Nico Rosberg seems to have been hit with a bout of ‘ugly stepsister’ syndrome after being comprehensively out-paced during the Japanese Grand Prix by team-mate Michael Schumacher, claiming that his dominance within the Mercedes GP squad has not been acknowledged enough.
Certainly much of the press focus has been on the return of Schumacher, who has endured a difficult comeback season after a three-year lay-off.
Schumacher’s struggles have been highlighted by an unprecedented 13:3 (to-date) thumping in qualifying at the hands of Rosberg, with the younger German also enjoying a 68-point margin over the 41-year-old veteran.
At the time when Schumacher’s signing was announced, Rosberg proudly touted that he had “always wanted” Schumacher as his team-mate and that he would live with the challenge such a high-profile partner would pose – claims we took with a grain of salt at the time!
But it would seem that Nico – who has not been averse to a few tantrums this season – is now feeling a little unloved in the Silver Arrows camp, claiming: “I don’t think my performance is well enough recognised.”
Schumacher’s troubled are largely thought to stem from Bridgestone’s new narrower front tyres, which do not suit his tail-happy driving style.
“It’s the same for me,” Rosberg told Sport Bild. “Actually I think Michael has been able to adapt his driving style better than I have. Michael has 15 years of experience in Formula One.”
However, Mercedes competition boss Norbert Haug has sought to soothe any concerns from his young charge, claiming: “It’s absolutely obvious that Nico has so far extracted what was possible from the car.
“I think he learned a lot with Williams and if you would name one of the top guys that are currently young and experienced in formula one you would certainly mention Nico,” Haug added. “Nico is a very good benchmark for probably everybody in the field.”
Got that, Nico?