It can be rightfully pointed out that Webber beated Rosberg fairly. I guess that's the reason why most people don't regard Nico very highly. However it should be remembered that it was Rosberg's rookie-season. I have also gut feeling that being a rookie in that time was higher challenge than it was when Lewis' came in. Lewis himself has admitted that it was good that he didn't do his debyte drive in 2006. According to Lewis it took seven test days - if my memory serves - that he achieved De La Rosa's pace. Lewis' has noted that Michelin tyres were difficult to master. However even in his rookie season Rosberg showed great flashes of brilliance. I guess Nico's Bahrain drive was the most impressive drive with Williams during the whole year. It should also be noted that Nico's performance in GP 2 was staggering. Kovalainen doubted that ART is cheating because Rosberg's superiority in later part of the season. Nico's difference to Premat was even larger than Lewis' difference to Premat one year later.
After his first F1 season Rosberg has literally crushed every team-mates. Wurz and Nakajima won maybe about 2-3 qualifying sessions against Nico during three years. It would be hard to ask anything more - even if the level of teammates is somewhat unclear. I find it very weird that some people think that Nico didn't beat Wurz and Nakajima comprehensively enough to be regarded as a top-driver. It's ok to say that nobody did expect that Nakajima would shatter the F1 world. However the same might be said about Sato and Kobayashi. Button had considerable difficulties to beat Sato during long periods and it seemed that Jarno's role was not developing differently with Kobayashi. The perception about Nakajima as a very poor driver has become after Nico beated him.
Rosberg's abilitites in difficult tracks brings Lewis' to my mind. For instance in Singapore Rosbergs' pace was phenomenal (many drivers have described Singapore as the most difficult track in the calendar). Street circuits are known as drivers track and Rosberg has always been phenomenal in them.
Eddie Irvine commented very interestingly on Button's decision to go from Brown to Mclaren: "Jenson has stepped in the lion's throat. The transfer is clean madness from him. I believe that he will experience the murdering fate. He could not have done a worse decision. The only reason that I see why he did not want to continue with Brown was Nico Rosberg. Rosberg is not perhaps as appreciated as Lewis but he may be quite as quick as him. Jenson may have thought that it is better to get beaten by Lewis than by Nico."
My prediction to following year is following: Schumi will beat Rosberg but it will not be so easy as many people think; actually it can be quite a battle. It's clear that in the age of 41 Schumi is over his peak as a driver. But even in that case I reckon that he is still top 3 driver in F1 (in my view Hamilton is the only driver who could beat Michael comprehensively). Because many people here have said that it's simple madness to regard Rosberg more highly than Button I will make also prediction ho Jenson compares to Hamilton: Hamilton will beat Jenson almost like he beated Kovalainen. I reckon that Jenson is better than Kovalainen but the difference to Hamilton in terms of race pace will go from 0.2 to 0.6 per lap.
Edited by rally man, 06 January 2010 - 13:57.