Nico Rosberg reveals shocking lengths he went to to beat Mercedes star

May 2 2019 , 1:42 pm

NICO ROSBERG has opened up on the stunning lengths he had to go to in order to get an edge on Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

The two drivers had a tense relationship during their four seasons together for the Silver Arrows.

Their rivalry between 2013 and 2016 arguably ranks as one of the best in Formula One history, the pair winning 54 of 78 races while they were both at Mercedes with Hamilton winning 32 races to Rosberg’s 22.

British driver Lewis Hamilton won his second and third career world championships in 2014 and 2015 as Mercedes reacted strongest to the sport’s engine changes to dominate the grid.

Their relationship, which stemmed from their karting days together, became increasingly frayed and the German’s frustrations showed when Hamilton won another title in 2015.

An awkward scene between the pair in the driver’s room after Hamilton officially claimed back-to-back titles with a victory at the United States Grand Prix saw Rosberg throw his podium cap at his team-mate.

But Rosberg responded to the disappointment of missing out by winning the title in 2016, coming out on top of Hamilton by five points even though the latter defied team orders in Abu Dhabi and slowed down as the race leader to try and allow Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen to catch second-placed Rosberg.

Just five days after winning his maiden title, Rosberg shocked the sport of F1 by announcing he was ending his career at the age of just 31 – declaring: “I am done. End of story. The next step is being a dad and a husband and I am very much looking forward to that.”

But Rosberg – now a prominent F1 expert for Sky Sports and RTL – has revealed the tiniest of details that he had to consider in order to eke out every advantage he could to eventually get the better of Hamilton, who has not lost a title in either of the last two years since Rosberg ended his career.

Analysing last weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix on his official YouTube channel, Rosberg revealed: “A little secret of the day then which none of you know, which I’ve never said.

“The reason for me going to a black helmet, because if you remember before I had a white, yellow and blue helmet. I went to the black one because going black, you can see there’s no paint on the helmet.

“You can see the carbon shining through. It saved me 60 grams, going to the black design.

“One kilo at the time was three-hundredths of a second per lap so that was, 60 grams, two-thousandths of a second per lap just from the helmet.

“That was the reason I went to the black helmet. Nobody knows that, that’s exclusive stuff here on YouTube, first time I say that!

“Weight was just so crucial so I would even chop up my socks to try and lose 10 grams from my socks and everything to try and get the maximum weight out.

“It’s all in the details. Massive attention to details to win in F1 in required, at least to beat Lewis anyway! That was definitely the case.”

Now a five-time world champion, Hamilton trails Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by a single point after four races of the 2019 season.


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