Rosberg chooses best F1 driver of 2021: “Insane, he was even better this year”

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Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton competed for the world championship in Formula 1 this year, but the Dutchman and the Brit are also frequently mentioned on the lists of the best drivers of the past year. According to the team bosses, the Red Bull man is the best driver of 2021 and the Mercedes man also had to beat Verstappen among the drivers.

Former F1 driver Nico Rosberg discusses his own top five drivers from the past season in a video on his YouTube channel. The brand new world champion Verstappen is also at the top of his list.

“First of all because he was just phenomenal! The level he generally achieved in qualifying, his consistency throughout the year and the level at which he competed against Lewis… It was probably the best ever” Rosberg begins.

“Against Lewis in the Mercedes, against that dominant factor, Verstappen performed extremely well. The wheel-to-wheel racing was also fantastic. Lewis is the best at wheel-to-wheel racing, but Verstappen, you have to admit he still has this year was better. That’s insane,” says the 2016 world champion.

Verstappen seems to perform better under pressure

According to Rosberg, Verstappen seems to get better when there is a lot of pressure on him. The former Mercedes driver has a clear difference with himself there. “Verstappen almost gets better when there’s a lot of pressure on him. I got about three tenths slower when the pressure was high, he gets about two tenths faster! It’s really insane, I don’t know how he does it.”

“So Verstappen is probably number one if you look at the whole season. Especially if you include the bad luck, he was probably a bit more unlucky (than Hamilton, ed.) So I put Verstappen on one and Lewis is number two”, concludes the former world champion. On the basis of Hamilton’s performance, he explains why the Briton does not deserve a place above Verstappen.

“Lewis had a legendary season. His season was a bit more up and down, also because the car wasn’t always as good, but he was less consistent than Verstappen. Valtteri Bottas also beat him quite a few times in qualifying, so that’s why I would just put Lewis second and Verstappen first.”

Best of the rest?

Who will be in Rosberg’s list after Verstappen and Hamilton? “Lando is definitely with me, because in general he had so many great outliers. He almost won his first race, he took pole position, he was second in Monza,” the former driver recalls.

“He had such highlights, peaks at World Cup level. He drove exceptionally well and that’s why I would put him in third place.” Carlos Sainz is therefore fourth in the top five of the 2016 world champions, but according to him that is ‘not entirely fair’.

“You have to look at the whole season and Carlos has put in a great performance overall. He beat Charles Leclerc in his first year at Ferrari. I mean Sebastian Vettel didn’t stand a chance against Leclerc and here comes Carlos and he beats him!”

“Let’s equalize him in third place with Lando”, concludes Rosberg, who also immediately mentions his number five. “Then you should put Leclerc in fifth place because we know how good he is. And he had some exceptional moments again this year.”

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