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Max Verstappen Played a Role In the “Scariest” Moment of Nico Rosberg’s Life

Naman Gopal Srivastava

Max Verstappen Played a Role In the "Scariest" Moment of Nico Rosberg's Life

As soon as he joined the F1 grid, Max Verstappen became the talk of the town, often competing at the front of the grid. Even while driving for Toro Rosso, the now 26-year-old was a vicious driver, hunting the top drivers of F1. Former world champion Nico Rosberg was once subject to the prowess of the Dutchman, as he experienced one of the scariest moments of his career, thanks to Max Verstappen.

Back in 2016, Rosberg was in the lead of the championship as the drivers headed into the final race of the season. With Lewis Hamilton leading the race, Rosberg had to ensure a podium finish to secure the drivers’ championship. However, things weren’t as simple, thanks to a teenage Verstappen in the way.


Speaking during the Technical University of Munich (TUM) Speaker Series, Rosberg recalled how a “crazy Dutchman” nearly made him lose his only world championship. The 2016 Abu Dhabi GP presented Rosberg with the scariest moment of his life, with Verstappen clutching onto P2 just behind Hamilton.

“‘If you don’t overtake him in the next two laps, you could lose this championship.’ That’s what my engineer tells me in my ear. So that’s one of the most scary things I heard in my life.”

Notably, this isn’t the only time Rosberg highlighted the pressure Max Verstappen put on him. In 2016, the German former driver also appreciated the Dutch driver’s prowess. The immense pressure put on Nico Rosberg by Verstappen that day led to him conceding that the Dutch driver was much more aggressive than his fiercest rival, Lewis Hamilton.

Max Verstappen is much more aggressive than Lewis Hamilton per Nico Rosberg

With three championships already under his belt, Rosberg believes Max Verstappen has become one of the all-time greats of F1. The level of his performance and his consistency baffle the 2016 world champion. Given the same, Rosberg believes it is only a matter of time before the #1 driver on the grid joins the league of the likes of Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton.

In many ways, Hamilton’s former teammate believes that Verstappen and Hamilton share similarities. For example, on raw pace, Rosberg claims both drivers are similar. However, when it comes to aggression, the Dutchman has the edge.

Despite Hamilton often adopting an aggressive approach to racing, Rosberg doesn’t think the Briton comes close to the Dutchman. Although most elements of their driving are rather similar, it is these skills that currently give Max Verstappen the edge. While the defending champion is in the lead of the championship once again, Hamilton is yet to feature on the podium of a GP in 2024.

Post Edited By:Shreya Sanjeev

About the author

Naman Gopal Srivastava

Naman Gopal Srivastava


Naman is an F1 writer at The SportsRush. Initially a football fanatic who worships Puyol and Leo Messi, Naman soon fell in love with the world of F1 upon reading about Jim Clarke. While the current era drivers do fascinate him, Naman still chooses to idolize Clarke and Ayrton Senna. When he is not busy watching the highlights of some of the greatest races of his idols, Naman can be found scribbling little snippets in his diary of poems or out in the town, exploring new places to eat.

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