Nico Rosberg: Lewis Hamilton “driving as good as ever” in China sprint race

Nico Rosberg was very impressed by Lewis Hamilton's performance in the China sprint race.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates his second position in Sprint parc ferme. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates his second position in…

Nico Rosberg believes Lewis Hamilton’s performance in the China sprint race showed the seven-time world champion is “driving as good as ever”.

Hamilton led the first half of the sprint race in Shanghai before surrendering the lead to Max Verstappen.

The Mercedes driver ultimately secured second though - his best result of the 2024 F1 season so far.

Up until China, it had been a difficult start for the Ferrari-bound driver, picking up just 10 points - making it his worst start to a season ever.

However, Hamilton was buoyed by the progress Mercedes has made, even if he expects qualifying to be more tricky.

Assessing Hamilton’s performance, Rosberg said during Sky’s F1 coverage: “You could see that I think he was razor sharp. He was driving as good as ever. He was driving phenomenally.

“He was doing more than the car would have actually allowed to stay in front for so long also and to bring home such a great second place, super drive. Lewis at his best really which is great.”

Hamilton was overtaken by Verstappen into the hairpin on Lap 9 of the sprint.

Rosberg, who was commentating at the time, felt that Hamilton should have defended more aggressively.

While Rosberg backtracked on his comments after the race, he wanted to see a “fierce” battle between the 2021 title rivals.

“There was no chance for Lewis to win that race so it made sense to let Max through. As a spectator, I would have loved to see a really fierce Lewis v Max battle so I just thought at least try a little bit more.”

“Everybody behind is on a similar level. The racing was just awesome. It was such an awesome sprint race - so cool, so much going on. The only difficulty is Max Verstappen’s pace. Just when he had the clean air, it was insane how quick he is with that car. It’s another planet. That’s the difficulty.” 

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