2011 F1 driver rankings no.4: Nico Rosberg

2011 F1 season review

Nico Rosberg, Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

Rosberg beat Schumacher once again

Nico Rosberg continues to keep his illustrious team mate well-handled and continues to get too little credit for it.

Rosberg’s margin over Schumacher was reduced in their second year at Mercedes, but that was only to be expected.

In particular the scale of Rosberg’s superiority in qualifying was overwhelming. He was only beaten by his team mate on merit once all year.

In a car seldom deserving of better than seventh, Rosberg qualified there or better 15 times. There’s no doubting which driver put the W02 where it belonged on the grid.

That tended to inflate expectations of what Rosberg could achieve on race day beyond what was realistic. The car was rarely up to beating a Ferrari over a stint.

On race day the W02s tended to gravitate towards their ordinary position in the pecking order. For Schumacher that meant making up lost ground. For Rosberg that meant losing places he had little chance of keeping, particularly in the new DRS era.

Beat team mate in qualifying 15/17
Beat team mate in race 7/13
Races finished 17/19
Laps spent ahead of team mate 615/873

Belgium was a case in point. He made the start of the year to take the lead from fifth on the grid. But it was only a matter of time before the faster cars slipstreamed past him.

He ended up being passed by his team mate when a safety car period contrived to leave Rosberg leading the pair of them on the harder, slower tyres.

Similarly, he did an admirable job of holding Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa back in Korea before bowing to the inevitable.

Another fine drive in China, where he led for 14 laps, was ill-rewarded when he had to drop back to save fuel as the team had put too little in the cars. He was holding off eventual winner Lewis Hamilton when he received the instruction to back off.

Nico Rosberg, Fernando Alonso, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

Leading under pressure at Spa

Rosberg scored in 11 of the last 12 races, only missing out on the points when he was taken out by Vitantonio Liuzzi in Monza.

The growing battle between the two Mercedes drivers was exemplified in a fraught first-lap encounter in Abu Dhabi. The pair raced wheel-to-wheel as if they were fighting for the world championship on the last lap of the race, not sixth place on lap one.

Rosberg prevailed, and led Schumacher home while finishing within two seconds of Massa. This put him on course to finish seventh in the drivers’ championship.

This was a somewhat inevitable result – but it’s hard to see how anyone else might have finished higher given the same machinery.

Rosberg’s unobtrusive style does not win him the kind of acclaim enjoyed by more spectacular drivers. But it continued to serve him very well in 2011.

F1 Fanatics on Nico Rosberg

Very rarely made mistakes, and often seen dicing with the front runners, like in China and Belgium, where he led.
David A

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Valencia, 2011

Started seventh, finished seventh: Valencia was a typical race

A win must be soon for him surely, led in Belgium after a great start.
Ratboy

Challenged for the lead on several occasions throughout the year but was let down by yet another mediocre Formula 1 car. I?m hoping Mercedes can lift their game and provide him with something that allows him to show his talent.
damonsmedley

He?s still improving and seems to be bringing home the maximum points Mercedes are able to achieve each weekend, although we?re yet to see a truly inspired drive from him, which is worrying for a supposed top line driver in his sixth season.
adzz36

Always there or thereabout after the big three teams lock out the major points positions. Beat his vastly improving seven-time world champion team mate.
Colossal Squid

Nico Rosberg 2011 form guide

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116 comments on 2011 F1 driver rankings no.4: Nico Rosberg

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  1. Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 14th December 2011, 12:48

    Rosberg is just too high here. He didn’t score the team’s best result this year (Canada), and didn’t have the best drive of the season (Belgium), either.

    Sure, he beat Schumacher, but if he’s really that good, shouldn’t he have beaten him by more this season, not less?

    Also, Keith, I’m sorry but you don’t score any points for doing well on Saturday. It’s the race that counts. And Rosberg was totally anonymous.

    I’d take Rosberg at 6 – or maybe even at 5. But not 4.

    • Dobin1000 (@dobin1000) said on 14th December 2011, 12:58

      It’s the race that counts. And Rosberg was totally anonymous.

      It is the finishing position in the race that counts, not how eye-catching the performance was. He was consistent, beat Schumacher in the championship, and didn’t make any stupid mistakes. He is following the same sort of career progression as Button.

      • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 14th December 2011, 13:02

        If we’re talking finishing position, Schumacher had higher finishes than Rosberg.

        4th – MSC 1, ROS 0
        5th – MSC 3, ROS 2

        Yes, he beat Schumacher in the championship, which is why I concede he should be ranked higher than Michael. But certainly not by this much.

        As for Button, he finished 2nd in the WDC in his 5th full season, with 10 podiums that year. Rosberg has now had 6 seasons in the sport, with 4 podiums total. If anything, I think Rosberg is following the career progression of Nick Heidfeld.

        • Button finished 3rd in ’04, and the BAR that year was significantly better than any car Rosberg has had in his career. Even Takuma Sato got a podium in it!

          If Rosberg gets a good car that is when we will really see whats he’s made of, I personally would have him 5th behind Hamilton, and Schumacher probably about 8th.

        • bananarama (@bananarama) said on 14th December 2011, 13:56

          Nick Heidfeld is exactly the name that comes to my mind when looking at Rosberg and the way he spends his seasons. The only thing I must admit is that Rosberg is better in qualifying, he is really good at that.
          I could imagine him winning a WDC without winning a single race or maybe one race. Wait, where did I see that before?!??! Maybe I’m a bit harsh but I just don’t see him driving a car to places it shouldn’t be for an entire race.

          • steco (@steco) said on 14th December 2011, 14:49

            hahaha yes, precisely, britney is just like quick-nick. good consistens, but not championlike driver. very usefull as no 2 driver for top teams :)

          • Like father like son eh. I know Keke only won one race in ’82 and won the title but Pironi’s crash and Villeneuve’s death had a lot to do with that.

            I was always under the impression Keke Rosbeg was a spectacular racer though, and the one thing people seem to criticise Nico for is being anonymous in races. Maybe he should drive a bit more like his Dad!

          • bananarama (@bananarama) said on 14th December 2011, 15:08

            Indeed, his father was a real fighter in the car (didn’t they call him streetfighter or something .. I seem to remember something like that). While I can’t stand Keke in interviews I like drivers like that. I much rather see a driver going beyond the limit and sometimes failing than a driver who drives to the limit but never beyond. Thats why I liked the rules where only the best results were counted (but I see why most others didn’t).

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th December 2011, 13:03

      you don’t score any points for doing well on Saturday

      I’ve heard the cliche and I’m not sold. Would Vettel have won as many races as he did starting off the front row? No.

      It shouldn’t need pointing out that qualifying is important because it decides where drivers start on the grid. If Schumacher’s qualifying had been better perhaps he wouldn’t have had so many collisions in the midfield.

      And Schumacher’s drive at Belgium was only “better” if you looked at the numbers instead of watching the race. Yes, he was unlucky to start where he did and he recovered well. But he was flattered by a crash at the first corner, by not being penalised for going off the track while passing di Resta, and by the timing of the safety car. I’d rate Rosberg’s drives in China and Belgium ahead of it.

      In that case Schumacher started at the back through no fault of his own. But often in 2011 Schumacher’s poor qualifying flattered him on race day because he found himself making up places he needn’t necessarily have had to in the first place.

      Anyway, who would you move in front of Rosberg to relegate him?

      • TheBrav3 said on 14th December 2011, 13:08

        Keith 24th on the grid to 5th one place ahead of his team m8 who started 5th phullleeezzzz tell me when rosberg has ever done a drive like that in f1 let alone this year.

        • TheBrav3 said on 14th December 2011, 13:15

          “Anyway, who would you move in front of Rosberg to relegate him?”

          In no order.

          barrichello,petrov,kamui,d’ambrosio,kovalainen,jaime all of them got the best out of their car consistantly across the year getting the results that were possible rosberg was no where after the summer break. Infact I would say kovalainen was the 4th best driver this year just because his results don’t reflect that. He consistantly beat jarno by equal or bigger margins than seb jenson or fernando beat their team m8s.

          • Dobin1000 (@dobin1000) said on 14th December 2011, 13:44

            I hardly think beating Jarno Trulli over a season is quite as hard as beating Schumacher.

          • @TheBrav3 You have made yourself look rather ill informed by mentioning those drivers.

            Barrichello, Petrov, D’Ambrosio and Kobayashi??

            Have a day off there is no way they have done as well as Rosberg. Kovalainen has driven really well but as mentioned Trulli has been terrible so it’s hard to compare.

            And Alguersuari did well, had a very good second half to the year but if Buemi had had better reliability would have been close to him in the points and was better in the first half of the year.

          • TheBrav3 said on 14th December 2011, 14:09

            debaser barrichello beat his team m8 again this year and in most races regardless of your opinion of him he is a good driver the car hasn’t been there for him.

            petrov scored a podium when the car was good enough and he finished the season in the points when the car wasn’t good enough.

            d’ambrosio i’ll admit may have been rash but he’s a rookie and he beat glock who’s been on the podium and is known to be no slouch. He didn’t do that badly at all everything is relative.

            Kobayashi scored points in the first (i don’t know) but many races. The car dropped off in performance at the half way point of the season when they stopped developing the ebd. Whilst he may have appeared to had a bad end to the seaon he was still doing well.

            Point being theres drivers who did better than rosberg who had a complete flop at the end of the year. The car wasn’t bad because schumacher was catching him up it was rosberg who failed.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 14th December 2011, 14:40

            @TheBrav3 – How were those guys better than Rosberg?

            What did Barrichello do? Beat the mighty Maldonado? Ram Rosberg in the season opener?

            Petrov because of an impressive result that turned out to be the hugest of flashes in the pan?

            D’Ambrosio who was beaten easily by Glock?

            Kobayashi who fizzled out in the second half of the season, being beaten then by Perez?

            Alguersuari who didn’t wake up until Canada?

            Just because Rosberg didn’t win a race doesn’t mean that he wasn’t impressive. Rosberg throughout the season appeared to be at or near the potential of his car, and didn’t make mistakes. Far more than can be said about the drivers you mentioned.

          • TheBrav3 said on 14th December 2011, 15:06

            David try reading my comments before replying.

            Barrichello did his job he was consistant all year nico was not.

            so was petrov

            Look at the drivers championship genius it says jerome d’ambrosio 24th timo glock 25th

            kobayashi who’s team stopped developing the car after silverstone alguersuari who’s car was good at the end of the season and still scored points at the begining. yes relatively they all had better/more consistant/impressive seasons. Now if you have any arguement to these points please let me know. I however am not going to type the same thing a 3rd time for you to copy and paste someone elses arguement that i have already answered. I’ll say it again read my reply to the other guys who already asked the exact same questions. If you need it in braille please let me know other wise use your eyes that’s what they are for.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 14th December 2011, 18:36

            @TheBrav3 –

            Look at the drivers championship genius it says jerome d’ambrosio 24th timo glock 25th

            Read the 28-16 ranking article and you’ll see Ambrosio:

            Beat teammate in qualifying: 5/19
            Beat team mate in race: 3/10
            Laps spent ahead of team mate: 197/731

            The only reason he’s classified ahead of Glock is due to two 14th place finishes, in a race where Glock finished right behind him, and a race where Glock had a mechanical problem. On most weekends, it was clear that Glock was well on top. So you can cut the sarcastic BS.

            Barrichello did his job he was consistant all year nico was not.

            so was petrov

            You haven’t even bothered to come up with any examples of why this is the case. Rosberg scored points in 14 races, with a run of 12 races only broken by Liuzzi spinning and collecting him and Petrov. The other non-scores were two 11ths, a 12th, and being rammed by Barrichello. All while outqualifying Schumacher. That is a far better example of consistency than you’ll get out of Barrichello, Alguersuari or Petrov.

            Petrov admittedly did very well in Australia I’ll admit. And what? tell me how many other great drives he had in 2011, where he performed above or at the level of the car. As Keith pointed out, Rosberg’s car usually wasn’t worth more than 7th on a race weekend. He started and finished there or above very often in 2011. Petrov got beaten by the sacked Heidfeld.

            kobayashi who’s team stopped developing the car after silverstone alguersuari who’s car was good at the end of the season and still scored points at the begining.

            Again, the best barometer for comparison was their teammates, and Alguersuari’s form was dismal prior to Canada, where he hadn’t scored a single point against Buemi who had done so three times.

            Kobayashi was very impressive until the half way point, but Perez got the better of him in the second half of the year reflected in the qualifying and in race results.

            But oh yeah, you can think these drivers have been more consistent than Rosberg and his run of points and qualifying results.

            If you’re stupid that is.

        • Dobin1000 (@dobin1000) said on 14th December 2011, 13:40

          So because of one freak result Schumacher had the better season?

          To use your own argument: “phullleeezzzz”

          • TheBrav3 said on 14th December 2011, 14:03

            I never said that one race should put schumacher above rosberg, that’s you making stuff up. If you read my other comment. Which you did because you replied to that first. You would know (and you do) that i said kovalainen should be 4th. Before they were team m8′s jarnos “strongest” asset was said to be his qualifying the only reason you think it isn’t is because kova trounced him this year. Consistantly beating jarno by half a second is a feat for anyone, now kindly troll someone you stand a chance of disagreeing with.

          • Dragon (@dragon) said on 14th December 2011, 15:11

            lol @ the brave. Jarno’s specialty is qualifying? So I suppose having a 7 time WDC for a teammate is nothing compared to that….yeah, ok.
            Rosberg and Schumacher; both excellent drivers in 2011. The Merc; a dog of a car that chews through its tyres. So when Nico puts it into Q3 and starts the race on those used softs, he’s burned through them way too early in a desperate attempt to keep pace with the faster cars. He pits earlier, loses the strategy battle, while Michael – who so often started from P11 – chooses his tyres, strategy, and then makes one of those demon starts off the line.
            Rosberg was only ever going to lose positions, especially in the year of the DRS. Doesn’t mean he didn’t have excellent races. If Merc give both drivers a decent car, 2012 will be so much better for it.

          • TheBrav3 said on 14th December 2011, 15:42

            Yes jarno’s speciality is qualifying ask any driver/team boss before this season. that’s what they would have said. Peoples opinion has changed because kova has ruined him. If you’ve been following formula one for more than a year you should know that. it doesn’t mean he’s no longer fast it just means kova got the best out of it.

            For the last time i am not comparing msc and rosberg i even explicitly state that in the comment above yours if you had cared to read it. I said kova should be 4th not msc or rosberg. If how ever you think rosberg lost out in races because he burned his tyres out who’s fault is that? msc didn’t get in rosbergs car and wreck his tyres there’s only one driver in a single seater.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 14th December 2011, 18:43

            @TheBrav3 – Not burning his tyres in the car that is notorious for it would have led to him not qualifying as well, and having to come through the field to collect results he would have already achieved by getting himself up the pecking order.

            @Dragon is right, your posts are laughable and a 42 year old 7 time champion is still a better benchmark than a 37 year old Jarno Trulli, despite the reputation he had at Toyota and Renault.

      • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 14th December 2011, 13:08

        It shouldn’t need pointing out that qualifying is important because it decides where drivers start on the grid. If Schumacher’s qualifying had been better perhaps he wouldn’t have had so many collisions in the midfield.

        By that same token, Rosberg should’ve managed to finish 4th or 5th more often than Michael. Why didn’t he?

        t he was flattered by a crash at the first corner, by not being penalised for going off the track while passing di Resta, and by the timing of the safety car. I’d rate Rosberg’s drives in China and Belgium ahead of it.

        China is a fair point, but certainly not Belgium. I’m not sure how you can rank his drive ahead of Schumacher’s when Schumacher finished ahead of him.

        In that case Schumacher started at the back through no fault of his own. But often in 2011 Schumacher’s poor qualifying flattered him on race day because he found himself making up places he needn’t necessarily have had to in the first place.

        I’m not even looking at that so much. I’m looking more at who had higher race finishes when the opportunity presented itself. Lo and behold, it was Michael more often than not.

        Anyway, who would you move in front of Rosberg to relegate him?

        I’d move Hamilton ahead, for sure. At least he won races – won as many races as Button, in fact, who is in your Top 3.

        It probably says a lot about how awful Webber’s year was that I’m not really fussed if he’s ahead of Rosberg or not.

        • tonyyeb (@tonyyeb) said on 14th December 2011, 13:40

          Hamilton in the Mercedes would not have done any better than Rosberg. Rosberg in the McLaren may not had the same number of wins but he would have had more points finished and less incidents.

      • cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 14th December 2011, 13:12

        Schumacher’s drive at Belgium was only “better” if you looked at the numbers instead of watching the race. Yes, he was unlucky to start where he did and he recovered well. But he was flattered by a crash at the first corner, by not being penalised for going off the track while passing di Resta, and by the timing of the safety car. I’d rate Rosberg’s drives in China and Belgium ahead of it.

        Is that some sort of a bad joke? Seriously? Rosberg was put in a similar situation in the Japanese GP – starting from the back, safety car – and what was the result?

        Are you really denying that Schumacher’s drive from 24th in Belgium was a great drive?!

        I’d love to hear your reasoning.

        • Mr draw said on 14th December 2011, 14:55

          I guess overtaking was easier in Belgium than in Japan. In some races grid-position wasn’t of great importance, like Belgium. Schumacher made a great start, and because of the safety-car he was close to Rosberg for the remaining part of the race. However, Rosberg’s performance in Japan was disappointing. Maybe his tyre-strategy was too conservative in the race. Overall I think Rosberg did a good job, but it’s a shame his best races were at the beginning of the season.

      • snowman (@snowman) said on 14th December 2011, 13:52

        @keith

        I agree with Rosberg being placed at 4 and also feel he is over looked. But disagree with a few other things.

        “by not being penalised for going off the track while passing di Resta”

        Schumacher was already clearly by Di Resta and in the racing line in front of him by the time he cut the corner. From what I recall the 150 metre breaking boards were showing before the corner when he was already passed and in the racing line so it wasn’t like he cut the corner while passing him.

        I assume it was a typo when said Rosberg’s race at Belgium was better than Schumachers!

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 14th December 2011, 15:11

          24th to 5th consisted of 9 cars moving out of MS’s way at the start of Belgium…so fully one third of MS’s 27 cars that he passed in the first lap during the season was from a 9 car collision at the start of one race…why are people so insistant that that was something special by MS? And then the pass on PdR was done well enough and ahead of the corner in question, but he was still overcooking it and had to cut the corner and could have easily spun from that or damaged the underside of the car…brilliant stuff, right?

  2. Mark (@marlarkey) said on 14th December 2011, 12:48

    In a better car he’d surely be challenging for the championship.

    • steco (@steco) said on 14th December 2011, 14:50

      surely my ass..

    • Yeah, him and everyone else…

      Rosberg is far too high here. OK, so he qualified pretty well, but he never set a pole or a fastest lap, and nearly always fell back in the race. He didn’t get a single podium, and his best finish was a pair of fifths. And yet he’s the fourth best driver of the year? Eh?

      If he’s so much better than Schumacher, why did he only beat him by 13 points, especially when MS has more than twice as many retirements and a couple of self-inflicted non-scores?

      You can make all the arguments you like about Rosberg exceeding expectations in the seventh best car, but ultimately he finished, yes, seventh – and only marginally ahead of his team-mate. Successfully meeting expecations doesn’t make you a hero, even if your under-performing team-mate is Michael Schumacher.

      The table does not lie. It shows the best driver-car combinations in order. Rosberg got what he deserved: a position which was merited by the car and just ahead of his team-mate.

      As for the idea that he could be 2012 WDC – that seems a bit premature. Let’s let him win a race first. Or, perhaps, a second place in a race which didn’t turn out later to have been fixed (not that Rosberg had anything to do with Singapore 2008, but he still benefitted from it). He may well be WDC this time next year, but there are a few I’d put ahead of him, starting with the six actual WDCs on the grid.

      • Hatebreeder (@hatebreeder) said on 14th December 2011, 16:52

        @Nosey : actually, nico is the youngest driver in F1 history to set the fastest lap, in bahrain 2006 in the williams, though I guess you are talking about 2011.
        He always placed the car where it belongs in the pecking order during qualifying. He couldnt get it any higher cause the top 6 cars were, simply put, better.

        as for the, why only 13 points, is because for nico to get more points, he has to either beat the front 6 cars consistently or Michael should perform even worse. And michael isnt a bad driver.

        Also, by your theory, it sounds a lot like, since he finished 7th in the championship, he should be placed 7th in the standings, regardless of how he drove throughout the year.

        • OK, so he’s the fourth best driver in 2011 because he got a single fastest lap in one race in 2006? How is this relevant?

          Rosberg had a good year, but he hasn’t produced miracles, and doesn’t deserve to be ahead of drivers who have actually won races and set pole positions.

          The argument that he somehow dragged a mediocre car above its natural position doesn’t make sense: he was driving the seventh fastest car and finished seventh. He also finished seventh in 2009 and 2010. He met expectations exactly. He did well. But he was not the fourth best driver on the grid merely for being competent and reliable. On that basis Hick Heidfield is up there with the greats.

          You have to go with results and achievements, and for me Rosberg’s this year were not substantive enough to merit a standing this high.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 14th December 2011, 19:00

            Rosberg had a good year, but he hasn’t produced miracles, and doesn’t deserve to be ahead of drivers who have actually won races and set pole positions.

            Rosberg finished 7th in the 4th fastest car as you say, but the two drivers he outranked in this series were Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber, drivers who took wins and poles.

            Webber was 3rd in the fastest car

            Hamilton was 5th in the 2nd fastest car

            Rosberg was better than drivers who won races and took pole positions then.

  3. Rosberg that meant losing places he had little chance of keeping, particularly in the new DRS era.

    Similarly, he did an admirable job of holding Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa back in Korea before bowing to the inevitable.

    that is one of my biggest complaints with DRS, great drives by guys in slower cars are often no longer rewarded.

    you can make a great start or have a great drive to get towards the front in a sub-par car only to get screwed by DRS as soon as another car gets behind you in the DRS zone.

    Schumacher at Montreal was one such example, Brilliant drive to 2nd only to get robbed of a podium by DRS.

    in the past we had great drives like that where a guy would drive a brilliant race to get the car higher than it should have been & he’d be able to defend that place & possibly keep it.
    Nowadays you do the great drive, get the place & then get screwed out of it as soon as you hit the DRS zone, it happened time & time again through 2011 & in most cases as a result cars finished in there natural order with no real surprises as we often saw in the past.

    • COME ON KUBICA said on 14th December 2011, 21:06

      I agree, 2010 may have had worse racing but all the incidents and the amount of different podiums from drivers made it more exciting. 2011 was awful, yeah more overtaking but that was the faster drivers getting by the slower ones. Alonso would of flown past petrov in abu dhabi in 2010 if it was 2011 rules and the tension would of been gone and an even worse race would of happened. It just seemed that the faster teams were so much faster than the slower teams.

  4. Dobin1000 (@dobin1000) said on 14th December 2011, 12:50

    I was skeptical before you posted this about whether I would be convinced that Rosberg’s performances were better than Hamilton’s, but you do make a persuasive argument. As with Button in previous years, he has been fast but unspectacular and so easily missed rather than someone like Hamilton who goes on the drive of his life one weekend and then ends up crashing into the “Massa Mobile Chicane”tm the next.

    I think he is a potential future champion if he gets in one of the fastest two cars on the grid.

  5. KateM (@katem) said on 14th December 2011, 12:50

    I’m not one to jump up and down at someone else’s opinion, but even after reading this I struggle to see Rosberg as the 4th best driver of the year. For me he was actually found out to an extent. Decent in qualifying, but anonymous in most of the races – and not in a good way.

    But hey, life would be boring if we all agreed on everything.

  6. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 14th December 2011, 12:52

    Rosberg #4? @Daykind19 am cry.

    Rosberg is a great driver. The man’s first victory is so long overdue. I really hope that next year he gets the success he deserves.

    • Yes! Its an outrage!

      On a serious note, while Rosberg is good, I don’t think he’s great and I really do think he is hugely over-rated.

  7. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 14th December 2011, 12:55

    The more I see of Rosberg the more I am convinced that he is the real deal. He is not only standing up to the pressure of having a driver with 91 wins and 7 world titles under his belt sharing the same garage, he is showing him how it should be done. His racecraft is solid. He almost never makes any mistakes. He has a real turn of pace as well (in Button kind of way). The first win has to be round the corner, if it isn’t it would be very sad indeed. If you add to all that the fact that he is a PR godsend compared to many drivers, he really should be seen as a more valuable commodity.

    • Dobin1000 (@dobin1000) said on 14th December 2011, 13:00

      I wouldn’t be surprised if by the time Michael calls it a day Mercedes have got a properly fast car put together and Rosberg is ready to lead the team to a proper tilt at the Championship. Maybe with Hulkenberg alongside him after a season or two at Force India…

  8. Enigma (@enigma) said on 14th December 2011, 12:57

    In Schumacher’s first career, no team-mate managed to beat him over a full season. Rosberg’s done it twice. Of course it helps that Schumacher’s had a three year break and is a bit old, but beating a 7-time world champion two years in a row is no mean feat. Even Schumi himself said earlier this year that he’s better than he’s ever been – slightly slower, but the experience makes up for that.

    Rosberg is an incredible talent with a great future ahead, and Schumacher’s still very good. I really hope they get a race-winning car for 2012, because seeing them fighting in the midfield reminds me of Alonso’s second stint at Renault.

    • Mr draw said on 14th December 2011, 15:01

      Even Schumi himself said earlier this year that he’s better than he’s ever been – slightly slower, but the experience makes up for that.

      I couldn’t help laughing when I read the last part of this quote.

  9. HUHHII (@huhhii) said on 14th December 2011, 13:08

    I completely agree with everything what’s written in this article. I wish Rosberg’ll take Massa’s place from Ferrari some day…

    • PJ (@pjtierney) said on 14th December 2011, 13:25

      He doesn’t feel like a Ferrari driver to me, and certainly wouldn’t like being a Number 2 after being on par with Michael for 3+ years.

      Mercedes suits him as a driver and a person, he just needs the car to be a little stronger and he’ll put it where it can be.

      • HUHHII (@huhhii) said on 14th December 2011, 13:40

        He wouldn’t necessarily be a number 2 driver. I think he could seriously challenge Alonso (though Alonso maybe is a tad better driver).
        Staying at Mercedes would be fine for me as well but they gotta improve. Fast.

  10. Completely agree with Rosberg in 4th. He’s been very anonymous due to the middle of nowhere nature of the Mercedes. Schumacher is in the spotlight more, in part because he’s Schumacher, mainly because he’s messed up more and started from places he had no reason to be in in the first place.

    I’ve been a fan of him since I started watching F1 in 2008 and still hope he gets a win sooner rather than later. Let’s hope the Mercedes can mix it up at the front in 2012.

    Vettel first, obviously, Alonso second and Button in third, would be my view.

  11. Tango (@tango) said on 14th December 2011, 13:13

    I’ll repeat my fealing of pre-2010. I’m afraid Rosberg was given a sore deal with Schumacher. If he trashes his team-mate, Schumacher is portrayed as an old man. If Schumi beats him, he’s just been beaten by an old flame. Only a world championship winning car could help Rosberg’s stock as far as the fans go.

    • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 14th December 2011, 13:22

      And even then it probably wouldn’t help! Look at Button, a driver with a similar style and appraoch to Rosberg. When he won the WDC in 09 everyone said “it was just the car”. It took winning races in ’10 and ’11 for the doubters to actually say “hang on, he really is a bit special.”

      Rosberg gets a raw deal because he isn’t spectacular, he just turns up and does a good job, and most fans don’t acknowledge that!

  12. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 14th December 2011, 13:15

    Well, I still remember Rosberg’s debut race, which probably was his most entertaining race.

    So, his driving just doesn’t resonate well with me and probably a lot of others.

    But looking at the facts, Keith is right.

  13. TheBrav3 said on 14th December 2011, 13:22

    Keith where has my comment about schumacher being a 42 year old man gone? it was not offense in anyway shape or form.

    • TheBrav3 said on 14th December 2011, 13:36

      Seriously i’m waiting to know, don’t you dare go “fia steward” on me.

      • HUHHII (@huhhii) said on 14th December 2011, 13:42

        My comments have also been deleted without giving any explanation. Weird.

        • TheBrav3 said on 14th December 2011, 13:50

          Ok i’ll post it again.

          Too little credit for only just beating a 42 year old man? As fernando “the most complete driver on the grid” will tell anyone anyday having 7 world championships does not add 7 tenths of a second to your speed. Just like rosberg he is only human which it seems you have forgotten. They are both capable of the same thing the difference being at his age msc should be falling asleep on the sofa and working on his beer belly. Not missing out on a podium by the skin of his teeth in one of the most cut-throat sports in the world during the longest race in the history of f1. In which drivers almost half his age complained about the length of the duration.

          Apologies if this is anyway offends anyone in the galaxy….

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 15th December 2011, 3:00

            There’s no doubt age can take the edge off performance, but people like Fangio might disagree about being too old to compete at 42. And why does the length of Canada make his performance less special?

          • Carlito's way said on 15th December 2011, 8:47

            Jeez @thebrav3 is really intense, relax man, you are ranting so much I have lost track of what your point is lol

  14. sumedh said on 14th December 2011, 13:24

    I am not sure about Rosberg. He seems more and more like Nick Heidfeld these days. A safe pair of hands, always rock-solid. But there is no flashy performance.

    He doesn’t seem to be able to pull out an out-of-the-world performance which other drivers – Michael at Belgium, Jenson at Canada, Vettel at Monaco, Alonso at Silverstone, Lewis at Korea – do often.

    He is someone who is performing at his maximum every weekend. But unfortunately, his maximum is not spectacular enough.

    • Hunterx said on 14th December 2011, 15:17

      Totally agree. Rosberg is number 4 driver on the grid? Watzzz??? With only merit point is his consistency? You should be kidding me.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 14th December 2011, 23:40

      While that may be true, he didn’t counter balance that with incidents, mistakes and poor races like Michael and Hamilton had, which is why he’s ahead of those two.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 19th December 2011, 16:27

      @sumedh…to cite one race where MS’s day was made much easier when 9 cars moved out of his way at the start, a day that would have been a huge letdown for him had that not happened, and then to also compare NR’s performance to other drivers who were in top cars seems odd to me…a car that is a distant 4th in the constructors and with the next team down in a distant 5th is not a car that is usually going to provide a driver the chance for an ‘out-of-the-world’ performance. And I don’t think MS’s was. He was lucky he did not have to pass those 9 cars in earnest, because if he had he would have never been where he ended up by the end of the day. NR consistantly maximized the car. MS played catchup most of the season, having to pass cars he should have put behind him on Saturday, and getting into too many tangles as a result.

  15. graham228221 (@graham228221) said on 14th December 2011, 13:34

    Spot on!

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