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'Pressure got to Vettel' in 2018 - Rosberg

2018-10-17 07:33
Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari badge

Image: TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA / AFP

Only a "perfect" competitor can knock Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes from their perch at the top of Formula 1.

That is the view of Nico Rosberg, the German who quit motor racing after beating Hamilton to the title in 2016.

'To beat them you have to be perfect'

He says he has no regrets about stopping, and not just because he does not envy Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari's task of beating the Mercedes "war machine".

READ: Sebastian Vettel denies cracking under pressure in 2018

"I'm talking about the whole package. The car and Lewis.

"To beat them you have to be perfect, and Ferrari has not been able to. I don't find that strange, as the Mercedes team has been more or less the same for five years while there were so many changes at Ferrari," Rosberg told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Rosberg agrees that Vettel's problem in 2018 was his mistakes.

'The pressure is higher'

"There were four or five episodes and it does seem to me that the pressure played a role.

"That's not a surprise either. In his role at Ferrari, that is undoubtedly where the pressure is higher than at any other team," said the German.

Fernando Alonso may be retiring, but Rosberg said the future of F1 is in good hands with the likes of Charles Leclerc and 2019 rookies Lando Norris and George Russell.

But he said it's a "shame" Esteban Ocon looks set to lose out.

"It shows that having a link with Mercedes sometimes helps, but it sometimes doesn't," said Rosberg.

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