Mar.14 (GMM/ Nico Rosberg is an example of a driver who is not allowed to speak his mind.

That is the view of former F1 driver Mika Salo, who between 1994 and 2002 drove for teams including the original Lotus, Ferrari, Sauber and finally Toyota.

He told the Finnish broadcaster MTV3 that one of the big changes in the sport over the years is the way drivers are often prevented from being open with the media, due to pressure on them by their teams and sponsors.

There are some exceptions, said Salo, like Mark Webber, who is “always available to give his own opinion” that is “not filtered by the team”.

“Then there are opposite examples,” the 45-year-old explained.

“Mercedes, for example, have apparently given Nico (Rosberg) strict instructions about what you can say, what you can not.

“He is quite a different guy when you see him in the evening at the bar,” revealed Salo.