Rosberg: Hamilton 'probably the best ever' in terms of talent


Nico Rosberg says Lewis Hamilton, his former F1 nemesis, is probably the most talented driver Formula 1 has ever seen.

While he is consistently challenged by a worthy rival this season, namely Max Verstappen, Hamilton continues to take the stats to new record levels, having achieved a century of wins in Russia last month while pushing his pole tally further up.

The Mercedes star is gunning for a record eighth world crown this year, a success that would detach him from Michael Schumacher in F1's history books.

Rosberg, who witnessed Hamilton's skills up close at Mercedes during four seasons and who is the only teammate to have beaten the Briton to the world title, believes his former adversary's natural ability places him ahead of Schumacher and perhaps at the top of F1's all-time pyramid of talent

"Lewis is just an extreme natural talent, in terms of talent, he must probably be the best ever," Rosberg told Sky. "And he really builds on that, that instinct is phenomenal with him.

"A big difference is diligence. Lewis hates testing. And Michael would do tests every day, even though he is a seven-time World Champion – but he also knows that you can still learn a little bit. It’s just diligence, passion."

Hamilton's high-profile skirmishes and run-ins with Verstappen this season have been a major talking point. But Rosberg notes that the seven-time world champion has an uncanny ability to absolve himself of any wrongdoing, especially with the media.

"What he [Hamilton] does very well is the whole politics, with the media," said Rosberg.

"He acts very, very cleverly. And even on the track, when you go into the grey areas, it’s somehow never really his fault. It’s always the opponent’s fault."

As he looks ahead to this year's showdown between F1's two protagonists, Rosberg admitted that if Hamilton prevails in Abu Dhabi and clinches an eighth crown, he'll look proudly upon his defeat of his Mercedes teammate in 2016.

"I’m not so emotionally connected now that I say, hey, Michael deserves to hold the record," concluded the German.

"I then see more and more, okay, he was really damn fast, and I can be all the more proud that I beat him back then with the same car."

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