Nico Rosberg explains difference between Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher

Rosberg hailed Hamilton as ‘probably the best talent-wise’ but said Schumacher was far more diligent

Tom Kershaw
Monday 18 October 2021 09:51
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Nico Rosberg believes that Lewis Hamilton is “talent-wise, probably the best [Formula 1 driver] of all time” but that Michael Schumacher was far more diligent in his preparation.

Rosberg raced alongside both seven-time world champions during his own distinguished career and was asked what separated them as Hamilton attempts to win a record-breaking eighth title that would make him the most successful driver in history.

“Talent-wise, [Hamilton] probably has to be the best of all time,” Rosberg said. “And he really builds on that, that instinct is phenomenal with him... Lewis deserves [the record] too and if he manages to do that, then good. I see it more and more as, ‘He was really damn fast, and I can be all the more proud that I beat him [in 2016] with the same car back then.”

When asked about the difference in their approach, Rosberg highlighted Schumacher’s attention to detail in the build-up to races. “A big difference is diligence,” he said. “Lewis hates test drives. He doesn’t like test drives. And Michael, he would drive tests every day, even though he is a seven-time world champion. But because he also knows that you can always learn a little bit there.

“He motivates the whole team and gets them behind him, knows all the names, invites them to his house for bike rides and so on, even though he is a seven-time world champion and has 800 million in his bank account or something.”

Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by six points in the drivers’ standings in a thrilling championship but takes an excellent record to the next race in the US, having already won five times in Texas.

Red Bull principal Christian Horner hopes, though, that Verstappen will thrive in higher-altitude conditions in Brazil and Mexico as the championship approaches its final stretch.

“I think we know the next race in Austin has been a Hamilton stronghold for quite a few years now,” Horner said. “But then Mexico and Brazil, hopefully, the higher altitude races tended to be quite strong for us in the past, and then not really sure what to expect in the last three.

“It is going to be fascinating but we are going to have to be at the very top of our game.”

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