Rosberg plays it clever and consistent

Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:54am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Nico Rosberg was born in Germany, brought up in Monaco and Ibiza, educated at an international school in the south of France and has a famous Finnish father.

If the Mercedes driver were to win the Formula One title in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, the first German to do so in a German car would be the least German champion of them all if no less deserving.

Sophisticated and multi-lingual, as much at ease conversing in Italian, French or Spanish as English, the 29-year-old describes himself as 'international German'.

What the blond son of 1982 champion Keke has in common with Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, whose German roots go far deeper, is that attention to detail and constant quest for improvement.

Rosberg noticed, for example, that he sometimes fell sick at race weekends after long-haul commercial flights. So now he wears a face mask when flying to ward off viruses and has changed to a gluten-free diet.

The German has needed all his intelligence and every advantage to match British team mate Lewis Hamilton, the former friend and foe from karting days who is now a Monaco neighbor.

A team player, Rosberg has also shown this season that he has a ruthlessness that belies his easy charm and privileged upbringing.

To be champion he needs to overhaul Hamilton's 17 point advantage, an achievable target thanks to the unprecedented double points on offer.   Continued...

Winner Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany lifts the trophy during podium ceremony after the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo November 9, 2014. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker