Gerhard Berger believes Nico Rosberg would have won the last two World titles had he been teamed up with another driver other than Lewis Hamilton.
With Mercedes on a charge since Formula 1 introduced the V6 engines, it has been between Rosberg and Hamilton for the World titles.
At times it was a closely-fought competition but in the end it was Hamilton who won both seasons.
However had there been any other driver alongside him at Mercedes, Berger reckons Rosberg would now be a double World Champion. The German is a favourite with Paddy Power for this year’s title.
“I still believe that Rosberg is insanely good,” the former F1 driver told Auto Motor und Sport.
“His misfortune is that he has Lewis Hamilton has a team-mate. Before then Rosberg always had his team-mates under control. He was even a headache for Michael Schumacher.
“With another team-mate Rosberg would probably have won the last two World titles.”
And although he concedes Hamilton is an “exceptional talent”, Berger says there could still be an opportunity for Rosberg to snatch the 2016 crown from his team-mate, a sentiment echoed by F1’s bookmakers.
“I think Hamilton is walking a very fine line, he always appears close to losing his nerve,” the Austrian stated.
He added that if Rosberg can rattle his team-mate “then he has a chance” this season.
“If he has a strong first half of the season then Hamilton would have more problems with Rosberg’s success than vice versa.”