Rome, Dec 7, 2011 (AFP) - Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has accused illustrious team-mate Michael Schumacher of being a sore loser but insisted harsher criticism of the multiple world champion is wide of the mark.
Rosberg consistently out-qualified seven-time world champion Schumacher over the season and also beat him regularly enough to the finish line to see out the year one place and 13 points above his team-mate.
And although he admits Schumacher doesn't like being beaten, he says talk of the German legend being an unpleasant person is wrong. "Obviously he doesn't like (being beaten by his team-mate) but it doesn't last long," Rosberg told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"He's not a bastard as some people say, when I ask him a question he doesn't lie to me. "You can work with him and that was a nice surprise after what I had heard."
However, Rosberg has been less than impressed with his Mercedes team in terms of their performance, although at least he says he gets equal treatment to Schumacher.
"I've stayed because I'm convinced the situation will change," he said. "Mercedes are doing everything to create a winning structure. (Team Principle Ross Brawn tells me (new Engineering Director) Aldo Costa is very good and so are the other new engineers.
"Of course I expected a lot more (from Mercedes), when I arrived the ex-Brawn team were world champions. "I thought I'd win some races and get a few podiums but that didn't happen. "We were never in a position to challenge the top three teams. "But on the track I always have the same possibilities as (Schumacher) and I'm lucky to have that situation. "I expected something worse given that Brawn and Michael have worked together for a lifetime."But in truth Ross is fair and he's a great reference point for me."