Nico Rosberg: Max Verstappen’s dominance hasn’t affected F1’s entertainment factor

Mark Scott
Max Verstappen celebrating. Mexico City, October 2022.

2016 World Champion Nico Rosberg still thinks there has been plenty of excitement in Formula 1 this season despite Max Verstappen and Red Bull dominating the standings.

Verstappen, now a two-time World Champion after consecutive title successes in 2021 and 2022 respectively, broke the record for the most wins by a single driver in any official Formula 1 season.

The Dutchman racked up a whopping 15 race wins in F1 2022, nine of those coming in the final 11 races as he strolled towards adding a second title to his trophy cabinet.

Usually, unless you are fan of said dominant driver, the rest of the Formula 1 fanbase will say the season, or era if that dominant run continues for years on end, is boring and start losing interest in the sport.

Rosberg, though, still thinks F1 2022 delivered, even if we did only see one non-Red Bull, Ferrari or Mercedes driver on the podium this year – Lando Norris for McLaren all the way back at round four at Imola.

“I thought it was a fantastic weekend once again,” Rosberg said on Sky F1’s Any Driven Monday when reflecting on the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

“And generally the whole season has just been so exciting, even though Verstappen was so dominant, somehow in the races they were still always thrilling to watch. And the same again in Abu Dhabi.

“I really liked the layout, how they’ve changed the layout of this Abu Dhabi track because as you know, it used to be impossible to overtake on this track, and now, straight from the get go, we’re seeing overtaking all across the field.

“Especially like we saw with Lewis Hamilton on Carlos Sainz at the beginning, that was really exciting.

“So I think that’s been good and that’s really helped the racing there in Abu Dhabi.”

Formula 1 also waved goodbye to Sebastian Vettel at the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the four-time World Champion deciding not to continue into a third year with the Aston Martin team and re-assess ahead of choosing his next chapter.

And Rosberg had nothing but praise for his fellow compatriot.

“It was really nice how the whole community, the whole world came together to wish him a wonderful farewell,” Rosberg said.

“So much was done [for him] and all the drivers met up to have a farewell dinner on the Thursday night. That was really cool.

“He is one of the greatest of all time, with the results that he had, four-time World Champion, he’s right up there as one of the greats. He’ll definitely be missed a lot as we all love watching him and it was great to have him in the sport.

“What an incredible career he’s had and now it will be interesting to see what he does next. Of course, that’s always the challenge, especially as he does admit he doesn’t have a plan.

“So it’s going to be really good to follow that and I’m sure he’s going to do something where he will contribute to society, which is, of course the direction that I’ve taken on as well.”

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