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F1: Radio ban has ended era of muppets, claims Nico Rosberg

Barcelona: Savvy student Nico Rosberg is happy to do the extra technical homework required as he has roared to the top of this year's drivers' world championship with a run of four straight wins.

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg celebrates after winning the Russian GP at Sochi this month. Pic/AFP
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg celebrates after winning the Russian GP at Sochi this month. Pic/AFP

The 30-year-old German has praised the new direction of F1 thanks to restrictions on the use of drivers' team radio.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's Spanish GP, he said the ban had ended an era of "muppets" at the wheel.

He told Autosport that television viewers had stopped thinking that "we looked like 'muppets' directed by our engineers on radio." Under this year's rules, they must now drive the cars "alone and unaided".

"I like the direction because, now, we're more on our own," said Rosberg.

"Now, what's more important is pre-race preparation where we work more intensely together through all the different things that my engineer can't tell me in a race. There's more focus on that. It's more intense and complex. In the race, it's good. We're out there, we get the job done ourselves and it's a real challenge. I like it."

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