Has Nico really put one over on Lewis now?

News that Nico Rosberg has retired at the top of the F1 pile has had a seismic effect on the sport, but here we think that it is great to hear. To walk out at the top takes a lot of courage and we applaud Nico’s decision. He has achieved his dream and can now go and do something else that might give him more family time.

The decision to walk away means that, having beaten Lewis over the year, he has also denied Lewis the opportunity to win the title back from him. No doubt that Lewis will win more poles, races and a championship or several, but he will never again beat Nico to win any of them.

Lewis has been pushed hard this year and has had to raise his game. Nico had him beaten well at a couple of periods of the year and for all of Lewis’s moans about reliability his own mistakes have cost him points. He also lucked into winning in Monaco when Red Bull fouled up so he really has little to complain about.

Having got into a position where he no longer needed to beat Lewis Nico has still pushed him to up his game. Yes he has responded, but Nico held his nerve and did just what he needed to. That is what led to the way that Lewis reacted as the last race ran down on Sunday and they both dealt with the circumstances with style.

Some people have implied that this is the first time that Nico has beaten Lewis over a season, but that is not so. In 2004 they finished 4th and 5th in the F3 Euro Series, Nico ahead by 2 points. The following year Nico moved up to GP2 and won the title whilst Lewis stayed behind in F3 to dominate there, but it was Nico who made it to F1 first the following year with Lewis spending another year in the junior ranks before being promoted into the McLaren team. Sure Lewis was a F1 winner before Nico and in their three years in equal cars Lewis has the better record, but he has improved hugely in doing so because Nico has pushed him.

Now, over a season, Nico has won out and is walking off into the sunset. We all know that Lewis is a great whilst Nico is really good, but Nico has a world title that Lewis thinks should have been his and he cannot win it back now.

The game changes again next year with the new cars and we don’t know whether Lewis will have the dominant car or who he will be racing from the other side of the garage.  The chances are that he will still be near the front of the action and we hope that he has another team-mate who can push him hard. It will be interesting to see how he gets on without Nico. It’s just that next year Lewis, Seb, Max, Daniel et al will be fighting for a vacant title and even if Lewis does win it again he won’t have won it back from the bloke who took it off him this time. It may have taken a while, but perhaps Nico has finally put one over on Lewis.

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