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Keke Rosberg first world champion to see son take the title
ABU DHABI, Nov 28 - Nico Rosberg, Formula One’s newly-crowned champion, deserved a trouble-free year after watching rival Lewis Hamilton enjoy two “lucky” title-winning campaigns, his father Keke has claimed.
Rosberg ended his long-running losing streak to Hamilton after he crossed the line in second place at the title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to finish five points clear of his Mercedes team-mate.
Hamilton’s campaign was hampered by a number of engine failures, while Rosberg encountered few mechanical issues.
Indeed Hamilton, who was bidding to become the first British driver to win four titles after beating Rosberg for the past two seasons, would have won this year’s championship had his engine not blown up in Malaysia.
But Keke Rosberg, the 1982 world champion who watched the race in Dubai before travelling to Abu Dhabi to revel in his son’s triumph, said: “I thought Lewis was lucky twice already, so why shouldn’t Nico be once?
“If you want to win the championship in Formula One you can’t have a lot of bad luck.”
Keke Rosberg became the first father to see his Formula One championship triumph emulated by his offspring. Graham Hill, the two-time champion, had been killed in a plane crash before Damon Hill won his title in 1996.
As he puffed on a large cigar following the one-hour drive from Dubai to the Yas Marina Circuit, Keke also suggested that his son’s dedication had carried him over the line.
“I don’t think many people from outside appreciate the effort that went into this,” he added.
“There is one guy in Los Angeles, here, there and everywhere, and then you have one guy concentrating on only one thing.
“Nutrition, time differences, training, emptying the brain at the right time and concentrating on performance, performance, performance.”
A worse-for-wear Rosberg boarded a plane from Abu Dhabi to Malaysia for a team sponsorship appearance after celebrating his title triumph at a party on Sunday night.
“It is remarkable and I admire him for his mental strength and commitment,” Keke added.