MERCEDES

F1 Racing - - SEASON PREVIEW 2016 -

LEWIS VS NICO: ROUND THREE

Lewis Hamil­ton is a global su­per­star, while Nico Ros­berg is a Ger­man-Fin­nish mo­tor rac­ing star. Nico’s not as big as Lewis, so it’s benecial to Mercedes for Lewis to win the ti­tle again – he is the greater gen­er­a­tor of in­ter­est, which ul­ti­mately leads to peo­ple buy­ing Mercedes prod­ucts.

Nico’s great hope is that the form he showed at the end of last sea­son can con­tinue into the start of this one. What we need to un­der­stand is: did Lewis back off be­cause his job was done, or did Nico sud­denly nd him­self in a po­si­tion where he was no longer un­der pres­sure to de­liver? Nico and Lewis don­ning box­ing gloves is dif­fer­ent from Alain Prost du­elling with

MUR­RAY ON MERCEDES Ayr­ton Senna. There is an edge to Lewis, but it doesn’t come out in the same way it did with, say, Michael Schu­macher. We’ve had a cou­ple of ashes of it – in Austin, when he won the cham­pi­onship, he said: “It’s not easy be­ing my team-mate,” which was in­ter­est­ing as that was the rst time that he’d gone down that route. It was al­most as though he was a big cat toy­ing with a mouse.

It’s now start­ing to be­come cru­cial for Nico to prove that he can do it. I never won a world cham­pi­onship, but I do know what it feels like to lose a world cham­pi­onship to a team-mate and watch them de­liver more con­sis­tently, and that’s what Nico has ex­pe­ri­enced over the past cou­ple of years.

Can any­one beat the bril­liant Mercedes su­per­stars? Af­ter an­other win­ter’s de­vel­op­ment, I don’t think so. But can Nico beat Lewis of­ten enough to be­come world cham­pion? My heart says yes but my head says no. So same again then.

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