Rosberg shares details which enabled him to win 2016 title on F1 podcast
The German had to work on smallest of details to beat Lewis Hamilton.
In the 17th episode of Formula 1’s ‘Beyond The Grid’ podcast, Nico Rosberg talks racing against Michael Schumacher, relation with Lewis Hamilton, mental strength, life currently and more.
Rosberg starts the podcast talking about his retirement where he says he doesn't miss racing in F1 but more he misses winning and the moments shared with the team. In addition, he states he wouldn't want to change anything from his career.
He then touches on the final moments of the 2016 season when it hit him on the grid in Abu Dhabi that it could be his final race of his career. Going back on the phases in his career, he talks a bit on his first teammate Mark Webber.
With the season they had, he said it was difficult to judge him. The biggest shock though came when Michael Schumacher announced his return alongside Rosberg. The German did not anticipate that Schumacher will be his teammate going forward.
Rosberg states Schumacher was not the same during his return but it was still important for him to beat him and keep his seat - otherwise Schumacher would have continued on in Mercedes and Rosberg would have been dropped.
Talking about racing Schumacher, Rosberg felt mindgames came naturally to him. He was generous to his own team and mechanics but not so much to his competition. Moving on to Hamilton, the German actually learned more about the British driver.
In karting it was plain and simple fight but in F1, it was a step ahead with Hamilton's strengths of playing with the media and also inside the team came as a surprise and a learning for Rosberg.
He reveals the problems with Hamilton started after their epic battle in the 2014 Bahrain GP - post race they celebrated happily but the seeds were in place for the relationship to deteriorate from then on.
Elaborating on the tricks Rosberg took in 2016, he talked about giving up cycling to shed the leg muscles (about one kilo gave him two-three tenths) which came in handy when he took pole and won the Japanese Grand Prix - that came as a surprise to Hamilton.
Another aspect was the racing gloves which Rosberg customised for himself to help him with the starts which surprised Hamilton again after three to four races - the British driver took the same approach then.
Moving away, jet lag was another thing where Rosberg worked with his mental coach and also a sleep doctor to be ready for a race weekend when flying elsewhere. He would start working on the timezone a week or so before the races.
Adding on his relationship, Rosberg hopes that it can get better in the years to come and they can have a beer or two in the future. On the 2018 fight, Rosberg is surprised with the performance of Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel.
He thinks Vettel may not be getting the full support from Ferrari and some of the decisions within the team may have affected his mental game. Even for the German, Rosberg thinks that sometimes Vettel doesn't give up when someone has done better than him.
Rosberg agrees that team support is needed, something which Mercedes has done - even though it is bad in the eyes of many. He recalls the call made by Mercedes in 2016 where the driver having the better chance of winning a race is to give way.
That's why Rosberg gave the place to Hamilton in Monaco where the British driver had the better chance. He thinks if the team is opting for team orders, it has to be told to both the drivers which maybe isn't the case with Valtteri Bottas right now.
When asked if Toto Wolff asks him to return for one time, Rosberg reckons he may think about it but it will be hard considering it was tough for him after driving a Formula E car - although he feels he will be able to get the job done with training.
Elsewhere, the German talks about his family, wife and kids while touching on the projects he is working on currently and the life he is leading at the moment as a part investor and also a F1 pundit. He also explains the social engagement is trying to achieve.
[Note: This story was also written by me on Formula Rapida]