Niki Lauda "felt sorry" for Nico Rosberg after second F1 title loss

Niki Lauda has conceded he felt sorry for Nico Rosberg in the face of his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton's recent dominance of Formula 1

Niki Lauda "felt sorry" for Nico Rosberg after second F1 title loss

Hamilton became a three-time F1 champion with victory in the United States Grand Prix, when he took full advantage of a late Rosberg mistake, for which Lauda also empathised.

But Rosberg then proved what he is capable of with a near-perfect weekend in Mexico, claiming his 12th career victory from pole position ahead of Hamilton.

Assessing the events of the last two races, Mercedes non-executive chairman Lauda said: "Nico had a disastrous race at Austin.

"But he fully recovered [in Mexico]; pole position, dominated the race, won the race - you can't do a better job. No question, he did the perfect job.

"He beat Lewis, which was important for him because he has been blown away so many times.

"I felt sorry for him because I know how it feels when you get blown away all the time, and the worst thing is when you screw up a race and the other guy becomes champion.

"This is the worst thing that can happen to a racing driver, and therefore it was good that [Mexico] was the other way around, so he gets his stability back, and he will keep on fighting."

Lauda also believes Hamilton is sharper when he faces a tougher challenge from Rosberg.

"For me, the most important thing is these two guys push each other," he said.

"If one does not push as much any more, the other doesn't go as quick.

"But this calibration is back, which is good for the drivers and good for us, and for me Nico is fully recovered and I'm happy for him.

"Psychologically it was the best thing he could do after the weekend he had before. It was very good."

There was one contentious moment during the Mexico City race when Hamilton questioned the need for a second pitstop as he tried to chase down Rosberg.

At that stage the leading duo had enough clear air behind them to take on board a fresh set of tyres and comfortably emerge ahead of the chasing pack, although over the radio Hamilton sounded unhappy with the call.

Lauda, himself a three-time F1 world champion, explained the decision, saying: "The strategy was to have one pitstop, but then when we looked at the tyre wear, and the safety [gap] we had to the third guy, it was logical to make another stop.

"Then Lewis said, 'Why the hell do I have to do another pitstop?' but he came in the next lap.

"This is simple to explain: the strategists sit on the pitwall and they take the decisions, whether the drivers like them or not, but I don't think Lewis was upset."

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