Ross Brawn says Nico Rosberg deserves to win this year’s world championship, and wants to see the “tenacious” German driver succeed.
Brawn was Mercedes team principal when Rosberg was recruited from Williams ahead of the 2010 season, and was also still part of the team in 2013 when it added Lewis Hamilton to its driver line-up.
While Brawn believes Hamilton to be the better driver, he says the reliability problems suffered by the triple world champion this season should not detract from Rosberg’s performance.
“The great thing about this year is that whatever driver wins it they will have deserved it,” Brawn told the BBC. “We can talk about the reliability record but reliability comes and goes for every driver every year and you have to accept that’s an unfortunate part of the business.
“Only for emotional reasons I would love Nico to win it because he is such a tough little nut. He has been bashed around so much by Lewis.
“Lewis is naturally talented, a better driver, he is slightly quicker than Nico. But Nico is so tenacious and has such good application that he is compensating for it.”
Rosberg can win the world championship next weekend, with victory in Brazil enough to ensure he secures the title, and Brawn says the German would be “a completely worthy champion” should he do so.
If Rosberg fails to win the Brazilian Grand Prix, Hamilton can afford to give away no more than five points to his team-mate in order to take the battle down to the final race in Abu Dhabi.
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