Formula 1

Why Nico Rosberg must fulfill his promise in 2014

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There is so much change in F1 this year that sometimes it can be easy to forget those teams and drivers for whom the only change coming will be what is propelling them forward at nearly 200 miles per hour.

Indeed for all the talk about Mercedes and the expectations that they can be the team to finally knock Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel off their perch, very little is being said about the radical changes within the Brackley-based outfit.

This year Mercedes will be adopting the new management structure that the team has looked to create for several years.

Ross Brawn's decision to go fishing has meant former McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe can now take the helm along with Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff.

All three men will have differing roles with Lowe in charge of the day-to-day running of the team, Wolff in control of the business aspect and Lauda offering his words of wisdom.

While very little is actually known of what changes operationally Lowe will bring in, there is a sense that should the change in personnel and structure work, Mercedes' already strong standing in the sport will only get stronger.

When the German carmaker bought the team from Brawn in 2009, it was the new rules and V6 engines being introduced this year that were being looked at as being the opportunity to once again re-establish themselves at the top of the F1 tree.

The acquisition of top engineers like Bob Bell, Aldo Costa and Paddy Lowe followed by perhaps the biggest scoop when Lauda helped attract Lewis Hamilton to the team for 2013 was proof Mercedes were very serious about reaching that goal.

One man who has been a part of this current Mercedes set-up right from the start is Nico Rosberg.

Drafted in from Williams in replace of Rubens Barrichello, Rosberg was
always the driver Mercedes looked at for the long term. When Michael Schumacher
returned to partner him it was always known that his job was to help generate
the team and use his wealth of experience to push Mercedes forward.

Of course Schumacher dared to make us dream about him winning an eighth world title with Mercedes but in reality knowing how small in comparison Brawn GP was in 2009 compared to it's rivals the big money and expertise coming from Mercedes needed a big driver and Schumacher was that man.

It would be wrong to say Rosberg was simply 'along for the ride' in those few years with Schumacher, indeed the results would indicate that actually it was Rosberg who was giving more to Mercedes on the track as he often beat his illustrious team-mate, but certainly it was years like this one that team bosses were focusing on when they brought him in.

Last year we had our first taste of what Rosberg is capable of as Mercedes produced a car capable of fighting for wins and as Hamilton adjusted to his new surroundings, the German took advantage winning two races in Monaco and Britain.

But it is really now that Rosberg has to prove himself and fulfill the promise and expectation Mercedes have of him. The W05 is expected to be one of the fastest cars on the grid and most certainly Lewis Hamilton will be back at his best and looking to add to his solitary championship he won in 2008.

Last year Rosberg's reputation grew among fans and pundits alike as he took the battle to Hamilton and was perhaps a lot closer than many had predicted, but by season's end Hamilton won the war by 18 points over his German team-mate.

What worries me for Rosberg as well is that I think Hamilton will only improve in 2014, he will have a car he can be 100% comfortable with, there's no adjustment process as there was last year and perhaps a little extra motivation on side too.

As a result I can only see that 18 point gap from 2013 only increasing in 2014 unless Rosberg moves it up another level, there are plenty of other drivers who are desperate to make it the top and if Mercedes don't see the results from Nico, I'm sure there would be little hesitation to change.

For a long time Rosberg has been billed as a future star, now he has to headline the show.

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Formula 1

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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