Story By: Joseph Golder, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
Retired Formula 1 champion Nico Rosberg has advised Valtteri Bottas on how he can defeat the seemingly invincible Lewis Hamilton after the German champ beat him in 2016.
Speaking to French automotive magazine AutoHebdo, Rosberg, 34, spoke candidly and revealed how he finally beat Hamilton in 2016 after three seasons of fighting before he retired from racing after his big win.
When asked how he managed to gain the advantage over Hamilton, the German champion said: “In fact, there are several parameters. My many years of experience and battles, especially with Michael Schumacher, have served me well.
“I also mobilised all the resources I needed, leaving out what was unimportant. For several months, I put aside my family life.
“In 2016, I no longer allowed myself anything that could distract me. I spent a lot of time doing psychological preparation. Every other day, I worked with a psychologist for two hours to get harder, more focused.
“The difference between Lewis and me was so small that the tiniest detail could play a decisive role.”
Speaking about eventual mind games between the two drivers, Rosberg added: “Psychological play was very important in our battle. It was the first time I had to do this so intensely. I’ll give you an anecdote. At Suzuka, I understood that his defence had failed when, at a press conference, he started having fun on Snapchat.
“The next day, he was less focused on doing things. All of this plays a role. It may seem insignificant, but the slightest distraction can disturb you.”
When asked if he thought that Bottas should follow his example, Rosberg said: “It is not so simple. When we talk about Lewis, you have to understand that the more you attack him, the more you act in relation to him, the stronger he becomes.
“You have to take the opposite position, to avoid attacking him head on. You have to gauge his thoughts, and that is not easy. You have to sow the seed of doubt in his head. Even if it’s a small seed, it will grow at some point.”
He added: “Valtteri must not have a vacuum, he must be an unwavering opponent and perform stably. Lewis must feel his presence constantly. It must become an obsession.”
In the final race of the 2016 season, which took place in Abu Dhabi, Nico Rosberg entered the round with a 12-point lead over teammate Lewis Hamilton in the World Drivers’ Championship.
In the final laps of the race, Hamilton deliberately slowed to back Rosberg into the chasing pack in a bid to encourage rivals Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen to overtake his teammate, against team orders, which would have allowed him to win the World Championship.
Despite Hamilton’s controversial tactics, Rosberg finished second and that earned him the World Championship title by five points over his teammate Hamilton, 34 years after his father Keke Rosberg won the Formula One World Championship in 1982.
The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.