You don't have to ram people off the road to be a good defender.
Watch Rosberg vs Hamilton - China 2010. I really wish I could find the video right now.
In the rain, Rosberg out of some 10 drivers was the only one to actually hold a 1-second faster Hamilton back on merit alone. Lewis breezed passed everyone else but couldn't pass Nico on circuit, and had to jump him in the pits instead.
I believe Nico's defense is a bit underrated. Sure, he usually does't defend his position harshly, but when he does he is very hard to overtake.
I'm very disappointed people don't remember his great defensive maneuver on Hamilton in China. It's probably the most impressive defending I had ever seen in F1. Yet many thinks he is not good defender because Merc's characteristic since 2010 and his great qualifying efforts were putting him along much faster cars in race-trim many times throughout the last 3 years and you just can't put maximum effort to defend from faster cars all the time because this will lead to nothing in terms of result.
I'm also impressed how smart he can be. His battle with Massa in Turkey 2011 or with Button in Korea 2011 are great examples of that.
Edited by Anderis, 12 December 2012 - 12:45.