Rosberg: Hamilton favourite again and pressure on Vettel

Lewis Hamilton will be favourite for the Formula One world title again this season and the pressure is on Sebastian Vettel to deliver, says Nico Rosberg.

Briton Hamilton won a fifth championship and fourth in the past five campaigns in 2018, with Ferrari rival Vettel waning after making a strong start.

Rosberg, the last man to deny Hamilton the drivers' title in 2016, believes his former Mercedes team-mate is once again the driver to beat, while predicting big things from new Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc and Red Bull youngster Max Verstappen in a year he expects will throw up plenty of surprises.

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Unveiling of the new livery during the Williams 2019 livery launch at Williams Conference Centre, Grove.
Unveiling of the new livery FW42 with drivers George Russell and Robert Kubica during the Williams 2019 livery launch at Williams Conference Centre, Grove.
Kevin Magnussen Romain Grosjean, Rich Energy CEO William Storey and Team Principal Guenther Steiner during the Rich Energy Haas F1 Team 2019 car launch at the Royal Automobile Club, London.
Rich Energy Livery during the Rich Energy Haas F1 Team 2019 car launch at the Royal Automobile Club, London. (Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images)
A general view of the new livery during the Rich Energy Haas F1 Team 2019 car launch at the Royal Automobile Club, London.
Kevin Magnussen Romain Grosjean, Rich Energy CEO William Storey and Team Principal Guenther Steiner during the Rich Energy Haas F1 Team 2019 car launch at the Royal Automobile Club, London.
FIORANO CIRCUIT, FIORANO, ITALY - 2019/02/14: Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo Sauber Formula 1 Racing on track with Alfa Romeo Racing C38 during shakedown of the new car. (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)
FIORANO CIRCUIT, FIORANO, ITALY - 2019/02/14: Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo Sauber Formula 1 Racing on track with Alfa Romeo Racing C38 during shakedown of the new car. (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Kimi Raikkonen Fiorano 14-02-2019 First run for a filming day of the Sauber Alfa Romeo Formula 1 2019 . Sauber has run with a camouflage of the official livery Photo Federico Basile / Insidefoto /Sipa USA
FIORANO CIRCUIT, FIORANO, ITALY - 2019/02/14: Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo Sauber Formula 1 Racing on track with Alfa Romeo Racing C38 during shakedown of the new car. (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 on track during Red Bull Racing Filming Day at Silverstone Circuit on February 13, 2019 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 on track during Red Bull Racing Filming Day at Silverstone Circuit on February 13, 2019 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 on track during Red Bull Racing Filming Day at Silverstone Circuit on February 13, 2019 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
SportPesa Racing Point's Formula One livery is unveiled at the 2019 Canadian International Auto show, on February 13, 2019. - SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team is the team formerly know as Force India. (Photo by Cole BURSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read COLE BURSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 13: In this handout from Sportpesa Racing Point F1 Team, SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team announce their new title partner, Liverpool, UK-based SportPesa at the Canadian International Motorshow on February 13, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Glen Dunbar via Sportpesa Racing Point F1 Team /Handout)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 13: In this handout from Sportpesa Racing Point F1 Team, SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team announce their new title partner, Liverpool, UK-based SportPesa at the Canadian International Motorshow on February 13, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Glen Dunbar via Sportpesa Racing Point F1 Team /Handout)
Drivers Nico Hulkenberg (left) and Daniel Ricciardo during the Renault F1 Team 2019 season launch at Whiteways Technical Centre, Oxford.
Drivers Nico Hulkenberg (left) and Daniel Ricciardo during the Renault F1 Team 2019 season launch at Whiteways Technical Centre, Oxford.
A picture shows the Renault Sport F1 RS19 car during the 2019 Renault Formula One team season launch at Whiteways Technical Centre in Enstone, northwest of Oxford, on February 12, 2019. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture shows the Renault Sport F1 RS19 car during the 2019 Renault Formula One team season launch at Whiteways Technical Centre in Enstone, northwest of Oxford, on February 12, 2019. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
MISANO ADRIATICO, ITALY - FEBRUARY 13: Daniil Kvyat of Russia and Scuderia Toro Rosso driving the (26) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR14 Honda on track during the filming day on February 13, 2019 in Misano Adriatico, Italy. (Photo by Samo Vidic/Getty Images)
MISANO ADRIATICO, ITALY - FEBRUARY 13: Alexander Albon of Thailand and Scuderia Toro Rosso driving the (23) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR14 Honda on track during the filming day on February 13, 2019 in Misano Adriatico, Italy. (Photo by Samo Vidic/Getty Images)
MISANO ADRIATICO, ITALY - FEBRUARY 13: Daniil Kvyat of Russia and Scuderia Toro Rosso (L), Alexander Albon of Thailand and Scuderia Toro Rosso (R) seen during the filming day ( on February 13, 2019 in Misano Adriatico, Italy. (Photo by Samo Vidic/Getty Images)
There was once a time when Formula One launches went heavy on kitschy glamour, with Benetton launching a car in the middle of Venice’s Piazza San Marco and McLaren famously turning their 1997 event into a miniature Spice Girls concert.
Lewis Hamilton's ride for 2019.
Lewis Hamilton's ride for 2019.
Articolo aggiornato alle ore 12,30 del 15 febbraio 2019.Si chiama SF 90 per rendere omaggio ai 90 anni della Scuderia (nata nel 1929), la prima monoposto Ferrari nata sotto la presidenza di John Elkann. La Rossa è stata svelata in anteprima mondiale questa mattina a Maranello in attesa dei primi test in programma lunedì sul circuito di Montmelò a Barcellona. Viene cosi'' abbandonata la vecchia numerazione (SF 71H nel 2018) della gestione precedente.Presenti all'evento "essere Ferrari", oltre al presidente, l'amministratore delegato della Ferrari, Louis Camilleri, il team principal, Mattia Binotto, i piloti ufficiali Sebastian Vettel e Charles Leclerc e Piero Ferrari, figlio di Enzo 'Il Drake' il fondatore della Casa di Maranello.Rosso meno acceso rispetto alle tinte precedenti e migliore aerodinamica: cosi' appare la nuova monoposto Ferrari SF 90 svelata questa mattina a Maranello. Un 'vestito' nuovo per la prima Ferrari 'firmata' John Elkann e Mattia Binotto cucito su misura per adattarsi ai cambiamenti regolamentari sull'aerodinamica che semplificano il numero degli elementi. Una monoposto, dunque, più essenziale che rappresenta un'evoluzione rispetto alla vettura dello scorso anno.Per la nuova Ferrari c'è una serie negativa da interrompere: 11 anni senza un titolo mondiale, l'ultimo vinto nel 2007 con Kimi Raikkonen. Il primo banco di prova sarà a Melbourne il prossimo 17 marzo con il Gran Premio di Australia. La Rossa di Maranello dovrà affrontare avversarie 'agguerrite' prima fra tutte la temibile Mercedes W10 o la Red Bull-Honda. Caratteristiche tecnicheLa SF90 (sigla di progetto 670) è la sessantacinquesima monoposto realizzata dalla Ferrari per il campionato del mondo di Formula 1. La vettura è realizzata nel rispetto dei nuovi regolamenti che impongono diverse modifiche rispetto alle monoposto del 2018. Tra le più evidenti quelle alle ali anteriori e posteriori. L'ala anteriore è più larga e più semplice nei suoi profili aerodinamici, quella posteriore è più larga e alta.I deviatori di flusso sulle fiancate sono stati ridotti in altezza, mentre le prese d'aria dei freni anteriori sono state semplificate. Il peso complessivo della vettura sale a 743 chilogrammi, con il pilota e suo equipaggiamento che devono obbligatoriamente pesarne 80. La quantità di carburante disponibile per la gara e' salita da 105 a 110 kg. La SF90 è la sesta vettura della generazione ibrida della Formula 1 iniziata nel 2014. "Sono orgoglioso di lavorare in questo team per portare avanti il sogno di Enzo Ferrari. Per questo siamo qui. Dobbiamo lavorare al meglio": lo ha detto il team principal e managing director, Mattia Binotto, durante la presentazione a Maranello (Modena) della nuova monoposto Ferrari. Il responsabile della gestione sportiva della Rossa ha parlato di un "grande orgoglio e del dovere di preservare la tradizione della scuderia e del nostro fondatore. Questa è la nostra missione"."Non ho la tuta e non posso mettermi nell'abitacolo. Non vedo l'ora di partire e di salire sull'auto", ha commentato Sebastian Vettel. "Come squadra siamo sulla strada giusta speriamo di continuare a migliorare".
Imagen facilitada, este viernes, por el departamento de prensa de Ferrari que muestra el SF90, el nuevo monoplaza con el que competirán el alemán Sebastian Vettel y el monegasco Charles Leclerc en el Mundial de 2019 de la Fórmula Uno. EFE/ Ferrari Press Office
Imagen facilitada, este viernes, por el departamento de prensa de Ferrari que muestra el SF90, el nuevo monoplaza con el que competirán el alemán Sebastian Vettel y el monegasco Charles Leclerc en el Mundial de 2019 de la Fórmula Uno. EFE
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Speaking ahead of the Laureus World Sports Awards 2019, the German said: "Lewis is the absolute favourite again because he's driving incredibly and his team does an incredible job.

"I think the odds are in his favour then Sebastian is the obvious challenger. But I would also, if I was a betting man, say Leclerc or Verstappen because I think both of them can be a big, big surprise this year in an exciting way. I'm looking forward to seeing how they go.

"The important thing is the regulations have changed totally. Every team lost three seconds of car performance as a result of those regulations which they've had to catch up again. Three seconds of development is huge.

"If you just manage two and a half seconds and the other team gets 3.1 seconds it changes everything. Therefore there's a huge opportunity for things to switch around this year.

"Maybe suddenly Red Bull is the team to beat, that's possible."

Vettel has fallen short in his bid to add to his four world titles, finishing runner-up in the past two seasons.

And with the highly rated Leclerc joining him in the Ferrari paddock this season, Rosberg says Vettel is under pressure.

"The Mercedes car was the best car in all those years, except maybe for the last time where it might have been equal," Rosberg added.

"In all the years, Sebastian is still one of the best drivers out there, he just had a poor season last year and made a lot of mistakes, but the team also made a lot of mistakes.

"It was a joint effort and they all did bad, that can happen, but they need to turn it around this year.

"But the opportunity is there because they've been growing as a team, they've been getting stronger and stronger all the time, so I think there's a great opportunity this year to finally make it happen.

"If Sebastian does a season like last year then Leclerc will end up in front of him at the end of the year. Sebastian needs to nail it this year."

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