2016 F1 champion says losing out to Lewis Hamilton three years in a row took a toll on him, but he found a way to “enhance” his focus and motivation.
Nico Rosberg has been losing out to Lewis Hamilton for three years in a row since the Briton arrived to Mercedes in 2013.
Rosberg reveals his loss to Lewis in 2015 hit him especially hard.
“At the time it was like, ‘he’s probably too nice to be World Champion against the ruthless Lewis’,” Rosberg told Times Magazine.
“I lost to Lewis three years in a row. And it was so painful, the last time. I locked myself in a hotel room, and I reminded myself to push, push, push like hell. It just enhanced my motivation, my focus.”
It obviously worked, as he ultimately managed to recover and win his first F1 championship in 2016.
“[The 2016 season] went to the wire, to the last corner. It couldn’t have been more intense, and winning against Lewis, in the same car, after having struggled against him for decades? It was just so perfect.”
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Now Hamilton and Rosberg are again engaged in a rivalry, but this time in the electric off-road series Extreme E, where they both have their own teams.
After two rounds Rosberg X Racing leads the Teams’ Championship, 14 points ahead of Lewis’ Team X44.
“I’m happy that he’s also joined this path. It’s so cool because we have, by coincidence, the two best teams and we’re [racing against] each other.
“At the moment, I’m leading. We won both of the first races, but it’s so early in the championship.
“You [can] measure at the end of the year,” concluded Rosberg.