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F1 Driver Review: Nico Rosberg

Dec 17, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Monaco - Race Getty Images

After talking about the big stories and ranking our Top 10 drivers from the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship season, my colleague Chris Estrada and I are taking a look back on how each of the 23 Formula One drivers who took to the grid fared this past year.

Winding up sixth after a solid season in his Mercedes was Nico Rosberg…

NICO ROSBERG

No. 9 Mercedes
2013 Stats: 6th Place, 2 Wins, 4 Podiums, 9 Top-5s, 16 Top-10s, 104 Laps Led
Average Start: 4.3
Average Finish: 7.4
DNFs: 3

DiZinno says: A decent year all things considered. Combined with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, this was probably the best example of two teammates playing off each other and pushing each other to will the team forward, where at no one point did it seem either of them had the upper edge. Hamilton was often a bit quicker in qualifying while Rosberg brought home more results, particularly in the second half when the car wasn’t the measure of the Red Bull or even Romain Grosjean’s Lotus. Silverstone was perhaps a lucky win inherited with Sebastian Vettel’s retirement but Rosberg still had to hold off Mark Webber; Monaco, meanwhile was a masterclass that proved Rosberg can be an elite driver in F1.

Estrada says: Rosberg played a key part in helping Mercedes claim runner-up on the constructors’ table and seemed able to have a bit more steadiness at times than his teammate, Lewis Hamilton. He suffered reliability setbacks with three DNFs in Australia (electrical), China (suspension) and Hungary (engine), and there were several instances of the W04’s early-season tire issues keeping him from maximizing strong qualifying results. But he was still able to hit the top step of the podium at two of F1’s most important events in Monaco and Silverstone, and he fought a former World Champion to at least a draw (some could argue he won the intra-team battle “by decision”). All in all, not a bad year.

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