According to Niki Lauda, former Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg wouldn’t have retired a World Champion had it not been for Mercedes.
Rosberg narrowly beat his former rival Lewis Hamilton – 6/5 with BetBright to win the 2017 title – in a tightly contested 2016 season to become a World Champion for the first in his career, and then retired just days after.
The announcement shook the Formula 1 world and the German was eventually replaced by Valtteri Bottas.
Lauda, though, reckons that Rosberg wouldn’t have grasped the title had it not been for the Silver Arrows.
“Nico has improved so much because of the team and the car,” Lauda told Sports Bild.
“We have won three constructors’ titles and Hamilton before won two drivers’ world championships.
“With the Silver Arrow, Nico had the car and potential in his hands.
“You have to see it as a combination of Rosberg and Mercedes. Rosberg alone would not be World Champion – it is the car, team and Rosberg together.”
Looking to the future, Lauda explained that Mercedes have already moved on and he is excited at the combination of Bottas and Hamilton racing for the German manufacturer.
“Not at all. When he’s gone, he’s gone,” said Lauda.
“We had to come to terms with it and we did. We are now looking to the future and do not mourn Rosberg at all.”