Rosberg Unloaded ‘Every Political Weapon’ to Beat Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes: Toto Wolff

Published 04/14/2021, 10:51 AM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and second place finisher and World Drivers Champion Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP on the podium during the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)


Mercedes’ domination of the turbo-hybrid era has gone hand-in-hand with its lead driver, Lewis Hamilton. The Briton has won each one of the single driver’s championships, except one. That was in 2016 when his friend-turned-foe, Nico Rosberg, beat him and immediately retired.

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But Rosberg’s successor, Valtteri Bottas, has failed to really trouble Hamilton. The Finn has not been involved in a dogged title fight in his four seasons at Mercedes yet. So, there has been some criticism from the F1 community in regard to his caliber to challenge Hamilton.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas after the race Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

Some believe he is used more like a pawn than a competitor to Lewis. But Team Principal, Toto Wolff, has come forward to defend the Finnish driver. While acknowledging the approach of Rosberg, he defended the competitive fire inside Valtteri.

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“Valtteri is not Nico [Rosberg], he also works quite differently. He certainly has the will inside him to get close to Lewis and beat him, but in his own way, which is different.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas after the race Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

“It’s all about your own performance, your own expectations, which is different from, for example, unloading every political weapon. But those were also Nico’s strengths. You have to admit that.”

Should Bottas also turn into Rosberg in a bid to beat Lewis Hamilton?

Nico Rosberg rattled Lewis like very few other F1 drivers on the grid. He used every trick in the book in a bid to become a world champion. So, if Bottas also harbors championship ambitions, he needs to follow Nico’s lead.

The German himself believes that Valtteri needs to ‘rattle’ Lewis, something that he did very well. Talking to Sky Sports earlier in the season, Rosberg had said.

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He (Bottas) needs to get together his starts, his racing and the most important is to pounce when Lewis has these small dips of weaknesses. If you pounce in that moments, it can really rattle Lewis. And it can prolong that weakness for a couple of races and those are the moments that you just need to maximize.”

So, there you have it. Unfortunately, a driver like Hamilton is almost impossible to beat in a straight fight. That’s the harsh world of F1, and if you really wish to become a champion, you need to go out of your comfort zone.

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Bharat Aggarwal

757 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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