Nico Rosberg feels Lewis Hamilton isn’t quite the “complete” driver that Michael Schumacher was in his Formula 1 career.
Naturally due to Hamilton’s run of dominance in Formula 1 there have been constant comparisons to Schumacher, and in a 2020 season where Hamilton surpassed Schumacher’s record for most race wins and matched his tally of seven World Championships, those comparisons have only become more frequent.
It seems almost everyone in the Formula 1 community has weighed in on the debate, while some have stayed tight-lipped when pushed for an opinion, but Rosberg was clear that Hamilton isn’t the “complete” driver that Schumacher was.
Rosberg is the only driver to have defeated Hamilton since the turbo-hybrid era began in 2014, winning the 2016 World Championship and retiring shortly after.
It was Hamilton who replaced Schumacher at Mercedes from 2013 after three seasons where Rosberg had finished ahead of Schumacher in the Drivers’ Championship as his Mercedes team-mate.
“Schumacher was certainly the most complete racing driver of all,” said Rosberg when speaking to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
“The way he experienced this sport, the motivation to improve himself and the team in every conceivable area, that’s pretty huge.
“I don’t think that has happened a second time in Formula One.”
But Rosberg was in no way detracting from Hamilton’s talent, citing his “impressive” ability to be “immediately fast” when he sits in a racing car.
“Hamilton is a natural talent, a driver from another planet,” said Rosberg.
“He sits in a car and is immediately fast, which is quite impressive.”
Hamilton claimed the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award for 2020, the second time in his career he has achieved that honour.
But before that at the FIA’s Prize Giving Gala, Hamilton and Schumacher were jointly bestowed with the President’s Special Award, handed out by FIA president Jean Todt to recognise “the inspiration their sporting and personal commitments have brought to the world”.
“Michael and Lewis are champions but also incredible human beings,” Todt added.
“Michael was always ready to support any kind of action to benefit society, for example his work on road safety. To have people like Michael and Lewis to engage with and educate young people is essential.”