Reigning Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg would have chosen Fernando Alonso to be Lewis Hamilton’s teammate in 2017, but at the same time understands why Mercedes chose the less volatile Valtteri Bottas to replace him.
Since his shock retirement at the end of the 2016 season, Rosberg has make no secret that he is relishing being an ordinary race fan, watching grands prix from the comfort of his couch. And watching Alonso versus Hamilton would have been a treat.
Asked by Marca who he would liked to have seen replace him at Mercedes, Rosberg replied, “OK, now I’m a fan and from that perspective it’s very easy to respond. Everyone says Alonso and I say it too, because there would be fireworks with Hamilton. As a fan, it would be nice.”
Rosberg was no doubt alluding to 2007, the year in which Hamilton and Alonso were teammates at McLaren, when there were sparks between the pair at just about every race that season. In the end Alonso departed the team after one acrimonious and drama packed season for the Woking outfit.
“But from the team’s perspective it cannot be and they have found a great solution. Bottas can do very well, he is fast and has beaten Massa three times in a similar way as Alonso did. Of course Hamilton will be at a very, very high level and it will be difficult to beat him, but I have proved that it can be done,” added Rosberg.
Ironically Alonso is back at McLaren, while Hamilton departed the team at the end of 2012 and has since won two F1 world championship titles with Mercedes.
Meanwhile in the wake of announcing his retirement, Rosberg said that “there’s more to life than driving round in circles” which inevitably drew criticism from many quarters.
But he refuses to apologise for what he said, “They criticized me a lot because of this phrase. But you see, that was my decision and it’s the truest truth. There are more things like my family. And there are many other things to discover, in business, charitable works…”