Nick Heidfeld has hit out at speculation Lewis Hamilton’s full-speed celebrity lifestyle might be affecting his focus on formula one.
The reigning triple world champion has seen his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg win the last six grands prix, triggering suggestions the German might finally be ready to win his first title in 2016.
“When you have a start to the season like this,” said German racing legend Hans-Joachim Stuck, “it can change everything.
“Nico is now in exactly the situation that Lewis was a year ago,” he told the Austrian broadcaster Servus TV. “He (Hamilton) is analysing more, he’s further back, it’s harder for him. As a driver you lose all of the rhythm.”
Former F1 driver Timo Glock, however, thinks it is too soon for Rosberg to be having any thoughts about the championship.
“There were three races, and the season is very long,” he told the German news agency SID.
“But he (Rosberg) can absolutely win the title, especially if he continues to be as consistent as he has been.
“On the other hand,” Glock cautioned, “you have to say that Lewis Hamilton has just had some bad luck, and that could also happen to Nico.
“But to win a championship, you need a season where everything is perfect,” he added, “so maybe it’s Nico’s year.”
Some pundits and experts have suggested it is Hamilton’s continent-hopping on his private jet and cavorting on red carpets that have diverted his focus away from F1.
But Heidfeld disagrees.
“I think it’s not right and not logical if you say Rosberg is better at the moment because of Lewis’ jet-set life,” he said.
” Lewis has been doing those things for some time. It seems that if he wins and he is wearing sunglasses and having parties, everyone thinks that’s cool.
“And if he loses, it is exactly the same things that are the reason for his defeats,” Heidfeld added.
Heidfeld thinks Rosberg is simply in top form.
“I had the impression at the end of 2015 that Nico took a new direction and was already thinking about the next season. He then took those three wins into the new season.
“Most would probably agree with me that Lewis is the driver with the god-given talent. Of course Nico also has talent, otherwise he could not beat Hamilton, because he is also a very hard worker and also keeps working on himself,” he added.
Hamilton: “I get energy from excessive lifestyle”