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Nico Rosberg has hailed Lewis Hamilton’s ‘amazing natural talent’ and suggested that the Briton edges Michael Schumacher in the Greatest Of All Time debate in Formula One.

Hamilton, 36, is aiming to eclipse Schumacher’s record of seven world championships this season and trails Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by six points heading into this weekend’s United States Grand Prix.

The Briton has shattered virtually all F1 records before him and clinched his 100th race win this season, but winning an eighth world title would put him in a league of his own when compared to fellow greats.

But Nico Rosberg believes Hamilton edges Schumacher in F1’s debate as to who is the greatest

And Rosberg – who was team-mate of both Hamilton and Schumacher while at Mercedes – believes that Hamilton’s natural talent puts him ahead of his countryman in the GOAT debate.

‘Lewis has an amazing natural talent,’ the German told Motorsport-Total.

‘If we look at talent, he’s probably the best of all time. And he really builds on that, that instinct is phenomenal with him.’

However, Rosberg admitted that Schumacher’s commitment to practice was superior to Hamilton’s, revealing that the former Ferrari star did his due diligence behind the scenes.

‘A big difference is diligence. Lewis hates test drives. He doesn’t like test drives.

‘And Michael, he would drive tests every day, even though he is a seven-time world champion. But because he also knows that you can always learn a little bit there.’

Hamilton has already broken records for most race victories (100), most pole positions (101) and most podiums (176) during his outstanding F1 career, and can also match Schumacher’s record of five-straight championships should he win again this year.

Having retired five years ago, Rosberg says that his lengthy period out of the sport means he can take a more objective view on the GOAT debate.

However, he said that Schumacher’s diligence in testing was better than Hamilton’s

‘I’m not so emotionally attached to it now that I say, “Hey, Michael actually deserved to hold the record”. Lewis deserves it too and if he manages to do that, then good,’ Rosberg added.

‘I see it more and more as, “He [Hamilton] was really damn fast, and I can be all the more proud that I beat him with the same car back then”.’

Hamilton lost his grip on the championship last time out in Turkey, where a strategy error proved costly for the Mercedes man after attempting to claw back grid positions following his 10-place penalty for taking a new engine.

The Briton slipped from third to fifth after a late tyre change, while Verstappen finished second behind Valtteri Bottas to take control of the championship battle with six races remaining.