DECEMBER 1, 2016
Abu Dhabi showed Rosberg the right champion says Lauda
Niki Lauda says the Abu Dhabi grand prix was proof in itself that Nico Rosberg deserves the 2016 world championship.
As the controversy about Lewis Hamilton's 'backing up' tactics continues, Mercedes' team chairman said how the Briton and German Rosberg handled it is crucial to interpreting the outcome of their title battle.
"If Lewis had gone out the front and left everyone behind, everyone would have said 'That was the real world champion'.
"But he put Nico on a pedestal that was as high as if he had won the race," Lauda, a triple world champion and F1 legend, is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.
"Nico defended madly under enormous pressure," Lauda continued.
"We offered to him that Vettel could pass him, because third place would have been enough," he explained. "But Nico decided to fight.
"He showed that he is the right world champion."