Lauda praises respectful Rosberg

Published: Monday 24th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Niki Lauda believes Mercedes will have a far easier time handling Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg next season following the latter’s exemplary behaviour in the wake of his Formula One world title defeat.

Whatever difficulties the duo may have encountered this year, Rosberg proved himself to be magnanimous in defeat by immediately seeking out Hamilton to offer his congratulations on his championship success.

The 29-year-old German’s hopes of glory were shattered by a failure of his car’s ERS (energy recovery store) on lap 23 of the 55-lap season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday.

Down on power for the remainder of the race, Rosberg went backwards, eventually finishing 14th and a lap down on race-winner and newly-crowned two-time champion Hamilton.

But rather than skulking off into the shadows, Rosberg made his way to the ‘green room’, where the top three head off to cool down ahead of the podium ceremony, to shake Hamilton’s hand and embrace him.

That highly impressed three-time champion and Mercedes non-executive chairman Lauda, who has been forced to intervene on occasion this year given the breakdown in the relationship between the duo.

In particular, Rosberg was given a severe dressing down by Lauda and Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff after colliding with Hamilton in the Belgian Grand Prix.

“The biggest pleasure I had, where I nearly became emotional, was when I saw Nico go up and congratulate Lewis,” said Lauda.

“That was really an outstanding performance from Nico, especially because I know the discussions we had after Spa because their relationship was the opposite of what we saw yesterday.

“After Spa they were without emotion, so for me the biggest thing was seeing Nico be a sportsman, normal, without negative emotions and congratulate him.

“This is the way life is and therefore I am very happy for both of them.”

Lauda believed after what occurred at Spa the damage to the duo’s relationship would be beyond repair.

“It all came up in Spa because of things that had built up from before. Spa was the heat,” added Lauda.

“Then we got it all under control again, everybody together, and not us telling them, but them realising what they should do.

“From then on it all worked our and the outcome was unbelievable. They fought with each other, but then they hugged each other, and with one congratulating the other.

“We’ve now overcome all these issues, with one winning the championship and the other not, and with one hitting the other.

“It’s going to be easier next year because they respect each other on their level of performance.”

Published: Monday 24th November 2014 by The News Editor

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