Niki Lauda says two wins on the bounce is proof that Nico Rosberg can match team-mate Lewis Hamilton for outright pace, and that the German is currently the Mercedes team’s best driver.
Rosberg beat Hamilton to pole for a fifth consecutive time this weekend in Sao Paolo, before controlling the Brazilian Grand Prix to take his second win in a row.
According to Lauda, the swing in form is a clear indication that Rosberg is capable of matching his World Champion team-mate rather than a sign that Hamilton has backed off now he’s wrapped up the title.
“Suddenly [Robserg’s] brain switched and off he goes,” said Lauda.
“These things happen to drivers. Sometimes you fight with yourself, and suddenly you get free in your head and off you go – because he is as quick as Lewis. Everything going well for him, he can win.
“Nevertheless [Hamilton] is still fighting; you can see this every lap. But at the moment, Nico is better.”
Rosberg worked hard to turn form around
While unsure as to why he is suddenly beating Hamilton, Rosberg says he has worked hard to turn his form around after struggling against his team-mate for much of the middle part of the season.
“I don't have an exact explanation for why it is going so strongly now, but I want to keep it going,” said the German.
“I have been working hard because Lewis had an upper hand for most of the season, and I have turned it around. I am pleased with that. At the last race Abu Dhabi I want to go again for the win.”