The transformation of Nico Rosberg from steely cold and calculating Formula 1 driver to quasi-hysterical YouTube vlogger has been entertaining and worthy of column inches as he reacts to racing like most enthusiastic anoraks tend to do but with the added insight of having been in the hornet’s nest not too long ago.
In the wake of two riveting races in Germany and Hungary ahead of the summer break, Rosberg has weighed into the Silly Season debate by flinging a grenade into the Mercedes compound – his former team – by suggesting they ditch Valtteri Bottas and sign Fernando Alonso alongside dominant Lewis Hamilton.
The argument he makes is that Bottas clearly does not have the ammo to match, let alone take on, Hamilton in a title fight and with Max Verstappen super-glued to a Red Bull contract, the next best option to spice things up is to re-saddle a warhorse of the silver kind for Spanish knight Fernando Alonso.
Rosberg suggested enthusiastically in a recent vlog, “I think we should start a petition to get Alonso in that second Mercedes car. Bring him out of retirement, bring Alonso back and put him in the damn Mercedes next to Lewis. How cool would that be? It’d be epic stuff.”
Bottas began the season ‘reloaded’ but since then Hamilton has slowly but surely raised his game and right now he is simply on a different planet compared to his teammate. The consensus is that on a good day he is shy three-tenths on his five-time World Champion teammate, seven-tenths when the Briton wields his Hammer.
Rosberg was scathing of the man who replaced him in the silver garage, “Bottas was up against the two best wheel-to-wheel racers out there in Verstappen and Hamilton.”
“Hamilton just drove round the outside of him at Turn 2, so really destroyed him there. Then he [Bottas] was unlucky when [Charles] Leclerc chopped him and damaged his front-wing and then that was it, the end of the race, the end of the weekend for him.
“I would have a tendency to say that’s the end of his Mercedes race seat as well. The last two races have been such a struggle for him and I think they’re going to put Ocon in the car.
“I don’t think they’ve quite fully decided themselves yet, so it’s a very fine line, but I think [they’re leaning] a little bit toward Ocon, but let’s see.
“He [Hamilton] is definitely on for his sixth title, because Bottas has kind of lost the plot and Verstappen just doesn’t have the car despite driving amazingly,” added the 2016 F1 World Champion.
Alonso petitions are not a new thing, last year his fans started a petition to get the Spaniard back to Ferrari which obviously fell on deaf ears at Maranello.
Big Question: Fernando to Mercedes alongside Lewis… How likely?