If you wish to understand how ambitious an F1 driver is, just look at how they treat their closest rival. For Nico Rosberg, there is no closer rival than Lewis Hamilton. For now, forget about Vettel unless Ferrari comes up with a magical trick over the winter.
When Nico threw a cap back to Hamilton in Austin, it was obvious the German was totally frustrated. The German is senior to Hamilton considering he joined Williams in 2006. Well, the story goes back further than most F1 fans think.
The story of the two ambitious drivers started in 2013 when Hamilton joined Mercedes. This was supposed to be the perfect partnership because after all, the two drivers had raced together since their karting days. Well, they were also friends and indeed they said so back then.
What Nick Luda and Tom Wolff never considered was that the fact that every good driver is also dangerously competitive. After the first season, it was obvious Mercedes had one of the best cars and the two drivers showed this right from the engine test runs.
Crosshair on the Prize
The drivers now had their sights set on wins and much more. Rosberg was, of course, expected to be better considering his experience. On the other hand Hamilton, whose incredible speeds and risk taking border those of Ayrton Senna, was raring to go for the second elusive F1 Championship title. Well, this was understandable considering the first was won way back in 2008.
Everything, including friendship, could not come between the drivers and wins. Nico Rosberg, who has always loved facts, seemed more capable from the start at the Australian Grand Prix where he won the race even after starting third. The reality of a title seemed to have awakened a spirit hitherto unseen in the German.
Things went well for Hamilton in Malaysia GP, China and Singapore forcing a frustrated Rosberg to take second every time. There was already some tension between the two former friends and at Monaco GP, the F1 world was treated to a spectacle similar to Schumacher’s parking move that prevented Alonso from setting the fastest pace. Rosberg prevented Hamilton from setting the fastest pace.
Hamilton was livid though Rosberg was cleared by stewards. It was all gloves off and Rosberg, who always looks calm, was not done yet. He won at Austria and Germany in front of his home crowd. Things got bad at Belgium GP when Nico deliberately rammed into Hamilton whose tire burst, forcing him out. Everyone at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps was up in arms but luckily, Rosberg escaped FIA action with only a fine demanded by Mercedes.
Well, things didn’t work out from there for Rosberg with Hamilton winning at Monza, Singapore, U.S GP and Abu Dhabi. His only win was in Brazil. 2015 has been another thing altogether. Call it bad luck or lack of consistency, Rosberg has largely been outshined by Hamilton. His first win came in Spain and the second at Monaco. In Austria, he showed imperious form and beat Hamilton flat out.
In Austin, the real Rosberg came out and though he made an error that gave Hamilton the championship, his recovery showed the mettle of a future champion. Rosberg has taken 6 poles in 2015 GP and in the last two races at Brazil and Mexico these have translated into victories.
Has Rosberg finally discovered Hamilton’s secret or is the Briton driving slowly after winning the title in Austin? One thing is for sure; Nico Rosberg has the mettle to push Hamilton to the wall, quite an exciting championship awaits you in 2016.