Lauda backs Nico to bounce back

Date published: November 25 2014

Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda is confident Nico Rosberg will come back stronger next year after missing out on the 2014 Championship.

The German’s title charge ended in a damp squib on Sunday as a mechanical problem saw him finish P14 with team-mate Lewis Hamilton winning the race and the Championship.

Rosberg was magnanimous in defeat and praised Hamilton as a worthy Champion and Lauda is confident the two Merc drivers will challenge for the title again next year.

“Nico will fight back and has the potential upwards,” he said. “There is still something to come out of his speed and performance and technical inputs he gives.

“So next year is going to be fun again between the two and I really hope nobody else will interfere.”

Hamilton, though, finished the season with 11 race victories and Lauda is happy he didn’t have to break a promise he made to the Briton before he joined Merc.

“It has been an outstanding year for Lewis,” said Lauda. “He won 11 races and he won the Championship. I am especially proud because two-and-a-half years ago I asked him to leave McLaren and join Mercedes.

“His argument was ‘When are we competitive?’ I said, ‘I am going to guarantee you a World Championship’, and second year here, here it is.

“I am happy because I did not break my promises.”