Nico Rosberg has claimed that Valtteri Bottas has the perfect opportunity to win the Drivers' Championship due to Lewis Hamilton’ weak moments.
The 2016 champion retired following his winning season and was replaced at Mercedes by Bottas, who left Williams in the process, and the German believes that his replacement has the best chance to end Hamilton’s domination.
The Brit has won four out of the last five championships with Mercedes, with Rosberg's lone total the only exception in a run of dominance that started back in 2014.
Before that spell, it was Sebastian Vettel who dominated the sport, winning the Drivers' Championship four times in a row, starting in 2010, and ending in 2013.
Speaking to Auto Bild, as per PlanetF1, Rosberg said: “I think if Valtteri can keep the positive mentality, he can become World Champion, because then Lewis has his periods of weakness.”
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Bottas won the first race of the F1 calendar - at Albert Park in Melbourne - beating the reigning champion Hamilton by 20 seconds, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen completing the podium.
“Bottas is in combat mode this year. You cannot underestimate the mental side in Formula One. It’s what we saw last year with Sebastian (Vettel).”
Rosberg also went on to say how good Bottas’ work rate was and compared it to his own during his career.
“Valtteri – as I always did – practiced all weekend with his clutch: once, twice, three times, hundreds of times,” he explained.
“And Lewis, not once, maybe five times maximum.
“The problem for Valtteri is that Lewis is always so strong in qualifying, but the chance is there that we will see a real duel.”
His Silver Arrows teammate is still seen as the bookies’ favourite for the Championship, however, but if Bottas can continue the form which saw him beat Hamilton, then he could go on to fulfil Rosberg’s prediction.
Formula One rolls in to Bahrain for the second round of the season on March 31.News Now - Sport News