Former F1 world champion Nico Rosberg hopes for more competition against dominant driver Max Verstappen in 2024, suggesting that Lewis Hamilton, George Russell, and potentially Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc could challenge him.
‣ Nico Rosberg, a former world champion, hopes for more competition against Max Verstappen in the 2024 F1 season.
‣ Verstappen won 19 out of 22 races in the previous year, making his performance historic and possibly one of the greatest seasonal performances of all time.
‣ Despite the dominance of Verstappen and his team, Red Bull Racing, Rosberg believes it’s the driver’s dominance rather than the team’s.
‣ Rosberg expects drivers like Lewis Hamilton, George Russell, and potentially Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc to challenge Verstappen in the future.
Nico Rosberg, the former world champion, had a fierce battle with Lewis Hamilton back in 2016. The last season, however, didn’t quite match the excitement of that year in F1. Now, at 38, the German is hoping for a bit more competition in 2024. He’s got his fingers crossed that it won’t be a cakewalk for Max Verstappen.
Verstappen had a stellar year, winning 19 out of 22 races. Red Bull Racing, his team, only missed out on victory once during the entire season. That was in Singapore. The RB19, their car, outperformed the other nine on the grid. But Rosberg isn’t quick to label Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Perez‘s car as ‘dominant’.
Rosberg told City A.M., “We have to know that it’s not really the dominance of a team, it’s the dominance of a driver.” He pointed out that Perez’s performance was inconsistent. “We just have to respect that the performance from Verstappen is historic and the greatest seasonal performance of all time,” he added. He even went as far as to say that Verstappen is “already easily nearing to be a top five driver of all time. It’s phenomenal.”
So, what about 2024? The regulations will remain the same, which means Red Bull and Verstappen are in a good position. The Austrian racing team could start developing the RB20 early. But Rosberg is hoping that Verstappen will face more competition.
“I do hope that other teams or drivers can give Verstappen a run for his money,” he said. He named Lewis and George Russell from Mercedes as likely contenders. And if McLaren continues to improve, they could be in the running too.
Rosberg sees potential in other drivers as well. “I mean there’s Lando Norris [as a potential world champion], there’s George and Charles Leclerc,” he said. But as for Verstappen switching teams? “Absolutely not, never,” he said.