Niki Lauda hails the rivalry between Lewis and Nico as a modern day version of his own rivalry between James Hunt and himself in 1976.
The Mercedes exec Lauda had competed hard against the Brit during the ’76 season, arguably the best F1 had even seen.
Immortalised onto film by director Ron Howard – Rush dramatised this season in typical Hollywood fashion.
While Lauda was depicted as the man dedicated to his craft, Hunt had a reputation as a party animal and a playboy.
“It is like Hamilton and Rosberg today,” Lauda told Press Association Sport “One lives one kind of life, and the other lives a different lifestyle. It was a similar situation between James and me.
“I was trying to concentrate, focus and work on my car, and get everything right. He had an easy life and got it right in another way.
“He was a straightforward, eccentric, and a weird guy, but very good for Formula One.”
In 1976, Lauda led Hunt by 26 points until his near fatal crash at the Nurburgring midway through the season. He was dragged away from the cockpit with severe facial burns and damaged lungs yet incredibly he was back in the cockpit two races later at Monza.
Hunt went onto win the championship at the last race at Mount Fuji, Japan.
“I have to say that when he won the championship, I said to myself, the only one who deserves it is him,” Lauda added.
“With his ups and downs, and drinking, and the way he lived Formula One, I was really happy it was him, and I told him that.”
The Mercedes pair, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton will resume their rivalry at Austin this weekend.
Last year, it was this GP where Rosberg allowed Hamilton to take the championship after making a mistake and going wide. Hamilton passed the German and secured his 3rd title.
After this point, Rosberg went onto best Hamilton for the remaining season. That form continuing on into this season up until the fifth round in Spain where both drivers crashed out after contact on lap one.
Since then it’s been nip and tuck between the pair, Rosberg with the momentum 33 points ahead of Hamilton.