Rosberg on Verstappen’s ‘extreme’ situation in title fight

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen and Honda's Masashi Yamamoto as confetti falls. Austin October 2021

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen on the podium with Honda's Masashi Yamamoto as confetti falls, champagne sprayed. Austin October 2021

Max Verstappen may look very composed from the outside but Nico Rosberg reckons he is an “extreme situation” with mounting pressure.

Verstappen has been the standout driver in this year’s championship, taking eight race wins and leading more laps than the rest of the field combined.

The Red Bull driver has ended Mercedes’ reign at strongholds, the most recent being his 1.333s win over Lewis Hamilton at the United States Grand Prix.

That win saw Verstappen double his advantage in the title race to 12 points.

But with the form book out the window, many are predicting that this year’s title fight will go down to the wire.

Rosberg is still betting on Hamilton as he feels there is more pressure on Verstappen than there is on the seven-time World Champion.

“Lewis has done this before,” Rosberg, the 2016 World Champion, told Sky Sports News.

“He’s already won seven titles, he’s been in a title fight towards the end of the season nine or 10 times.

“But for Max it’s the first time, and that is such an extreme situation to be in because it is his dream that’s at stake – to be a Formula One World Champion.

“You don’t really know if you’ll ever have another chance, particularly with the regulations changing next year.

“There’s a lot at stake and the pressure is on Max to deal with this because he is new to the situation.”

Rosberg, though, concedes that so far Verstappen is handling the pressure like a veteran.

“So far Max has been doing amazingly,” he continued.

“One doesn’t even see that he’s under pressure, and it’s incredible how he’s dealing with it.”

Rosberg, the last driver to beat Hamilton in a title race, reckons this will one will only be decided at the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

The German’s 2016 success was also decided there, the last championship that went down to the wire.

He added: “You have the two best of their generations going head-to-head, and they are both in unbelievable form.


“It is so close, they are on the same level, and the cars are on the same level.

“It is important that they don’t make any mistakes. If one of them does, it is like a penalty kick for the other. I think it will go to the wire in Abu Dhabi.”


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