2016 Formula One World Champion, Nico Rosberg, has revealed that his success in last year’s title fight with triple World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, all came down to him standing his ground and not allowing his teammate to walk all over him throughout the 21 race season.
For the two seasons prior to his championship victory, Lewis had edged his once very close friend out of contention and Rosberg wasn’t really favoured by anyone in the paddock for the 2016 win.
However, with reliability issues seeing Hamilton sidelined in several races and Rosberg finding the nerve to push back, the victory finally became his in November last year.
"Lewis is very good at going to the edge without going outside the grey area, thanks to his skills in the car,” Rosberg explained to the Daily Mail. “He is smart, very, very smart. I found it harder to go wheel-to-wheel. For him, it comes naturally. For me it is more rational. I have to work at standing my ground. I got more aggressive because too often in the past he had walked all over me. I had to watch the videos and make improvements."
That was not all Rosberg did to get the better of Hamilton…
"I stopped cycling in the summer to lose one kilo. The next race I was on pole in Suzuka by one hundredth of a second. One kilo is worth three hundredths per lap. So I was on pole thanks to losing my leg muscles. It got me the win. Those were the small details I went into."
Sadly, the two drivers, who were such good friends as children as they both raced through the junior championships until reaching F1, lost their friendship in the battle for supremacy and at this stage it doesn’t look as if they will ever get that back.