Look out Lewis: The underrated talent of Nico Rosberg
We chronicle the undeniable talent of Mercedes' underrated Nico Rosberg.
If you look at the famous German city of Wiesbaden, also the capital of the state of Hesse, you will discover two fascinating insights about the South West German city. It is not only a prominent wine centre regarded highly by worldwide travelers to the mighty Western European nation but is also a sprawling spa center.
It is also the hometown of one of F1's most refreshing talents seen in a long time. 30 year old Nico Rosberg, son of 1982 World Champion Keke Rosberg is Wiesbaden's top export to a competition where many a German driver has come and dominated racing in a fashion akin to taking a casual walk in the park.
The mightiest example is a certain Michael Schumacher. But gone are the days of Schumacher – it is the Hamilton and Mercedes-led era we are living in, where the likes of Rosberg and compatriot Sebastian Vettel are trying desperately to account for the maximum.
He has suffered several disappointments this year from winning positions, but these do not undermine the sheer talent Nico Rosberg posesses.
Often unacknowledged and undervalued
Truth be told, it isn't the exciting top draw at Mercedes Lewis Hamilton who has alone carried the responsibility of scoring for Mercedes and putting the Silver Arrows on top of the Constructor's standings.
Nico Rosberg, teammate to Double World Champion Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, with whom he once forged a healthy relationship bordering on friendship now contests in fiery bouts of on-track battles, race after race.
Fans and critics can clearly see the tectonic shift in their relationship having soured for professional and personal reasons but all of that has resulted in giving Formula One a competitive teammate rivalry, the most pungent since the famous Senna-Prost days.
We have amidst us a driver with class written all over his performances, and whose smooth maneuvers at tough racing circuits have resulted in some inspiring race wins over the last 3 years.
At 30 he is neither too young nor too old to compete in a sport that demands grueling fitness standards. Rosberg's insatiable appetite for improving and upping his game augurs well not just for Mercedes AMG Petronas, but for fans who are eager to see the German claim his maiden World Championship title. As of now, it may not happen with Hamilton arguably the better and quicker of the two, but there is always next year.
It is time we look back at the lesser celebrated Mercedes driver's career, one which deserves more respect and recognition than it has earned thus far.
The Royal Racer
It isn't easy being Nico Rosberg. Driving perhaps the best car at the moment in the competition, teaming up against F1's prime talent, there is still a yearning that often imposes a stiff silence on the ever smiling German's face. To this day, he is asked about when is he going to emulate his iconic father's achievement; winning the F1 World Championship.
What father Keke, Finnish by birth did in 1982 is often held as a yardstick for measuring Nico's caliber and capability. There are all kinds of people who follow Formula One. While there is no shortage of critics who love to lament talented stars such as Rosberg, Raikkonen and Button being the few who are often chastised for being lazy or a tad bit 'underprepared' for the big race day, there are also these fans who swear by their racing idols no matter what.
Rosberg is no stranger to both, having received both laurels and brickbats for his 9 year career so far, and he’s yet to win the driver's title. While he is certainly quick and has what it takes to command a World Championship competition, he may just need to work hard on his ability to phase out pressure in order to strike F1 gold.
It is also quite interesting to learn about his background. He has the privilege of belonging to an affluent and iconic racing family with the name of Keke, who F1 icon Nigel Mansell once described as his “favourite teammate ever,” both an immense benefit and a shadow looming over him.
Money was never a concern for the younger Rosberg, nor was it a challenge to secure a racing seat in his pre-F1 racing days. When he was 20, in 2005, he raced under his father's Team Rosberg in the Formula 3 Euro Series.
But while one can easily insinuate his life is one of exclusive privileges, they fail to understand the truth.
Does a driver hailing from a popular and affluent background not work just as hard as others to compete in the highest level in Formula One? Starring in your own father's team during your pre-F1 days may be easy, but does that guarantee you success? He could easily have fizzled out, but he did not.