Nico Rosberg has cursed Lewis Hamilton even before we’ve reached 2024, after stating that the seven-time World Champion “could fight” for the Drivers’ Championship next season.
For those who follow the 2016 World Champion on social media, you’ll know that whenever Rosberg makes a prediction, the complete opposite tends to happen.
The ex-Mercedes driver is confident that the Silver Arrows will be much stronger next year, following what has been another season not to write home about.
With just the season finale in Abu Dhabi remaining, Mercedes are yet to claim a race win in 2023.
Whilst their car this season is better than their 2022 challenger, they at least managed to win once last year.
Abu Dhabi, on paper, doesn’t look like a venue where the Silver Arrows could be victorious, meaning that it’s looking very likely that Mercedes will go winless in a campaign for the first time since 2011.
The season finale is actually a very important weekend for the Germans, as Ferrari are just four points behind in the fight for second in the Constructors’ Championship.
Mercedes need to show the ‘flashes of brilliance” they displayed at events like the United States Grand Prix, where the Silver Arrows were actually the fastest team on the grid.
Rosberg is confident that the Brackley-based outfit are finally “starting to understand” their problems and how to solve them, something which could be very beneficial ahead of 2024.
“We’ve seen flashes of brilliance from the Mercedes team just recently. They lack consistency. But look at Austin. They were challenging for the win there and actually had the fastest car over the weekend,” Rosberg told The Daily Mail.
“So we’ve seen that they’re starting to understand the car, and they just have the problem that you still lack consistency. They still lack in straight line performance, but they are starting to understand all that.”
Mercedes’ dominant era is feeling ever more like a lifetime ago, mostly due to just how good Red Bull have been.
The Silver Arrows are hungry to get back to the front which is why they’ve changed their concept so often the last couple of years, as they’re desperate to get onto the right development path.
Rosberg believes progress is being made behind-the-scenes and that Hamilton could be a contender for the 2024 crown, as he knows “how strong” the side are.
“I believe in Mercedes ability because I was there. I know how strong they are. It’s always still the same people,” said Rosberg.
“So certainly there is a chance that Hamilton could once again fight for the championship next year.”
Given Rosberg and Hamilton’s rivalry, would the German even be happy if the 38-year-old did claim an eighth title next season?
Rosberg is “neutral” when it comes to the 103-time race winner, with him purely just wanting to see Mercedes back on top.
“I would be happy if Mercedes won, because that’s kind of my racing family from the past. But then Lewis, I’m neutral there.
“I just would like a great fight for the championship, and may the best driver win. But I’m not biased in that sense, obviously.”