Nico Rosberg predicts 2017 podium for McLaren

Published on 14 Feb 2017 11:40

World champion Nico Rosberg is tipping a better season for the once-great F1 team McLaren-Honda. Despite having arguably the best driver - Fernando Alonso - at the wheel for the past two seasons, McLaren has struggled notably with Honda power. But Rosberg, who in 2016 won the title for Mercedes before retiring, said: "Fernando will be on the podium this year or very close to it."

Speaking to the Spanish sports daily Diario Sport, the German said that is possible because the 2017 technical regulations mean F1 is "starting from scratch". "He (Alonso) has a great chance but we will have to wait, because the same thing can happen with other drivers and teams too," Rosberg added. "But I do think McLaren will significantly improve its performance. I don't expect them to dominate, but they have a new opportunity and they will definitely take advantage of it," he said.

However, Rosberg said he thinks his old team, who have replaced him for 2017 with former Williams driver Valtteri Bottas, will still be strong this year. "I don't think it's going to change," he said, referring to Mercedes' recent dominance. "It's a great team that works like an oiled machine."

As for how Ferrari will do, Rosberg plays down the Maranello team's chances of moving in front of Mercedes or even Red Bull. "Maybe they will improve but I don't see them leading the championship," he said. "I think the main danger (for Mercedes) will come from Red Bull," Rosberg explained, "because the marriage between Adrian Newey and new regulations has always worked extraordinarily well over the last 20 years or so. We'll have to wait, but we'll know soon," he said. (GMM)

Replies (5)
NL mclarenfan1968 14 Feb 2017 12:070
Posts: 945
So Roseberg quit to become a F1 predictor? I am afraid he is slowly turning into one of those a-hole "experts"

WTF is wrong with him? There's got to be lots of other useful things to do post retirement from F1. Don't become another Sky F1 sports commentator like automaton.
GB f1fan0101 14 Feb 2017 15:320
Posts: 1205
No, it's just his opinion.. You just think it's more controversial as his opinion is more out in the open rather than you or me saying what he said
NL mclarenfan1968 14 Feb 2017 17:320
Posts: 945
We'll see. Plenty of drivers starteded out this way, Sky F1 loud mouth Martin Blunder is one such guy. Time will tell.
Posts: 295
Stewart, Villeneuve, now Rosberg, what part of retirement don't these guys get?
SE calle.itw 14 Feb 2017 21:040
Posts: 2552
Podiums? Oh I certainly would like that, but I wont predict anything. Consistent point scoring would be nice, and a serious challenge for fourth would be neat. If they can do more than that I'll be very happy.

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