Nico Rosberg paid homage to Lewis Hamilton's driving abilities in his latest interview, calling the reigning champion the favourite for the 2021 Formula 1 title.
The former Williams and Mercedes driver also described Hamilton as the favourite for this year's championship, though he believes Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez might pose a threat if Red Bull delivers a worthy car.
"Yes, he has incredible talent and the best car," Rosberg told the Augsburger Allgemeine.
"The only one who can get a little closer is Max Verstappen. Maybe his new team-mate Sergio Perez too, if the Red Bull car is going well.
"Otherwise his Mercedes colleague Valtteri Bottas. But with him, the chances dwindle with every year he doesn't make it.
Rosberg, who retired from the sport immediately after winning his sole driver's title in 2016, has been the only driver to interrupt Hamilton's dominance of the sport. The German says the fact that he was able to beat a driver of that quality validates his success even more.
"I knew how good he was good," Rosberg explained.
"For the outside world it is now a confirmation that he is the best of all time, even by titles. That I beat him in the same car gives me extra confirmation of my success."
Rosberg finally shared his opinion on his compatriot Sebastian Vettel who will move to the Aston Martin team after six seasons with Ferrari.
"Sebastian needed a change," Rosberg said.
"He was in a negative spiral at Ferrari, which was no longer a nice experience in the end. I am happy that he has now found a new opportunity.
"At Aston Martin he will be the hero again and will be celebrated. With a success he can be the same again. He's still one of the best of all time."