Lewis Hamilton pays tribute to gracious Nico Rosberg for way he handled title defeat
Rosberg, meanwhile, promises to be "back on the offensive" in 2015
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 01/12/14 4:17pm
New world champion Lewis Hamilton paid tribute to defeated team-mate Nico Rosberg as the pair appeared alongside each other for the first time since their Abu Dhabi title showdown at a Mercedes celebratory event in Germany over the weekend.
Hamilton, who has completed an array of media engagements since clinching his second world title little over a week ago, was back in his title-winning W05 car at the Mercedes Stars and Cars event in Stuttgart as both he and Rosberg completed some demonstration laps around a temporary track around the German firm’s museum.
"We were team-mates when we were 13 and racing together and we were always speaking about one day being in the same team in F1, so it's very, very surreal to be here today fighting for the world championship together,” said at the event at which 50,000 fans attended.
“It's not easy being in a championship battle like we had this year and for Nico, 100% it wasn't an easy experience [losing out at the last round]. But he did an incredible job and coming up afterwards was incredibly professional and just showed the respect and the long friendship we've had for many, many years."
Rosberg, who in addition to contemporary F1 machinery sampled a classic Silver Arrow during the event, vowed to come back even stronger next season.
"2014 has been an incredible year for me. I am proud to be part of this fantastic team,” he said.
“Driving my Silver Arrow this season has been enormous fun. It was an amazing experience for me. I've been particularly inspired by the huge support from my fans around the world. It gave me extra strength yet again. I'll be back on the offensive next year."