|© AP Photo/Greg Baker
Nico Rosberg has no reason to lose his sleep over Lewis Hamilton joining Mercedes next season, although he acknowledged that it would be as tough a challenge as it was with Michael Schumacher.
Hamilton signed a three-year contract with the German manufacturer starting 2013 to replace the 43-year-old veteran, whom Rosberg has comfortably beaten in the points tally over the last three years, and now hopes to continue to do the same with his new partner.
"My teammate now is a seven-time world champion so the talent I'm up against is very high," Rosberg said. "So I think it's going to be a similarly difficult challenge. I enjoy these sort of challenges. That was my approach with Michael too.
"I remember racing Lewis in go-karts so I know it's going to be tough,” he continued. "He's very, very quick, one of the best out there at the moment. How I compare with my teammate remains to be seen. I'm not worried or anything, as such.
"We managed that very well in go-karts already so I don't see any issue or concern there. We were teammates for two years, even shared the hotel room and it all worked fine. Very well, actually," he pointed out.
Rosberg added that he played a small role in convincing Hamilton to make the switch to Mercedes from McLaren, although not necessarily an instrumental one.
"We spoke about it a little before, that the possibility was there. We were laughing about it," Rosberg said "Because we spoke about it when we were 14 years old in go-karts. 'Ah, imagine if, one day, we're teammates in F1, how cool would that be?' Well, now all of a sudden it's happening, which is quite unreal.
"I didn't necessarily talk him into it (coming to Mercedes)," he clarified. "I tried to stay quite objective. Yes, I mentioned the positives and he asked a few things and I gave honest answers. My answers are all positive because I am positive of the team."
Quotes from AFP and Reuters