Formula 1

Nico Rosberg.

Nico Rosberg comments on Lewis Hamilton's overall performance in 2017

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Nico Rosberg came out on top when he went head-to-head with Lewis Hamilton for the championship last season, and, now retired, Rosberg is having his say on a driver he knows better than most.

The battle between the two Mercedes drivers was gripping to watch, and the finale in Abu Dhabi lived up to the pre-race hype, as Hamilton ignored team orders to try and clinch the Drivers' Championship from his teammate.

However, he didn't do enough and it was Rosberg who took home his first ever title, announcing his shock retirement from the sport shortly after.

After fishing second last year, but first this year, ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, a lot of people could say the Brit has upped his game.

However, Rosberg doesn't agree with that sentiment.

Rosberg told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that: "I know what level he was driving at last year, and I'm probably the best judge of that.

"I would say no. I don't think he could have improved.

"During the season he had his strong and weaker moments, and like I did last season, Sebastian [Vettel] tried to use those weaknesses.

"But the difference this year was that unlike in 2016, Lewis did practically all of Mercedes' wins.

36. Sportpresseball - German Sports Media Ball

"Last year we drove at such a high level throughout the season that Valtteri (Bottas) had a very difficult job to try to continue in the same way."

Not that Hamilton would agree with Rosberg’s observations, claiming: "This is the best I have ever felt, physically and mentally. Physically I have taken a big step and that is with the decision I have taken to change my diet.

‘’When you have two strong drivers in the team, as we had - well, when the battle is within the team - it's like a hurricane, with strong energy, and it is just stuck in the room.

"Whereas now, together, we have this hurricane or whatever bundle of energy which we are firing to the car, and it is overall a much happier dynamic."

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Qualifying

Improvements to diets and changes in teams aside, it is without question that Rosberg’s retirement is playing a considerable part in Hamilton’s dominance this season.

Rosberg also heaped praise on his old team for still being successful despite such a drastic change in regulations.

He added: "To survive a rule change like that with such dominance is very, very rare in Formula 1. It was the next step to legendary status."

This year has seen one of the biggest shake-ups in regulation since the introduction of hybrid turbo power units in 2014. These include changes to tyres, bodywork, side-pods, and the weight of the car.

Nico Rosberg
Lewis Hamilton
Formula 1

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