Former F1 driver and World Champion Nico Rosberg opened up on one of Lewis Hamilton’s biggest strengths. Lewis Hamilton is undoubtedly a brilliant wheel to wheel racer but he holds an edge over other drivers. Rosberg revealed Hamilton’s ability to exploit “gray areas” in wheel to wheel racing and emerge victorious almost all the time.
Lewis Hamilton and his ‘special ability’
Over the past few years, Hamilton hasn’t really toiled in the field over positions. Thanks to Mercedes’s dominance, the Briton is on pole more often than not and usually ends up driving into the distance. Nevertheless, the 6 times World Champion ends up tangling with other drivers on some occasions. Under those rare circumstances when Hamilton’s defending or attacking, he does it in a manner that’s questionable, but fair.
During their time as teammates, Lewis and Nico went wheel to wheel frequently. The Brit emerged victorious in many of those battles, but it wasn’t because Nico was necessarily slower than Lewis. Yes, Hamilton’s racecraft is phenomenal, but he has a special ability to test the rules, which Nico highlighted.
Anytime drivers battle on track, there’s a threshold beyond which a driver can’t race under the rules. Being extra aggressive or dangerous usually invites a warning or a penalty, but Hamilton always keeps his racing inside that imaginary “gray area”. Hamilton rarely makes mistakes, but even on the occasions he’s clashed with other drivers when was the last time the FIA penalized him? Apart from Sau Paulo last year, it’s hard to really remember any significant incidents from recent times.
Rosberg praises Lewis
The ability to have ruthless aggression and pressurize opponents is one of Lewis’s greatest strengths. Speaking to David Coulthard on F1’s Unscripted YouTube video, Rosberg elaborated on Hamilton’s special ability.
“The guy is phenomenal in wheel to wheel battles, it’s unbelievable how he positions the car, so smartly”
“Whenever I would try to like go up against it and hold my own and fight back, he would always manage to like stay in the gray area “
“And whenever I would try, I would straightaway jump over the gray area”
“into the black area which is not allowed”
“He would just be so skilled in keeping it in the gray area and never really 100% making it his fault”
“That was a huge strength of his in wheel to wheel battles”