2016 World Champion Nico Rosberg believes his former Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton has weak moments, opening the door for Valtteri Bottas.
Rosberg partnered the five-time champ at Mercedes from 2013-16, seeing off the Brit’s challenge to take the 2016 crown, before retiring from the sport shortly after.
Bottas replaced the German at the Silver Arrows, and after winning the opening race of 2019 in Australia by a 20 second margin over Hamilton, Rosberg has urged the four-time race winner to exploit Hamilton’s periods of weakness.
Speaking to Auto Bild, he said: “I think if Valtteri can keep the positive mentality, he can become World Champion, because then Lewis has his periods of weakness.
“Bottas is in combat mode this year. You cannot underestimate the mental side in Formula One.
“It’s what we saw last year with Sebastian (Vettel).”
Rosberg also spoke of Bottas’ relentless work rate, citing it as similar to his own when he was racing, and superior to Hamilton’s.
“Valtteri – as I always did – practiced all weekend with his clutch: once, twice, three times, hundreds of times,” he explained.
“And Lewis, not once, maybe five times maximum.
“The problem for Valtteri is that Lewis is always so strong in qualifying, but the chance is there that we will see a real duel.”