Former Formula 1 driver Gerhard Berger believes that if Nico Rosberg picks up where he left off when the season gets underway in Australia, he may well succeed in beating Lewis Hamilton to the world championship in 2016.
Rosberg put together a string of three consecutive wins at the end of last year, dominating his team mate who appeared to endure a performance slump once the championship had been secured.
The German will obviously be looking to sustain his supremacy in Melbourne in order to gain an early advantage over his Mercedes rival, but Hamilton will also be seeking to reclaim the upper hand, according to the former Ferrari and McLaren driver.
"I believe Rosberg is insanely good," Berger told the Auto, Motor und Sport website.
"Unfortunately, he has Lewis Hamilton as his team mate. Before, he always had his team mates under control. He was even a headache for Michael Schumacher. With any other driver at his side, Rosberg would have probably won the last two world championships."
Berger isn't taking anything away from Hamilton's accomplishments however, but he does believe the triple world champion is vulnerable when cracks in his confidence seem to appear now and then.
"After Austin, Hamilton was already thinking about the next world championship," Berger added.
"In a duel like Rosberg versus Hamilton, details make a difference. I would not be surprised to see Hamilton back on his game when 2016 gets underway."
"But Hamilton seems to be walking on a tightrope. He always appears close to losing his nerve. If Nico succeeds in rattling his confidence, then he will have a chance.
"To do so, he needs to put together a strong first half of the season, because Hamilton would have more problems with Rosberg’s success than vice versa."