Mercedes Motorsport Strategy Director James Vowles reveals one advantage Lewis Hamilton had over Nico Rosberg and talks about Rosberg’s shock retirement.
The rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg from 2014 until 2016 is now legendary. On the Beyond the Grid Podcast Mercedes’ chief strategist James Vowles was asked about the difference in performance between Hamilton and Rosberg.
“If you give Nico a thousand laps, he slowly moves towards an incredible performance level,” Vowles said.
“If you give Lewis two, he’s there, if that makes any sense. Where Nico was excellent is that you give him time in the car to see what his team-mate is doing, he’s incredible, what he achieves.”
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During their time at Mercedes Lewis has beaten Nico to win the F1 championship in 2014 and 2015, while in 2016 Rosberg finally managed to come out on top. What followed was a surprise for everyone, as Nico announced he would retire from Formula 1. Vowles explains the shock he felt when he heard the announcement.
“Toto called us into the office and we didn’t really know what to expect. But if Toto asked us to list five things that he was going to say, Nico retiring wasn’t on that list.
“And it was just a bizarre moment. And even now it’s kind of hard to work out why he asked to be released from his contract.
“Because even if he wasn’t going to beat Lewis again, he was in a good car, he’d be winning races, he’d be part of a team that was doing something amazing,” concluded the Briton.