough on Sunday but all the more beautiful afterwards.”
Rosberg said he had been working towards his championships success for “25 years, my whole life”.
“It was extremely intense out there on Sunday, touch-and-go at times and it could have been really hairy to lose the championship. But afterwards, it was amazing to share it with everybody, especially with the team.”
“Mercedes is my racing family in F1 and we have been in this together since day one in 2010, just like Petronas – and now we are the best in the world.”
Rosberg has emulated his father Keke, who claimed the title with Williams in 1982.
“It’s one of the most emotional parts of it to achieve what my dad did 34 years ago,” said Rosberg. “My parents had prepared a video of me during my very first couple of days in a go-kart which I had never seen before; when I saw it on Sunday night on social media, I cried my eyes out, thinking of the support from both my parents across all those years.”
2016 F1 season
- Are tickets too dear? Crowds fell at some tracks in 2016
- F1’s TV audience decline stopped in 2016
- Brawn among key F1 hires announced by Liberty
- Has F1 hit ‘peak penalties’? Fewer sanctions in 2016
- Brundle reveals Monaco GP heart attack
79 comments on “Rosberg hails Hamilton “one of the best ever””
Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
30th November 2016, 11:54
Nico is a true professional and has held himself in the highest regard. Lewis is a flawed genius (like many of those with freakish natural talent throughout history in many sports). I’m very excited for next season, we should see Lewis at his very best again and I suspect the Red Bulls will be in the mix. I suspect with next year’s cars hopefully being be proper drivers cars, we should see the likes of Lewis, Max, Ricciardo and Alonso excelling. I’m sure Nico will be right up there as well through sheer application (and talent).
Fudge Kobayashi (@)
30th November 2016, 12:18
Actually I think this is the first year that Nico has held himself with dignity all season. When he partnered Schumacher he was constantly gloating at the fact that he was beating the mighty Schumacher in every interview, in 2014 he was every bit as petulant as Lewis can be, never acknowledged his teammates unreliability and was the veritable pantomime villain after faking ignorance after the Monaco qualifying stunt. Last year, hat gate and the sullen attitude after every loss.
This year you can see he has really done some work on his attitude and perhaps the family life additions have made him a more mellow and magnanimous person, and a better racer.
30th November 2016, 13:07
While I think you are a bit harsh on Rosberg in my opinion @offdutyrockstar, I think that the gist of what you are saying is right, and that’s where he has improved this year, do his own thing (similar to how Button was able to beat Hamilton at McLaren, by doing what works for him); the rest of what @rdotquestionmark says resonates with me.
30th November 2016, 16:04
@bosyber I’m interested to know if you think Rosberg has genuinely improved this year and if so what makes you say this ? That’s a genuine question by the way, I’m not suggesting you’re wrong at all, just interested to see what people think. Personally, I don’t think we’ve seen any big step up in form from him this year. He’s always been quick and pushed Hamilton for most poles and wins over their time together. I see this year as very much the same only he was able to gain some extra wins when Hamilton was not fighting for them. No disrespect to him as he still had to get the job done, but when he’s only won 3 extra races from last year and his team mate has had issues in 3 races this year it adds up that he’s just the same as the last few years.
Another point which I dislike is when people say “button beat Hamilton over their time at Mclaren” While he did outscore Hamilton over the three years, he was outscored 2-1 in the actual Championship years, so you could say Hamilton did the better job. Stats can often be modified to suit an argument but the Button vs Hamilton is one everyone seems to bang on about but there’s no such thing as a 3 year Championship.
30th November 2016, 16:52
I might be wrong but I think the suggestion is that Rosberg’s mental maturity has improved this year, not necessarily his on track performance.
1st December 2016, 9:31
I do think that Rosberg has stepped up a bit this year (or really in the second half of last year, but then it was too late for that year) @tom @bosyber.
Last years we often saw him lose his cool when leading, especially when Hamilton was chasing him. We could almost count on it to happen. After losing the win in Austin by his own mistake, he hasn’t shown that mistake anymore. And I doubt it will return next year after his championship success.
Further this year Rosberg has stepped up with his willingness to attack. Yes, we saw that it was something he was not accustomed to when some of those moves were rather lacklustre compared to the desicive moves that a Verstappen, Hamilton and the likes of Alonso and Ricciardo or example make, but Abu Dhabi showed that he has learned there, another tool in his toolbox that will still be there.
And then the last part, although it might be connected to the first, he has shown himself to be far more resistant to the pressure off track. Again, the championship will help maintain that.
Makes me really looking forward to seeing how much of that Rosberg can hold on to, because he will most likely still be in a car that is at the top end of the grid, even if another team takes the top spot. It will be good for F1 if we have another “Button after 2009” to be in the mix on his day.
Fudge Kobayashi (@)
1st December 2016, 10:03
I have to agree with @bascb – 2014 or 2015 Rosberg would not have soaked up the high pressure situations like he has this year. That Hamilton has also had the engine failures is just the perfect storm to coincide with his slightly raised form.
I expect Hamilton to be an absolute animal next year and leave nothing on the table.
1st December 2016, 17:18
@Tom, didn’t see your post before – @bascb and @offdutyrockstar answered most of what I’d say, I think.
As for Button, I mainly meant, Button clearly has been better at several of the race weekends they did together (2011 I mostly think Hamilton let himself down), not by trying to be more like Hamilton, but by making sure he had everything as he needed it to perform. Didn’t always work, but contribute to him not being intimidated. And I think Rosberg this year more or less found a way to just be himself, but remain competitive too.
30th November 2016, 12:11
I really hope ROS ups his game even more next year now that he is a WDC. The more top notch competitors te better
30th November 2016, 14:31
@anunaki He only won because of Hamilton’s car failure, simple as that. So i don’t nothing from Rosberg.
30th November 2016, 14:51
well, that’s how racing goes sometimes. Last year it was the other way around at some point.
HAM is a better racer than ROS IMHO, but ROS is still a pretty good one.
30th November 2016, 16:54
It’s very weird (and convinient) to assume that the whole season would be exactly the same if you chance a tiny thing. If hamilton didn’t had the car failure that would setup a chain reaction of changes and you would not know the outcome. But whatever makes you sleep at night.
1st December 2016, 8:11
I understand what you’re saying but Hamilton finished 5 points from winning, it take a lot of luck to get 5 more points.
30th November 2016, 17:24
Stop going on; you’re like a broken record! Hamilton screwed up 5 race starts and in Baku & Barcelona, so he lost out on points due to his own failings more than the one time his engine blew. Get over it!
30th November 2016, 20:09
Wow Nico nearly lost the championship with his three bad starts and constantly clattering into everyone’s! Even though he had 100% reliability!,
You see how that works?
30th November 2016, 23:08
Hamilton only won because he had the best car….
1st December 2016, 9:33
Yeah, well, he knows how he won @patienceandtime. But he has the coveted WDC title now, and he still has the satisfaction of coming out on top and the boost of confidence that goes with it, something that will help him next year as well as the way he got his head around attacking on track and overtaking a bit as well as not messing up when being chased down while in the lead.
30th November 2016, 12:16
The cynic in me says that Rosberg is heaping praise on Hamilton because doing so gives his WDC a bit more gravitas.
30th November 2016, 13:08
I was also thinking, as I heard it/read it @geemac, that he’d say that; still, that doesn’t make it untrue, nor chance that it is good to hear the winner praise those he raced with and against.
Sravan Krishnan (@sravan-pe)
30th November 2016, 13:25
Well, he’s not lying, is he?
30th November 2016, 16:54
It’s easy to give compliments when you have won :)
1st December 2016, 9:15
@geemac My first thought exactly – but not different from what other drivers do: big up their team-mate either to make their own achievements greater or to justify their own failures as not that bad. Rosberg is a mere student when it comes to this, Alonso is the master.
1st December 2016, 9:38
Yeah, seems many of us had that tought @geemac. But when you look at where he spoke – a Petronas event to celebrate the success in Kuala Lumpur, it might be more about just praising the whole team including Hamilton. That goes for Hamilton’s clearly PR team formulated tweet about Rosberg too IMO.
That said, Rosberg mentioned this even directly after the race too. And given that he has been trying to get the better of Hamilton more or less for the last 17 years (since they were teammates aged 13), I think it is genuily felt that Hamilton is a tough nut to crack even with all the effort he threw at it. And Rosberg managed well enough next to Schumacher too (yes, I know, he was over his top, but looking back it might have been the car more than the driver), so he did have a bit of comparison.
30th November 2016, 12:28
@keithcollantine Nico beat Lewis again in 2017?! :)
Fer no.65 (@fer-no65)
30th November 2016, 12:35
I loved that video they uploaded on social media. It’s very emotional and very nice, to see Keke helping him and caring so much about him. It shows the love of a father, above else, to make his son happy.
It also shows what a priviledged childhood Nico had. To have a room full of kid-sized racing karts, and a kart track around what looks like a very nice summer house, isn’t something every other kid in the grid enjoyed. But money isn’t everything, you also need talent and a good bit of luck to succeed.
30th November 2016, 13:24
Are you listening Lance Stroll… ;) @fer-no65
30th November 2016, 13:31
@fer-no65 Wait until you see what Max had to play with!
Not holding it against him at all – the Verstappens come across as a family completely consumed by racing, with it running through their veins. (Jos) Verstappen’s karting world contributions are legend as it is.
David Not Coulthard (@davidnotcoulthard)
30th November 2016, 14:00
@psynrg I thought you meant Chilton.
30th November 2016, 14:45
@davidnotcoulthard I would have hoped that particular Max was long forgotten by now!
30th November 2016, 20:14
And don’t forget his mother’s side of the family.
She was a karting driver as well, and then there’s her cousin Anthony Kumpen: 2 time Eurpean NASCAR winner.
1st December 2016, 9:39
I agree. That video really shows a lot of emotion @fer-no65
30th November 2016, 13:10
I swear Nico is playing mind games at this point.
30th November 2016, 13:13
Rosberg is good, but he have had a lot of luck with his car reliability this year. Lewis not, indeed.
Obviously now Ros can’t say that so openly at the microphone but…
30th November 2016, 14:37
1st December 2016, 12:34
Nico made mention of these things as the season went on, in the post-race interviews. Beyond that, name one WDC that is going to stand there and say he only won because of someone else’s issues. Because he didn’t. He still prepared and did every race the same way. At no point was he able to just phone it in. All drivers know they can’t control what happens to their teammate, and they still have to go out there no matter where their teammate stands.
30th November 2016, 13:20
There is nothing flawed about Hamilton worth mentioning, just opinions, 99 % of those opinions are assumptions that you could do better. Alonso is considered more stable but has achieved less, earns less, has been implicated in a affair costing mclaren 10 million dollars in fines. Nobody calls Alonso flawed. Flawed implies, something that stops you from reaching your maximum potential. The main problem this year was reliability.
Whenever you find something about Hamilton you feel is detracting, compare to everyone else, then put that in relation to his paycheck, the biggest which he negotiated himself, his 3 wdc, his market value. His biggest flaw a maybe, maybe not the best starter, hard to know with the clutch problems. There is problaly more but the more you things in context, the more I find people like parrots spewing conjecture.
30th November 2016, 18:24
I’m no Hamilton fan, but I definitely like the way you broke it down there.
30th November 2016, 19:40
It was actually $100m dollars in fines!
Fudge Kobayashi (@)
1st December 2016, 10:37
That is an excellent perspective
1st December 2016, 12:46
Not quite. Firstly, FA was not implicated in Spygate. He just opened the gate.
If you ask LH he would say the main problem was that he was conspired against. Which is untrue. He has entitlement issues and from posts from gt-racer it would seem there is now strife within the team because LH has been extremely unfair to the team with his insinuations going back to his ‘for no apparent reason’ comment, and fast forwarding to comments made up to and including the last race. He’ll compliment and thank the team one minute, then imply he was screwed by them the next. I think he has guaranteed he will not be re-signed at Mercedes when his contract is up.
Sravan Krishnan (@sravan-pe)
30th November 2016, 13:24
Hamilton’s reaction to him being beaten is something that I didn’t expect from him. He’s in a way the luckiest driver on the grid because he spent all his career at McLaren and Mercedes, two giants. The same cannot be said for Alonso, Raikkonen, Vettel, Button or even Rosberg for that matter. Even though he’s one of the best ever on-track, off-track he’s just unbearable. I just saw a picture of Schumacher congratulating Hakkinen on winning a title. Maybe Hamilton could learn a bit of sportsmanship from Michael.
30th November 2016, 14:21
“He’s in a way the luckiest driver on the grid because he spent all his career at McLaren and Mercedes, two giants.”
He earned his place at McLaren, he didn’t win it in a raffle. As for Mercedes everyone at the time was saying he didn’t care about winning he only moved because of the money, but now suddenly he was lucky to move there? He was lucky Mercedes sought him out and lucky he made his own choice about accepting? The lack of coherency here is too damn high!
“I just saw a picture of Schumacher congratulating Hakkinen on winning a title”
I take it you either switched off at the end of the race in Abu Dhabi or just ignored the part where Hamilton congratulated Rosberg?
“Maybe Hamilton could learn a bit of sportsmanship from Michael.”
30th November 2016, 14:40
@sravan-pe LOL How is Hamilton lucky ?. He joined Mercedes when they where a midfield team so what are you talking ?. And Hamilton learning sportsmanship from Schumacher ?, are you serious ?, the men who crashed into people and stuff ?LOL.
Sravan Krishnan (@sravan-pe)
30th November 2016, 15:40
@patienceandtime Do you really think I care about your opinions after all you’ve blabbered in these few days since Rosberg won the championship? He joined Mercedes in just the year it started to look like they could win races. “Midfield team”? The team with top 3 budget? 10D
30th November 2016, 16:32
That argument about him starting in a top team and as such he’s lucky, is just boring and redundant.
What do they say, “the best drivers always end up in the best car”
Lewis was the best person for the McLaren seat and he proved it by beating his teammate and coming within a point of winning the championship. He has won 53 races and secured 61 poles, that’s not luck, that’s hard work, dedication coupled with massive talent.
Starting out in the McLaren I would say was far worse than starting in a midfield team, because you were thrown in at the deep of the pool filled with killer sharks. Had he failed to live up to expectations and media hype, his career could’ve been over before it had even got started.
Alonso was the reigning double WDC, are you trying to tell me that as a rookie, that’s not the most pressurise situation & environment to make your debut? He showed at the very first race of the season that he was the real deal, when he passed Alonso on the outside at the start of the race.
He wasn’t lucky, he earned that drive.
Oh, so you haven’t seen the pictures of Lewis congratulating Rosberg? What did you also miss the podium when he congratulated him and his family? Selective memory.
And did you just mention sportsmanship and Schumacher in the same sentence? If ever there was a man who was unsportsmanlike, it’s Michael Schumacher.
30th November 2016, 19:00
1st December 2016, 1:28
@kgn11 good point about joining a top team from the start… Look at what happened to Magnussen and Perez and they had a lot of time to get ready. And to have Alonso as your teammate? God almighty!!!:-)
1st December 2016, 14:30
Remember how much Ron Dennis babied Hamilton that season. He was the clear favourite within the team, if it was completely fair and balanced, Alonso would’ve smashed him and probably won the WDC (Though in a way I’m glad he didn’t as it gave Kimi his 1 and only WDC, which he deserved).
1st December 2016, 1:24
@sravan-pe when Lewis joined Mercedes, everyone thought he was out of his mind.
1st December 2016, 9:46
I do agree that Hamilton had the good fortune to spend most of his career in good or “class of the field” cars @sravan-pe.
But I don’t think it is about luck. At McLaren he clearly showed that he had it in him to convince Ron to sign him. But McLaren had been close enough for a couple of years before that, just their reliability had not yet been there, and their drivers had seen their ups and downs too.
As for his move to Mercedes, again I agree that he stepped into a car capable of winning and a team capable of going for titles. This was not a midfield team at all @patienceandtime, @kgn11, @freelittlebirds. But I don’t think it was lucking into a good car at all.
Sure, Hamilton felt McLaren might not be his best or only choice. But it took quite a bit of effort from Brawn and Lauda to convince him that Mercedes offered a good seat. And no doubt they told him, and showed him what they had in the pipe line and Hamilton was convinced by what he saw – a team that is on the right track to be at the top end. No, that is not luck.
30th November 2016, 15:57
Mercedes had already won its maiden GP in 2012 with Rosberg, and was clearly on a rise. He was not only lucky, but also clever to leave McLaren with perfect timing, but, yes, he’s had great cars for most of his career, and certainly for longer than any other rival, including Vettel: 2007-08 and 2014-16 were all potential championship winning seasons, and he’s lost 2 out of 5.
It doesn’t diminish his position as “one of the best ever”, just underlines how lucky he is
30th November 2016, 17:08
He’s lucky in that very few rookie drivers come straight into a team that can challenge for the title . Mercedes were on the up when he joined them and he rightfully judged they’d be competitive in no time at all , he’s rarely had an uncompetitive car and in f1
30th November 2016, 19:50
So where were all the other drivers when Lewis ‘lucked’ into the seat at McLaren? Where were they when Mercedes were offering what was to become – IN HINDSIGHT – the single best career move in recent times?
Did they all say “No thanks McLaren, no thanks Mercedes – why don’t you take that rookie we’ve heard nothing about or lucky WDC, instead?”
Sure they all knew they had the best seats in F1, so why not give it to obscure, unheard of Lewis Hamilton.
Yeah right. Such pathetic clutching at straws that are just figments of your twisted self-loathing imaginations. Such a sad narrative you have going on there.
Michael “I won’t drive unless I have unchallenged #1 status” Schumacher? A great driver with a flawed history. If he is your benchmark then your comments are worthless.
30th November 2016, 16:59
“Alonso, Raikkonen, Vettel, Button or even Rosberg ” were all in top teams by the time they were 22. And obviously it’s different when a driver from another team wins.
30th November 2016, 20:37
I think you’re using “top teams” a bit loosely …
Alonso at age 22 (2003): Renault. 4th in the Constructors’, nowhere near the top 3 teams.
Räikkönen at age 22 (2002): McLaren. Okay, definitely a top team back then, even though that was a rather weak season for them.
Vettel at age 22: Red Bull. Not arguing against that.
Button at age 22 (2002): Renault. Definitely nowhere near a top team back then. P4 in the Constructors’ with 1/10 (!) of Ferrari’s points and 1/3 of McLaren’s (P3) points.
Rosberg at age 22 (2007): Williams. Williams-Toyota, to be precise. Barely managing to score points every other race.
Sravan Krishnan (@sravan-pe)
2nd December 2016, 3:08
To all of you:
That’s why he got the drive at McLaren in the first place. All I said that off-track he needs pick it up a bit. That I think he has done with his latest tweet congratulating Rosberg.
30th November 2016, 13:29
I usually take driver’s comments complimenting their rivals with a pinch of salt and I also think that while any sportsperson who has won or achieved more than they expected will be happy we should not be too critical if sportspeople who have lost are a bit moody.
While most drivers won’t say their teammates are better than them they will normally give them some praise and say they are good.
If they beat that teammate they can then say well that guy maybe good but I just beat him so what does that say about me, and if they get beaten by their teammate they can say I told you they were good, so it doesn’t make themselves look bad.
Also unless there are tensions within the team already a driver wouldn’t want to start any by criticising their teammate.
Regarding people praising Rosberg’s attitude, I have always thought that it is always easier to come across as happy, easy going and relaxed when things are going your way and you are winning.
I think back to when Vettel was dominating with Red Bull, I read plenty of comments praising his attitude while complaining about the attitude of his rivals, saying they were moaning and the like, fast forward a few years when Vettel is not winning and look how things have changed, we have people complaining about Vettel swearing and moaning.
30th November 2016, 14:51
And in response, Lewis Hamilton said that Nico Rosberg is in the accumulated top-half of all people he has raced against since he started in go karts.
30th November 2016, 15:32
Nico stated the obvious. I am starting to like him!
30th November 2016, 15:46
Hamilton will definitely go down as one of the true greats of this generation alongside Alonso and Vettel, whilst Rosberg has now solidified his place in the tier below alongside Button and Raikkonen.
It would not do Rosberg any good to try and argue against his doubters, they’ve already made up their minds. It’s far better for him to simply express his joy in becoming world champion and praise Hamilton for all he’s accomplished.
Also, that picture does indeed look better without David Coulthard in the background.
30th November 2016, 15:52
Would he win another title? Public perception will change drastically then. I don’t think we ever had a 2 time world champion by luck or reliability.
30th November 2016, 15:54
he just won the championship against lewis , and saying lewis is one of the greatest , does he implies that he is even better than one of the greatest ?
Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)
30th November 2016, 17:03
It’s a classic PR tactic. By praising a beaten rival you are praising yourself.
I’m not saying Rosberg is being insincere, but it’s a smart comment to make.
30th November 2016, 20:01
My first thought when I read that comment from Rosberg was – How would you know?
Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
30th November 2016, 16:38
I liked what Coulthard was saying before and after the shot on this page was taken.
“You can do the handshake again. I was spoiling the shot. I was in between you. There you go! Nice, there’s the love!”
I don’t think Hamilton was thinking anything liken that! :D Couldthard then said to Rosberg: “Nico, so erm, just another day in the office.”
That was funny when he said that also as it clearly wasn’t an easy or comfortable job for Rosberg!
I really did prefer Rosberg’s attitude back when he lost the title in 2014. Even though he had faults with the car and got told he may as well retire, he was determined to finish the race. He even went to congratulate Hamilton even though he wasn’t going to be on the podium. Hamilton only seemed to congratulate Rosberg when he was forced to. While Hamilton may deserve it more he certainly hasn’t had his best season either. But he should just accept that things sometimes go this way and at leased should say well done to Rosberg without it feeling like someone is making him! When he was being interviewed on the podium, it almost seemed that he was putting it off for quite some time before having to admit that his team mate was world champion. Rosberg pretty much always just admits that Hamilton is overall the better of the 2 and I much prefer his personality because of this.
30th November 2016, 19:53
Clearly you missed Hamilton congratulate Rosberg in parc ferme when he was celebrating with his team mates. Before the podium.
Plus Hamilton always starts his podiums interview by praising the fans then the teams
Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
30th November 2016, 20:08
I did see that him do that and sorry I didn’t mention it but what I don’t like about him is that he always leaves that until last. What I like about Rosberg is that when Hamilton has beaten him, he just gets to the point and admits it and firstly congratulates him. Hamilton seemed to be trying to hide the fact that Rosberg had won the championship for quite some time.
I did see Hamilton congratulate Rosberg but it wasn’t in a particularly nice way like Rosberg has done to him in the couple of years. I’m just not a fan of his personality but I do respect that he is overall the better driver and that is what counts most of the time. There were plenty of other people that commented that he seemed to be trying to keep away from Rosberg as much as possible in the pre podium room and I noticed this too. He pretty much didn’t speak to him at all in there.
30th November 2016, 21:12
They had just got out of their cars, how much quicker would Lewis have had to congratulate Nico for you to not bash him?
30th November 2016, 17:33
Those who claim Rosberg has “improved this year need to have their heads examined. Improved on what metric exactly? Are we judging from his own performance last year? If so, then he went backwards.
If anything, this season put the spotlight on Rosberg’s weakness in wet weather – when he was embarrassed by Vesterppen in a Red Bull twice, and was so so slow in Monaco that he had to be told to move over, whilst his teammate recovered a 14sec deficit in almost as many laps.
When your teammate who didn’t participate in 3 qualifying sessions and had one DNF, can beat you to wins, poles, laps led, and still come within 5pts of your tally, we really need to redefine the meaning of “improved”.
30th November 2016, 20:33
Yeah, I 100% agree on that. It’s the same as last year. Also everyone keeps saying he’ll be better next? Why would he? He maxed out a long time. He can improve but not skillwise.
Anyways he won so congrats to him, he got the chance and he took it, that’s all there is to.
1st December 2016, 10:01
I think you mix up several things in that statement @kbdavies.
Because I do think that Rosberg improved to be albe to claim that title. And I think it was clear to be seen. However, Hamilton also improved, and is still the faster driver. There is no contradiction in saying that on the one hand Rosberg has improved while still not being the fastest driver or the one more likely to win another title in the Mercedes next year.
Drivers improve all the time. Rosberg came close enough already in 2014, but Hamilton had him beaten mostly by just being the better racer (remember, to the surprise of almost everyone Nico actually outqualified Hamilton that year) and a tad of help from somewhat better reliability.
Then in 2015 we saw that Hamilton clearly showed he was the faster driver in qualifying and more often than not the better racer too. Rosberg showed himself too often messing up while leading, giving Lewis the chance to overtake him. But after he made the same mistake again in Austin, confirming Hamilton as the champion he has toughened up and hasn’t been volnerable to that this year. He has improved there.
Another point where Rosberg has improved, is his willingness to attack and overtake. Sure, he is still quite a bit away from Hamilton (or Verstappen) to whom it seems far more natural to just go for it, but he has been getting there. In the past I wouldn’t have expected Rosberg to get by Verstappen as clean and fast as he did in Abu Dhabi.
Overall, I think that Rosberg has certainly improved, making him a better driver and tougher nut to beat for Hamilton. But that doesn’t mean that Nico is better overall, just that he improved on where he was before.
When both are now past the start issues (I would be surprised if that troubled Mercedes next year) and hopefully Hamilton (nor Rosberg) suffers with reliability like they did this season, it will make it all the more interesting to see how they fare. Especially when the car is not ahead of the field by a large margin anymore.
2nd December 2016, 19:30
@bascb – How on earth can you be a “tougher nut” to beat when your teamate who didnt take part in 4 qualifying session still beat you to poles? I’d like to see you explain your way out of that one.
I’ll wager Lewis doesn’t think Nico was any tougher to beat this season, than at any time before.
3rd December 2016, 11:42
YEah, well, that is your problem. Now Rosberg will never be beaten by Hamilton anymore because he quit after his title success @kbdavies.
Edgar Wilson (@edw4)
30th November 2016, 17:45
If Rosberg had made some attempt to pass Hamilton I would say he was “deserving”. Rosberg was the only one that had a car that was capable of overtaking Hamilton – did he try ? No – he was cautious not courageous. He did not try and out fox Hamilton or through any dummy attempts. They were both driving for the championship but only one was willing to take risks to get it. The “el dumdo” executives at Mercedes have no alternative but to fire Hamilton because of there ineptness in giving team orders. If I were Hamilton I would save them the trouble
30th November 2016, 22:03
He didn’t need to overtake Lewis. In 25 years you ll see Rosberg as the 2016 Champion and things like he should have passed when he was backed up won’t even be known.
30th November 2016, 23:32
You will see many of my posts arguing about reliability hurting Hams season more than anything else. I’m no Ros fan, but nine wins and all those podiums isn’t deserving? That’s a stellar effort. Many drivers have won the WDC with a lot less, correct? Granted, seasons are longer now but Nico Rosberg deserves to be champion through his actual effort on track.
1st December 2016, 10:03
Rosberg never got a chance of passing Hamilton in AbuDhabi @edw4. The only one who might have had a chance on his newer tyres would have been Vettel about 5 laps from the end of the race.
Hamilton was cleverly making sure that he was slow only there were you cannot pass. And Lewis himself showed several times this year (and towards the end of last year), that when they are on the same tyres in the dry, and not suffering any mechanical issues, neither really has a chance of passing the other on track.
1st December 2016, 14:43
Funny how hypocritical LH fans are on here. Laud Hamilton, but call team mates who’ve beaten him, like Button and Rosberg, average drivers. Button outscored him over the 3 seasons they were team mates, and Rosberg just beat him to the WDC. That doesn’t happen to “all-time greats.” Ayrton Senna was only beaten by his team mate in one season, and that was by another all time great, Alain Prost. Schumacher, before his return, was only ever beaten by a team mate when he broke his leg in 1999. The list goes on. Either Rosberg and Button are better than Hamilton fans are willing to admit, or Hamilton isn’t an all time great. In my opinion it’s a mixture. Rosberg and Button are both very good drivers, and Hamilton isn’t an all time great. The only seasons he’s dominated his team mates have been 08 and 09 with Kovalainen and 2015, where Rosberg was pretty crap.
1st December 2016, 16:52
I think you have top be pretty eccentric to consider Hamilton not an all time great. But then again, you did the ‘Button 3 -year’ statistic, which pretty much precludes anything you say being taken seriously.
Comments are closed.