Lauda feels sorry for Rosberg

Date published: November 9 2015 - Editor

Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda has said that he has sympathy for Nico Rosberg after the German was once again beaten to the title Lewis Hamilton.

For the second season in succession, Rosberg has had to watch on as his team-mate got the better of him – and the rest of the grid – on the way to securing his third World Championship.

Hamilton wrapped up the title at the United States Grand Prix, after an error from Rosberg saw the Briton claim the race victory.

A three-time World title winner himself, Lauda also knows what it's like to fall just short in the bid for the Championship, having famously finished behind James Hunt in the race for the 1976 title while also finishing fourth in the Championship on four occasions. And the Austrian has said that he manner in which Rosberg saw his title challenge ended was tough on the German.

"Nico had a disastrous race at Austin,," Lauda told Autosport.

"But he fully recovered [in Mexico]; pole position, dominated the race, won the race – you can't do a better job. No question, he did the perfect job.

"He beat Lewis, which was important for him because he has been blown away so many times.

"I felt sorry for him because I know how it feels when you get blown away all the time, and the worst thing is when you screw up a race and the other guy becomes champion.

"This is the worst thing that can happen to a racing driver, and therefore it was good that [Mexico] was the other way around, so he gets his stability back, and he will keep on fighting."

Rosberg's win in Mexico was not without its controversy, with Hamilton of the opinion that Mercedes helped Rosberg win by forcing him to pit for new tyres when it was not necessary. Reflecting on the call to pit Hamilton, Lauda has insisted that it was the right decision.

"The strategy was to have one pitstop, but then when we looked at the tyre wear, and the safety [gap] we had to the third guy, it was logical to make another stop," he explained.

"Then Lewis said, 'Why the hell do I have to do another pitstop?' but he came in the next lap.

"This is simple to explain: the strategists sit on the pitwall and they take the decisions, whether the drivers like them or not, but I don't think Lewis was upset."