Rosberg has no fears about Hamilton challenge 18 October, 2012 Oct.18 (GMM) Once teammates in their karting days, Nico Rosberg insists he is not afraid of being beaten by his new teammate Lewis Hamilton who joins the Mercedes team starting from the 2013 season. Rosberg, 27, has generally had the better of the great Michael Schumacher since they were paired together in 2010, but some sceptics point out that the seven time world champion was no longer the all-conquering driver of his ultra-successful initial career. Rosberg’s real test, they say, will be the 2008 world champion and long-time McLaren driver Hamilton. But Rosberg scoffed at the claim he will have to ‘prove’ himself in 2013 alongside a genuine benchmark. “Is Michael Schumacher not a real benchmark?” he is quoted by the Telegraph. “Personally, I feel that Michael is still driving very well. “But no, no, I understand where you’re coming from and I’m excited by the challenge Lewis will provide.” But he might also be forgiven for worrying slightly about Hamilton’s reputation for being a tumultuous presence in a team. “That’s just the perception in the media,” Rosberg insisted. “I’m not worried. He said that, although different, Schumacher also attracts a lot of attention. “You couldn’t get a much bigger spotlight,” said Rosberg. Already, however, Mercedes’ 2013 drivers are disagreeing on one point. Hamilton said recently that he does not expect the Brackley based team to win races next season. “I expect to win next year,” Rosberg insisted. “I don’t know how many races but I expect to win next year. I wouldn’t talk about the championship, that is not realistic at the moment, but I expect us to be winning races.” Subbed by AJN. Related NewsMercedes seking multi-year deal with HamiltonHamilton: I was worried about the marshalsButton: Problem is Lewis expected me to let him pastRed Bull and Ferrari considered protesting MercedesRosberg: An amazing feeling to win at homeHamilton: I had great fun and did as good as I couldMercedes: It feels like a one-twoMercedes furious over unacceptable Brembo failureHamilton takes five place grid penaltyHamilton crash puts spotlight on F1 brake suppliers JodyRenza This will be a great battle to watch…..main plus will be that they will help the other to be even better..Rosberg is much better than a lotta people think. Disgusted with 2012 This will put to test the Stewart theory that “winning with a superior car is relatively easy” and that great drivers are proven by their ability to overcome a less than perfect car. I expect a season of Hamilton excuses about an “adjustment period” as Rosberg holds his own against him. Nico has matured a great deal, and has likely gained more from three seasons of Schumacher coaching than Hamilton has from believing himself a singularity without peer. Going to be very interesting indeed. This will cast the fate of both Hamilton and Rosberg for some time to come. If Hamilton dominates, Rosberg’s prospects will drop. If Rosberg dominates, Hamiltion’s “brand” will take a significant hit. I’m rooting for Nico – have had enough of Hamilton. grat Apparently you missed 2009, when Lewis had one of the worst cars on the grid– and eventually, won races with it. I think Lewis was deliberately downplaying Mercedes next year to lower expectations, but he’s going to drive every race to win, regardless of what the car can do. Lewis is very good at getting the most out of a car. Rosberg’s shown that the car can win, so my guess is one or two wins each next year, and consistent points scoring from the Mercedes drivers. Disgusted with 2012 Didn’t miss anything in 2009. Also not saying Lewis in not capable. However, 2009 was 3 years ago, and one might question whether he’s improved as much as those around him, including Rosberg. If anything Hamilton has fallen off his game, with 2012 showing some improvement at last, although McLaren’s screwups have negated his personal gains. Not making a call one way or another, although I do believe Hamilton has had periods where he hobbles his own potential with silly attitude and over the top hubris, while other drivers have been working hard to improve themselves with less drama and attention. The Merc move is going to highlight that. Where Rosberg is racing for his career, Hamilton is racing for his brand image. We’ll see which is the greater motivator – we already know which one creates the most noise in the media.