Niki Lauda feels it was important for Nico Rosberg to claim the season-opening win in Melbourne as it will boost his confidence for the new campaign.
Although Rosberg ended last season on a high note, winning the final three races of the campaign, there were questions about Lewis Hamilton’s motivation having already won the World title.
The same cannot be said for Sunday’s grand prix.
Both drivers were determined to get the maximum points but it was Rosberg who did so, taking the victory ahead of his Mercedes team-mate.
“You need this to have a good start to the season because it gives [Rosberg] confidence,” Lauda told F1i.com.
“If it had been the other way around and Lewis had won, he would have suffered because he always suffers when Lewis is there.
“For him, this race was important to mentally stay strong and have a good baseline for the next one.
“It’s good for him and for us, because the more they fight each other the better it is for me!”
The Austrian was full of praise for Formula 1 in the wake of Sunday’s race saying the challenge from Ferrari and the excitement was what the sport needed.
“It was an exciting race first of all. I have never seen anything like this in the last three years and I have to say, to be fair to the sport, the race was half decided at the start because Ferrari did an incredible start with both cars.
“We screwed up and we have to find out why, but then the race took its way. I think it was the best start ever in Formula One, and the race we had showed that to everybody.”