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Rosberg: You cannot say Verstappen is better than Hamilton

  • Published on 11 Mar 2020 13:19
  • comments 19
  • By: Coilin Higgins

2016 world champion Nico Rosberg has played down comments that Red Bull's Max Verstappen is a better driver than reigning champion Lewis Hamilton, claiming Hamilton will go on to become 'the best of all time'.

With eight victories to his name since joining Red Bull in 2016, Verstappen would be set to become F1's youngest world champion should he beat Hamilton to the title this year.

Rosberg remains certain that former teammate Hamilton will claim his seventh world title this season, matching Michael Schumacher.

Rosberg is currently the only driver to win a world title apart from Hamilton since the introduction of the V6 turbo hybrid engines in 2014.

"Max is the one guy in F1 who is on a similar level to Lewis," 2016 world champion Rosberg told the PA news agency.

"He has that very rare exceptional talent that Lewis has - a once-in-a-generation talent - and if he has the right car, there is no question he will be a contender for the championship this season.

"But you cannot say that Max is a better driver than Lewis. Lewis is going on to become the best of all time so you cannot say that at all."

Rosberg hopes for exciting season in 2020

Despite billing Hamilton to be the favourite to claim the world title this season, Rosberg remained hopeful that the coming season could be one to remember.

Rosberg noted the recent improvements within Red Bull and Ferrari and said that he thinks that both teams have the potential to challenge the silver arrows for victories over the season.

"Lewis is the absolute favourite to win the championship - but I have really high hopes that we can be in for a thrilling season," Rosberg added.

"I am confident and optimistic that Red Bull and Ferrari can up their game and be on a level playing field with Mercedes."

Replies (19)

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  • Couldn't agree more - though I get why people are talking Max up there's a big element of what might be with Max, we might have to wait till rule change in 2021 to see if that shakes up the pecking order. I would love to see a new championship winner as it freshens things up - but it says something if RBH and Ferrari cannot come to terms with Mercedes after all these years - it's not just about budget - all three are broadly similar - its the whole package after all is said and done.

    Anyway - here's to a closer gripping championship, lights out in just a few days now !!!

    highly unlikely you will see both these two in the same car - two silverbacks in one team - won't happen.

    • + 0
    • Mar 11 2020 - 13:26
    • 2GRX7

      Posts: 108

      Silverbacks?!!! WOW! I'm just going to assume you don't know the meaning of THAT slang term and ask you what you meant by, "Silverbacks"?

      • + 0
      • Mar 11 2020 - 15:29
    • In my world, a silverback is synonymous with an alpha male, and maybe dominant people in general. Maybe it's gotten a more negative meaning (likely racial) as of late, but as a non-native English speaker, I wouldn't know of it. And Pistonhead is likely in a similar position. Do enlighten us, if you will? For refence, I didn't know the more racial connotations "roach" has gotten either, so I'd appreciate knowing another word to refrain from using.

      • + 0
      • Mar 11 2020 - 19:41
    • Silverback is the alpha-male Gorilla, the leader of the pack. It's often used in business circles to describe how alpha-ego's could easily clash 'this town ain't big enough for the both of us...'

      Do let me know if there is another meaning though !

      • + 0
      • Mar 12 2020 - 08:37
    • 2GRX7

      Posts: 108

      LOL- And the "New Yawk (York)" in me questioned you so I had a good understanding of a more "worldly" view on that word!... In slang terms, "Silverback" is known as a Large, undomesticated, black man. He may have gotten out of jail, huge from working out during his time. The other term is for an old gentleman that goes for a substantially younger woman- the female version in the U.S. is known as a "Cougar"! I'm glad, as a Director, I've not heard that term in the office, LOL! Thank you for enlightening me!

      • + 0
      • Mar 12 2020 - 15:16
    • Deary me. The latter one (older fella going for younger ladies) I knew of, and that is AFAIK the only way I've heard it being used for up until now. The racial one is new to me. So good to know, I guess... Another word I cannot use anymore... Yay...

      • + 0
      • Mar 12 2020 - 17:53
    • 2GRX7

      Posts: 108

      Yeah, Calle.itv-think how I feel learning about all these new words the "baddies" are now, under the current U.S. regime, embolden to create! There's sooo much code words flying around, one needs to be working in the encryption-department at the CIA!

      • + 1
      • Mar 12 2020 - 18:44
    • Indeed, but the world in general has gotten weird. Personally, I never thought I'd live to see actual Nazis marsh on Swedish streets, or to have active drug cartel wars, yet here we are. :/

      • + 0
      • Mar 12 2020 - 19:41
  • Rosberg has a special reason to comment on this topic. He won a championship besting Lewis. If Lewis is not considered the gold standard of racing, it would undermine Rosberg's own claims.

    • + 0
    • Mar 11 2020 - 15:29
    • And rightly so. Beating a 6-time champ is nothing to scoff at.

      • + 0
      • Mar 11 2020 - 19:42
  • Max is clearly brilliant and getting better. However, I don't think we've seen him produce sustained top performance over an entire season. At least not to the degree that Lewis has in recent years. Sure, there are many reasons for that, like Lewis having a better car. But lets be clear... Max's peaks and valleys have been steep. Last year was his best, no doubt, but he still loses a lot of points due to being overly aggressive when he doesn't have to.

    In short, I think Max is likely to get there, but I wouldn't put him on part with Lewis yet. I don't think I would even put Max clearly ahead of Ricciardo either.

    • + 0
    • Mar 11 2020 - 18:35
    • It all depends on how comfy Max will be in his car. I kinda lean on him overdriving this year too, meaning he'll not sustain over a season. But he could be helped into a legit title fight if the upper field is close.

      • + 0
      • Mar 11 2020 - 19:43
  • Mansell

    Posts: 104

    You quit on the chair, No one cares what you think,

    • + 1
    • Mar 11 2020 - 19:07
    • He is a driver that beat Lewis to a title, and had close battles with him, so I'll listen.

      • + 0
      • Mar 11 2020 - 19:44
    • We must respect the racer who beat Lewis while being with machinery. That being said, the heat comes Nico's way about "running away" has a sliver of truth laced on it.

      • + 0
      • Mar 11 2020 - 21:22
    • Each to their own, but I feel that he instead quit while on top, which is generally a clever thing to do.

      • + 0
      • Mar 11 2020 - 22:10
    • I sort of get that, but he beat Hamilton in equal kit over a season - albeit with a heavy bias his way on reliability ! No one's done that before in F1. Respect for that.

      • + 1
      • Mar 12 2020 - 11:09
  • I mean, you can. You are, per international (and at least in Sweden, national) laws, allowed to say that Max is superior to Hammy. The question is: is the claim legitimate? The only real way to truly see that would be to put them both in the same/equal cars a la Ros vs Hammy, but we wont ever see that.

    • + 0
    • Mar 11 2020 - 19:45
  • Who could really argue? Only Max fans. I've never been a huge fan of both, but HAM has earned my respect on merit and ability to mature quickly from his early days until now. Don't see the same from VER. Plus, as has been said, he would have needed to have won at least 1 or 2 titles by now to even be able to come close to Hammy's stats. This may be his best year yet, but still don't see him winning a title or even beating 2-3 other drivers on the grid. Raw talent alone could put him up to number 2, but we all know the other name for number 2. ;)

    • + 0
    • Mar 13 2020 - 06:57

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