In 2017 there is no World Champion defending the title because Nico Rosberg retired five days after he claimed his first and only Formula 1 championship, a fact that motorsport director Ross Brawn laments but, at the same time, understands.
Brawn said of Rosberg’s shock decision to quit, “It is not ideal. From a sporting perspective it is good to have the world champion on the grid as a reference.
“But it is better that Nico retired if he felt that he didn’t want to face up to it any more, than being on the grid without the level of motivation he would need.
“For him it was probably the right decision. And probably for the sport it was as well, because we wouldn’t want to see a world champion in decline. That’s not great for the sport either.”
“Lewis is one of the reference points in Formula 1. He is in the right car and the right team. The comparison with Valtteri Bottas is going to be fascinating,” added Brawn with reference to the Finn who has replaced Rosberg in the Silver Arrows outfit.