Nico Rosberg backs Lewis Hamilton to be crowned champion once again

36. Sportpresseball - German Sports Media Ball

Former world champion Nico Rosberg has tipped Lewis Hamilton to be once again crowned Formula 1 champion when it kicks off in March.

This is despite the fact that the latest news coming out of Ferrari is that it’s been a very productive pre-season.

Germany's Auto Bild has reported that Ferrari has hit its reliability target for its 2018 engine, even though the technical team set about improving the 'pre-ignition' feature.

But, the 2016 world champion Rosberg believes that Mercedes will still triumph despite the good work going on behind the scenes at Ferrari.

Mercedes were comfortable winners in the 2017 season, with Lewis Hamilton seeing off Sebastian Vettel, and Rosberg believes the same thing will happen this year, albeit being a lot closer this time around.

"My prediction corresponds to what happened last year,’’ the 2016 World Champion Rosberg told German television network RTL.

"So Lewis Hamilton wins, this time just one point ahead of Sebastian Vettel."

As you can see, despite Rosberg backing his former rival, he believes it will be a lot closer this time around, with just the solo point separating the Brit and the German.

What a title race that will be if it comes true.

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi

Elsewhere, Rosberg believes the top five will be rounded off by Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas, and then the Red Bull duo of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.

"After that is Lewis' teammate Valtteri Bottas and the two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo," Rosberg added.

So, that means no place for Kimi Raikkonen in the top five, putting massive pressure on the Ferrari second driver.

Fellow former Formula 1 driver Timo Glock is in agreement with Rosberg's assertions.

36. Sportpresseball - German Sports Media Ball

"I think Ferrari had a very good base last year and they can build on that," Glock said.

"But pressure can change a lot, even if we see a very exciting fight to the end."

The Formula 1 Drivers' Championship begins in Australia, with Melbourne staging the first leg of the tour on March 25.

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