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Rosberg: Bottas’ mentality makes him ‘perhaps the perfect driver’

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Outgoing Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg has praised the mentality of Mercedes replacement Valtteri Bottas, saying his ability to concentrate solely on himself makes him “perhaps the perfect driver”.

Rosberg retired from F1 five days after winning his maiden world title with Mercedes in 2016, leading to Bottas’ arrival.

Since joining Mercedes, Bottas has claimed two race wins and charged to third place in the drivers’ championship, making himself a contender against teammate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel for the title.

Speaking toย Sport Bild, Rosberg praised Bottas’ approach and mentality in the championship fight, having himself struggled with mind games against Hamilton in their battles between 2014 and 2016.

“I’m really impressed. Mentally, he is perhaps the perfect driver because he can concentrate on himself,โ€ Rosberg said.

โ€œThat makes him consistent and fast.”

Bottas has surprised many with his performances at Mercedes so far this season, stepping out of the expected number two shadow and challenging Hamilton on a number of occasions.

While Mercedes is yet to make a firm decision about Bottas’ future with the team beyond the end of the season, contract discussions have been opened, with at least a one-year extension to the end of 2018 expected to be agreed on.

Nico Rosberg visits Stanford University, considering study options

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2016 Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg is considering study options at Stanford University after visiting the college earlier this week as part of his tour around California.

Rosberg sensationally announced his retirement from F1 just five days after winning his maiden world title last November, wanting to spend more time with his young family.

The German has been enjoying his retirement, recently embarking on a tour of Silicon Valley and California that saw him hold meetings with electric car giant Tesla, among other companies.

In a video posted to his Twitter account on Sunday, Rosberg spoke warmly about a visit to Stanford, revealing that he is considering some study options in the near future at the historic institution.

Rosberg was previously offered a scholarship to study engineering at Imperial College London when he was younger, only to turn it down in order to embark on a racing career. He also reportedly holds the highest ever score on Williams’ engineering aptitude test.

Should Nico sign up to a course at Stanford, we imagine he’d take things one class at a time…

Rosberg ‘in the best position to judge’ Hamilton/Vettel F1 clash

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2016 Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg offered his thoughts on the clash between current title rivals Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton in Baku, believing himself to be in the “best position” to pass judgment.

Rosberg fought Mercedes teammate Hamilton for the drivers’ championship in 2014, 2015 and 2016, eventually claiming his first crown last year before retiring from F1.

Rosberg and Hamilton enjoyed a tense relationship that saw their rivalry spill over with on-track clashes on a number of occasions, contrasting the early stages of this year’s title battle that – until Baku, when the pair collided behind the safety car – seemed cordial.

Vettel accused Hamilton of brake testing him and slowing deliberately behind the safety car that meant they touched and reacted by swiping towards him, causing contact. Vettel was penalized in the race and could be penalized further by the FIA.

Rosberg appeared at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England on Sunday, taking part in a public interview with ex-F1 driver Mark Webber, who asked if he had watched the race.

After confirming he’d watched the race, Rosberg quickly asked: “So what was your opinion on that one, Mark? Who was to blame, Lewis or Sebastian? Be honest now…”

Webber said it was “very easy”, pinning the blame on Vettel before asking Rosberg for his thoughts.

“My opinion? I’m German. I’ve got to be careful now…” Rosberg joked, before giving his view on Hamilton’s alleged brake test.

“It’s pretty simple. To be honest, I’m the guy who knows Lewis best in the whole of the racing industry, so I think I’m in the best position to judge it.

“For sure he didn’t do that on purpose, definitely.”

Rosberg returns to F1 action with Goodwood hillclimb run (VIDEOS/PHOTOS)

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2016 world champion Nico Rosberg made his return to Formula 1 action on Sunday at the historic Goodwood Festival of Speed in England, getting behind the wheel of a Mercedes W05 car on the hillclimb.

Rosberg announced his shock retirement from F1 just five days after winning his maiden title in Abu Dhabi last year with Mercedes, quitting racing altogether in order to spend more time with his family.

Rosberg has remained close with Mercedes ever since, continuing to be one of its ambassadors, and made an appearance in the paddock at the Monaco Grand Prix last month.

As part of the annual showcase at Goodwood, Rosberg made an appearance in the W05 car that won both championships in 2014 and took the German driver to second place in the drivers’ standings.

“Thank you all for being so supportive and for all coming out today. What an amazing day,” Rosberg said, speaking to the crowd after his show run.

“For me it was great fun, good memories with my old car going up the hill. I gave it everything this time, absolutely flat out.

“It’s been special to come here today because I’ve been here eight times even, and it’s my first time back here as world champion. That’s amazing.”

 

Rosberg, Button soak up their first weekends out of F1 (PHOTOS)

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Since 2008, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have won seven World Championships. The two drivers that won titles in that period not named Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel – Nico Rosberg (2016) and Jenson Button (2009) – were both enjoying their first weekends not on a Formula 1 grid as full-time drivers for the first time in more than a decade this weekend as the 2017 season commenced at Melbourne’s Albert Park.

Rosberg made a visit to preseason testing in Barcelona a few weeks ago for his first appearance as spectator since winning the World Championship. But he watched from home this weekend with his family and posted a few thoughts during both qualifying and the race:

We’re now quite familiar with Rosberg’s home TV set and coffee table. This is the first time Rosberg has been out of an F1 race since 2005, the year he won the first GP2 championship.

Button meanwhile paid a visit to California for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana… once he got off his couch. He checked in with seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson at Fontana.

Do you guys know if there's anything good to watch on tele this weekend? @storm_and_rogue_pomskies

A post shared by Jenson Button (@jensonbutton_22) on

Given McLaren Honda’s struggles, Button is probably smart to have got out when he did. He’d been on the grid since 2000, save for a couple races out in 2005 when BAR-Honda was barred from competing after being disqualified from the San Marino Grand Prix.

Meanwhile for Rosberg, he watched as Mercedes was unable to win the season opener for the first time since 2013.