NOVEMBER 24, 2016
Rosberg drove strategically for title says Berger
Nico Rosberg has eased off the throttle in a tactical manoeuvre for the 2016 world championship.
That is the admission of F1 legend and Rosberg family friend Gerhard Berger, who earlier this year negotiated the German's new contract with Mercedes.
Rosberg, however, insists he has been pushing for poles and wins in recent races, although others suspect he has been conservatively nursing his big points lead.
Indeed, a third place will seal his title in Abu Dhabi, and Berger now tells the Austrian newspaper Kurier: "This was of course Nico's tactics.
"He wants to have won the title at the chequered flag with as little risk as possible," said the former McLaren and Ferrari driver.
"He has kept a cool head and knows that a third place will be enough in Abu Dhabi."
But Berger joins those who think Rosberg would be a fully deserving world champion, despite being beaten to the crown in 2014 and 2015 by teammate Lewis Hamilton.
"He really does not have the basic speed that Hamilton has," Berger admits.
"But Nico has other sides. He is a disciplined driver who works very well with the engineers and with diligence and ambition. And in the end, only the result counts. They are always the sum of the abilities you have," he said.
So he rejects F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone's claim that Hamilton is in fact the 'better world champion'.
"What does 'better world champion' mean?" questioned Berger.
"Lewis, of course, is a good guy, but on Sunday, the better will be the world champion," he said.