Hamilton a more natural driver than Rosberg – Coulthard

Ex-Formula One driver David Coulthard believes world champion Lewis Hamilton is a more natural racer than Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Speaking ahead of the season-finale Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi this weekend, the 44-year-old feels the two are equally as fast, but marked Hamilton’s ability to do things without thinking over Rosberg’s methodical approach as the point of difference between the pair.

Hamilton sealed his third world title with three races to spare, taking his 10th win of the season in the United States last month.

Following back-to-back title successes, Coulthard gave his reasoning on why the Briton has successively pipped his German rival.

“It was more impressive this year than last year, last year was a great grand finale in Abu Dhabi but he was just on the money right from the word go in qualifying and it really didn’t look like Nico was in the Championship at all,” he said.

“That said, since Lewis has won the title it looks like he’s come off the boil slightly and Nico’s been really delivering and it’s fascinating to know if that’s just because Lewis is further back or has Nico suddenly unleashed the performances the likes of which we saw at the beginning of last season.”

Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel (C) celebrates on the podium in front of second placed Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's British driver Lewis Hamilton (L) and Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's German driver Nico Rosberg (R) during the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang on March 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN

Coulthard, who raced for Williams, McLaren and Red Bull before retiring in 2008, believes there is only minor differences between the two Mercedes drivers.

“They’re both fast drivers, and you can see that Nico is very often as quick as Lewis, but I think that Lewis is just that natural racer,” Coulthard added.

“With Nico he can race, and he’s a great asset to Formula 1 and to Mercedes, but somehow you feel, for Lewis, that it just happens – where for Nico you get the impression that it’s about a logical thought process to make it happen. But maybe that just separates the two in terms of performances slightly.”

With both titles already sealed, attention has already turned to next season’s expectations.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel is the best placed of all the challengers to test the Mercedes dominance, according to Coulthard.

“I think that Vettel looks like he’s definitely back to his old form, he seems in a happier place, last year at Red Bull he looked a bit burned out, he certainly didn’t enjoy the battle with Daniel, now he looks like he’s found a good place to be,” the Scot added.

“Ferrari like him, he likes Ferrari, they’ve won three Grand Prix’s and they’re looking like they could be the main challengers next year.”

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