Nico Rosberg, the 2016 F1 world champion and former teammate of current championship contender Lewis Hamilton, commented on the upsides of being the Brit’s teammate.
The German is no stranger to the sheer competitiveness that Hamilton brings to the table. With George Russell taking the place of Valtteri Bottas next year, everyone’s wondering if Hamilton will finally have a teammate who can match him on pace. Watch below as Nico Rosberg explains what it’s like to be a teammate of one of the best drivers in F1:
Nico Rosberg has been Lewis Hamilton’s most fierce rival
In Rosberg and Hamilton, Mercedes had two of the fastest drivers in the fastest cars of 2016. The rivalry between the two men has been compared to that of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, due to their level of intensity and competitiveness. Over the course of the season, the duo had multiple battles, both on and off track.
One of the most notable incidents between the pair transpired at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix. Dueling over the lead, the two Mercedes drivers took each other out of the race, resulting in a double-DNF for the team. The season ended with Rosberg clinching his first and only world championship, five days before retiring from the sport.
Nico Rosberg thinks Lewis Hamilton will be criticized regardless of the outcome of his stint with future teammate George Russell. When asked about the positives of being a seven-time champion teammate, he said:
“Well, the positive is you have nothing to lose and everything to gain because you’re against the best of all time. No one expects you to destroy him, but if you manage to, you’re like the absolute biggest hero of all time.”
Nico Rosberg went on to say that he thinks Hamilton will be under pressure from Russell:
“So for Lewis, he can only lose, actually. He’s the greatest and then suddenly this young guy starts to beat him. That’s a really uncomfortable position to be in.”
ALSO READArticle Continues below
It’s worth remembering that in 2020, Russell filled in for Hamilton at Sakhir and clearly had the upper hand on Bottas for most of the weekend. A slow puncture put paid to his chances of victory but that performance led many to believe Russell could give Hamilton more of a run for his money than Bottas has.