Rosberg driving better than ever, says Mercedes boss
Nico Rosberg has moved back to the summit of the F1 driver championship table, taking the lead from teammate Lewis Hamilton following a dominant drive in Singapore. The Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff heaped praise on the German driver following his victory, ahead of Daniel Riccardo.
In recent times, it’s been more common hearing Wolff waxing lyrical about the British driver’s exploits, but following Rosberg’s emphatic victory, the team boss paid credit where he believed it was due.
The 31-year old reigned supreme in Singapore, narrowly beating his teammate in qualifying, before winning the race ahead of Red Bull’s Riccardo. Hamilton seemed lost for much of the race, struggling for speed. He now languishes eight points behind Rosberg in the overall championship with six races remaining.
Wolff was positive when asked what he thought Rosberg’s chances were of taking the title.
“I have Nico since 2013, and that is the best Nico Rosberg I have ever seen throughout the weekend since then,” Wolff said. “We have the tendency of saying that Lewis has awesome pace and this is what we have seen with Nico this weekend. He was just blindingly fast.”
Rosberg climbing back into contention has sparked new interest in the title race. Before the summer break, Hamilton had won six out of seven races and was firmly in control of the drivers’ championship. Rosberg has rallied however, winning the last three races and eight in total over the course of the season so far.
Wolff says he expects there still to be a few twists and turns to come before the end of the year. “I remember talking about Lewis’s momentum a couple of weeks ago and suddenly we have this mega Nico weekend,” the Austrian added. “In two weeks we will see if it stays the same in Malaysia.”
Former world champion Sir Jackie Stewart, who has long had a fractious relationship with Hamilton said he felt the British driver had too many ‘distractions’ going on in his life at present.
“Maybe you can bottom out a bit,” said the Scot, who was in Singapore. “That can happen because when you have consistent success everything can seem so easy.”
“Suddenly things can go less well – you overdrive, you are not on the ball, or you live in a life that distracts you in one way or another.
“If you are at the top in anything you can get carried away with success. You think you can get away with things. Then someone else comes along and drives a bit better or a bit more consistently.”