Monaco – Laureus World Sports Ambassador Nico Rosberg believes Lewis Hamilton will have to be on top of his game this season if he is to retain his title.
With both Hamilton and Mercedes nominated for Laureus World Sports Awards (World Sportsman of the Year and World Team of the Year), former Laureus winner Rosberg believes both deserve the accolades, but warns that there will be real competition when the F1 season kicks off in March.
Rosberg said, “Sebastian (Vettel) and Ferrari were so strong last season – they had it in their hands – but Lewis single-handedly with his skill dominated the rest of the field and pulled the championship towards him. Phenomenal job. And the Mercedes always plays well and are so dominant so yes, both would be fitting winners of the Laureus Awards.”
So is it likely to be same again in the coming season? Rosberg isn’t so sure.
“Leclerc and Ferrari really excite me. He fast, very fast and has everything to be world champion one day. Sebastian can’t afford to have another season like last year or he’ll be beaten by his team mate. He really needs to perform now and that’s going to be really, really fun.”
Rosberg continued, “Valtteri Bottas is better than he was able to show last season so he can challenge Lewis from time to time. He had some really bad luck and a bad start to the season so if that changes, then things can look very, very different.”
And what of Williams and Kubica? Rosberg is excited to see him this season. “I was involved in helping him make the step. He’s one of the biggest talents that the sport has ever seen probably. For him to be back after his accident is amazing and he deserves it.
And Rosberg believes the leadership in Formula One is in the best shape to ensure a spectacular season.
“Everyone knows that to make it more competitive, there’s work to be done. But they know that and with Ross Brawn the main ringleader there, he is going to do everything to try and make that happen.”
Nico Rosberg was speaking ahead of the 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards which take place on Monday, February 18 in Monaco.
For more information see www.laureus.com and follow Laureus on Twitter and Instagram – @LaureusSport and Facebook – @LaureusSportForGood