Niki Lauda believes it was important for Nico Rosberg's confidence that he came out fighting from the start of the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship season as he romped to victory in the Australian Grand Prix.
The German recovered from a poor start to claw his way back into contention with early leader Sebastian Vettel, with a savvy Mercedes strategy call allowing him to leapfrog his countryman following a red flag restart and close out the win.
Though it is his second win in Melbourne in three years, Rosberg has in the last two seasons struggled to match arch rival and team-mate Lewis Hamilton – who finished second in Australia – during the initial portion of the season, losing touch particularly quickly last season.
With this in mind, Lauda feels Rosberg's win out of the box – his fourth in a row counting back to 2015 - will do his confidence wonders at a crucial stage in the year.
“You need this to have a good start to the season because it gives him confidence. If it would have been the other way around and Lewis would have won he would have suffered because he always suffers when Lewis is there. For him this race was important to mentally stay strong and have a good baseline for the next one.
“Lewis was driving again like he always does, but in the race Nico turned it around. It's good for him and for us, because the more they fight each other the better it is for me!”