Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton rivalry well handled by Mercedes, says former Red Bull driver Mark Webber

nico rosberg and mark webber

Mark Webber has praised Mercedes for their handling of the Lewis Hamilton-Nico Rosberg battle for this year’s Formula One world title.

From day one, when it became apparent Mercedes would be the dominant force this season, motorsport boss Toto Wolff made clear he would allow the duo to race.

There were naturally fractious moments as occurred in Bahrain, Spain, Monaco, and especially Belgium where Rosberg chose not to pull out of a crash with Hamilton.

That resulted in the 29-year-old German being given a severe dressing down by Wolff who considered imposing team orders at that stage, only to determine it was the wrong approach to adopt.

Webber, who like Rosberg missed out on the title in Abu Dhabi in 2010 to his then Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel, was on the receiving end of a number of dubious calls during his time with the team.

Recognising the efforts made by Wolff and Mercedes, Webber told Press Association Sport: ‘It has been handled impeccably through the whole year between the pair of them.

‘It is everything the way it should have been done, and did happen in the end, with the team giving them both a chance.

‘It’s been a good hard battle between two guys from the same team for the first time since (Ayrton) Senna/(Alain) Prost.

‘They handled that advantage incredibly well, which is not easy.’

Webber, now racing in sportscars with Porsche after retiring from F1 at the end of last season, believes Rosberg will bounce back.

The Australian struggled to regain his form after coming so close to landing the title in 2010, added: ‘We had other guys in the game that year with Fernando (Alonso) and Lewis there, so it was a bit more intense.

‘I’ve openly said ’11 was difficult for me to come back from what happened the year before because I was going to stop at the end of 2010, but I didn’t. I kept going a bit.

‘For ’15 for Nico, he has every chance. He’s at a different stage of his career than I was, and he’s young, even though Lewis is in the ascendancy.’

Webber, who attended the final grand prix of the season in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, still concedes to loving F1, although feels it is lacking in certain areas.

‘I’ve enjoyed this season,’ added Webber.

‘I enjoy watching the front few guys go at it, and I’m passionate about F1. It’s the pinnacle, I want it to be the best.

‘But the depth of the field, the quality of the drivers towards the back of the grid, has dropped off a bit purely because of team funding.’

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