Nico must win for equal treatment

© AP, 27 January 2010

Nico Rosberg can guarantee equal treatment with teammate Michael Schumacher by winning his first Formula One race, according to Mercedes GP team principal Ross Brawn.

l-r: Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, Mercedes GP drivers Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher, and Norbert Haug, head of Mercedes Motorsport.
© AP Images
Brawn believes the 41-year-old Schumacher will help turn Rosberg from a "great talent" into a winner.

"I don't want Michael to dominate. I want them both to compete very strongly and both to win races. But at the end of the day we want to win the championship," Brawn said Tuesday. "Decisions may develop where one driver has to be given extra support for the championship but we won't do that until the situation arises. Until then it is a completely open competition and I don't want one driver to dominate the other."

Brawn said a victory coupled with Schumacher's expertise would allow Rosberg to cross the hurdle of "great talent" and gain the "finishing and maturing" he needs.

"There is no reason why Nico should not compete as well," Brawn said in an interview on Formula One's official Web site. "They must both try the hardest to beat each other but if it is done with the right spirit, with the right approach, then both will gain enormously. I view it as a very exciting partnership and I am glad Nico is part of it."

Brawn believes Rosberg could be Schumacher's heir apparent.

"They work well together and I see Michael helping Nico develop his career," Brawn said. "Michael has come out of retirement but we have to accept that there will come a day when he has to stop forever and then we will have Nico."

Brawn was technical director at Ferrari when Schumacher won five straight championships from 2000-04.

"He dominated because he was the fastest and most consistent driver. So we will have to see how the season develops," Brawn said. "It is not good having one driver dominate a team because that means the other driver is not performing as he should."

Brawn said that Schumacher seemed like an obvious pick for the title going into one of the most competitive seasons ever with defending champion Jenson Button leaving Brawn GP -- now Mercedes -- to partner 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton at McLaren, and Fernando Alonso joining Ferrari.

"I think Michael has the experience to win a championship and has the talent and ability to win a championship. He's done it before and knows what it takes," Brawn said. "I am not making a prediction we are going to win the world championship, but if I had to back one of the four world champions, I would feel happy to back Michael."

 

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