As World Champion of the Royal Class, what Nico Rosberg succeeded in was not rewarded by Mark Webber. The Australian was third in the Red Bull three times (2010, 2011 and 2013), but the very big pitch failed. The fact that Rosberg finally made it to the top of the team after three years of the team-internal title fight also gives him respect and recognition.
For Weber knows only too well what it is like to be stamped out as number two in a duel with his teammate over and over again. When he got 2009 Sebastian Vettel sidelined, the 40-year-old today had no response to the stormy Youngster who won the World Cup title four times in a row- in the year of 2010 very little against Webber. A fate that the Australian shares with other colleagues.
Drivers like me and Felipe Massa are often stamped as number two,”Webber knows. So Massa 2008 (then in the Ferrari) drove across the finish line at his home Grand Prix in Brazil as the supposed world champion, but eventually had to leave the title to Lewis Hamilton.” Felipe kept the World Cup open until the last round, and I kept it open until the last race,”recalls Webber.
“Nico would have threatened this fate as well”
But both had to stick back and got the stamp of eternal number two.” Nico would also have threatened this fate,”Webber is sure and compares to Jenson Button:”Jenson is certainly not number two, but if he had not won the World Cup 2009, he would be judged as one today. Nico knows that. He would be number two without this title.”And this is unjustly, as Webber finds.
“He was definitely not number two in the last three years,”says the 40-year-old,”but there can only be one winner, and he was second. True. But now Lewis is number two.”The argument of some that Hamilton would have won more races than Rosberg without his defects, and would therefore be a deserving world champion, Webber does not want Webber to apply.
“Nico has worn the title title selection twice over the past three years after Abu Dhabi. He was really close to a driver in the same car, who is arguably one of the best drivers of a whole generation. It’s not like Lewis completely destroyed Nico. Nico has driven irresistibly, and there is no one who does not like him,”emphasizes Webber, who ended his driving career this year.
Would be if: In the end, who is ahead
In his eyes, there is nothing Rosberg could have done or could have done differently:”Win more race? Okay, then he would have won more than Lewis. Lewis had some technical problems, but so did Nico 2014 and 2015.”In fact Hamilton won ten races in Formula One season 2016, Rosberg nine. In addition, the British had a technical failure more than his teammate.
For Webber, this is part of racing. That’s how it works sometimes,”he says, looking at his own season 2016 as a Porsche factory pilot in the long-haul World Cup:”In the World Cup this year we won so many races with the \35;1, we stood on the podium so often, we ran most laps – -but we became fourth in the World Cup. This can happen because you cannot compensate for failures.”
Even when he almost lost the World Championship to team mate Vettel, the statistics actually told Webber:”When Sebastian 2010 became World Champion, he also led the World Cup for one race only. Is that why he’s an undisputed world champion? I ran the World Cup for a lot more races, but I didn’t become World Champion, because after the last race Sebastian had his nose in the front. That’s all t hat matters,”says the former Red Bull pilot.
Rosberg without Hamilton with three WM titles
That Rosberg has earned the Formula-1 title of all numbers games despite all, is beyond question for the Australian –as is the fact, that without Hamilton’s competition the German would already have three titles in his pocket: “Of course! This is often the case.”The fact that it was only in the third round that we managed to beat him does not diminish the performance at all, quite the contrary.
Rosberg’s way of working and precision played an important role in this, as Webber suggests:”We do not know: Who votes off the car, who does the dirty work? All we see is the stopwatch. But who works with the engineers more, who gets more on the team? I can imagine Nico being the more active part. You have to see the overall picture.”