'Nico Rosberg not ruthless enough to be F1 champion'
Watch the Midweek Report on Wednesday night at 8.30pm on Sky F1
By William Esler
Last Updated: 30/09/15 9:24am
Nico Rosberg may not be ruthless enough to be a world champion, according to F1 Midweek Report guests Ted Kravitz and David Brabham.
The German qualified on pole at Suzuka, but found himself squeezed onto the grass by team-mate Lewis Hamilton through the opening two corners and relegated to fourth.
Rosberg did fight back to finish second, but lost a further seven points in the title fight to Hamilton. Only three times this season has the German been ahead of the world champion when both Mercedes cars have finished and one of those occasions was courtesy of a strategy blunder by the team in Monaco when Hamilton was called in for an unnecessary second stop.
Rosberg beat Hamilton was in Spain where he started from pole and lead throughout and the other occasion was in Austria where he seized the lead at the start. In fact, in 2015 the German hasn't come from behind to overtake his team-mate and make the move stick other than when Hamilton's car failed in Singapore.
Asked if Rosberg lacked a ruthless streak Brabham told this week's F1 Midweek Report: "I think so. I think he has just got to roll the sleeves up a little bit like Lewis.
"When Lewis gets in a situation like that, it is like fireworks come out which is great because everyone wants to see that. It is part of his character, he is very emotional.
"Whereas with Rosberg, you feel he is very flat line and everything has to be picture perfect. And get him in that situation, you just don't see that spark, that little bit of 'grrr' in him and certainly I'd like to see that. If he is going to be a world champion, I think he needs to develop that as part of his personality."
However, with Rosberg now 48 points behind the championship leader with just five races remaining, he cannot afford to get aggressive on track and risk race-ending damage. Was that why he didn't fight Hamilton harder in Japan when challenged at the start?
"I think Rosberg is in an unfortunate position that Lewis can afford to have an accident," said Kravitz.
"Lewis has such a points margin that he can afford to throw away some points, he can afford to have an accident.
"Rosberg is play catch-up, he can't afford to drop as many points as Lewis can afford to."
Kravitz also feels Hamilton was a little street-wise at Suzuka by leaving his team-mate sitting on pole position for a few seconds longer than the German would have wanted.
"What I think was crucial for me was that Lewis played a little trick on Rosberg on the formation lap," he added.
"Both Mercedes got as good pit-stops at each other from the end of the pit lane, I watched both their practice starts, but if you look at the end of the formation lap, Rosberg got to his pole position point much quicker than Lewis did.
"Lewis trailed slowly, slowly and then made his way and maybe he thought 'his clutch won't be as good as mine, or his tyres won't be as warm as mine as I get onto my P2 spot'. Lewis got a better start and that is why he was able to put manners on Rosberg and hang him out on the exit of one."
You can hear more from Brabham and Kravitz on the F1 Midweek Report at 8:30pm on Wednesday on Sky Sports F1.