Nico Rosberg knows a thing or two about in-team rivalries, having had one of the most fierce ones with Hamilton during his time with Mercedes.
Rosberg won the 2016 title in dramatic fashion, after close to 3 years of heated battle between the Mercedes duo, one that brought out the best and worst from the duo.
While their on-field battle was something to hold dear, the off field controversies could have been avoided, but in the end they all added to the spectacle.
Now, since Rosberg announced his shock retirement post his world cVetthampionship winning season, both Ferrari and Mercedes have had designated ‘number 1 drivers'(though they haven’t really said that out loud).
This is also for the people that think Vettel and Binotto don‘t have a close relationship.
Vettel was on Binotto‘s side in all of this 😅
— tami. (@Vetteleclerc) January 9, 2019
Will he get the better of Vettel? https://t.co/VwvFxX5OSN
— Racing Fanatic (@RacingFanaticF1) January 9, 2019
With Kimi making way for the highly talented Charles Leclerc, Nico Rosberg believes that Vettel will need to be at the top of his game, as he wouldn’t really enjoy the privilege of being the number 1 Ferrari guy anymore.
Also, Leclerc is highly talented and could take the attack to Vettel right from the word go.
“Vettel will have to beware because Leclerc is very strong and he will no longer have the comfort zone of [Kimi] Raikkonen. Now it will be different, Seb will have to be perfect if he wants to win.” Rosberg said.
Rosberg then went onto explain Vettel’s mistake laden 2018 season and compared it to his 2015 season, where he just couldn’t challenge Hamilton the way he would have wanted to.
“I do not know exactly what happened to him but this is sport sometimes it seems everything is going in the right direction, then you just need one mistake to bring you down, you lose confidence and everything goes wrong.” Rosberg said.
“The same thing happened to me against Hamilton in 2015,” he added.
Rosberg revealed how he changed his attitude for that historic 2016 season, taking more control of things and not letting Hamilton find any sort of motivation.
“With Lewis I needed to change my attitude, I decided that I had to be the one to lead the game. Lewis always tends to impose his rules but I took control so as not to allow him to find the motivation. And I won.” Rosberg said.
Rosberg then went onto take a dig at his former teammate, confirming that Hamilton did not quite have the dedication that Vettel has with respect to how he closely works with his engineers.
“Vettel is superior in terms of dedication to work, he works closely with the engineers. It is a devotion that Hamilton does not have.” Rosberg said.