Some unfinished business
Suzuka 2014
Japanese Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton: Nico and I will have troubles but we will keep racing
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Posted By: James Allen  |  03 Apr 2014   |  5:15 pm GMT  |  226 comments

Fresh from his commanding victory last time out in Malaysia, Lewis Hamilton has arrived in Bahrain with a strong message for those who question how his friendship with Nico Rosberg will survive their battle for honours with Mercedes this year.

In what looks like a well considered and prepared line, Hamilton argues that he and Rosberg and not close friends and that he expects their cordial relationship to date to be tested in the heat of battle this year, as both strive to become Mercedes’ first world champion since 1955.


“What people need to understand is, people are always talking about us being friends and all that kind of stuff, I can count my friends on the fingers of one hand and I’m sure Nico can do the same. And he’s not in my five and I’m not in his,” said Hamilton in the Bahrain paddock on Thursday.

“The rest doesn’t matter; we’re here to win, we are here to race. We have a great amount of respect for each other, that’s all we need.

“We are going to race and we are going to come across issues and troubles and we will get past them and we will keep racing.”

So far this season there have been none of the moments of high tension that characterised the relationship between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber at Red Bull, when both were at a similar level in the summer of 2010.

When a victory is as clear cut as Hamilton’s in Malaysia there is nothing to argue about, but inevitably they will be in closer disputes at some point soon and Hamilton has done well to prepare people’s expectations for how that may play out.

It’s a sign of his growing maturity and his desire to be on the front foot when putting out messages, rather than reacting to events.

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226 Comments
  1. crank1 says:

    We are here to see how they race against each other…Not to see how good they are after the racing… keep away from this shit guys and give us a good show guys..Both are champs.. heavily talented..!Lots of excitement remaining in the season.. Critics,,plz dont be silly…

    1. Rod says:

      I’m afraid there won’t be much of a fight between those 2 – Lewis will be ahead 80% of the time, if not more..

      1. Rambo says:

        Then you should bet your house to Hamilton, but no way you don’t have enough b**ls to do it, just a big mouth to talk [mod].

      2. Tealeaf says:

        It’s the Hamilton fan way, wins a race or a couple of races in the fastest car all of a sudden “the fastest driver ever” “most exciting to watch” “team should support Lewis’s titlw bid” “when he’s concentrating no one on earth can beat him”.
        Wake up for heaven sake the car has a bigger advantage than the Brawn did, takes so much skill to plant your right foot and gain a second to the Redbull?!? Get a grip it’s average Rosberg he’s racing here, even Webber would match Hamilton in that car. Just for a comparison Rosberg couldn’t pull away from Vettel at Malaysia in the 2nd stint when the team asked him to! Yet he’s driving a car 1.5sec quicker!!! Who are these people trying to kid, ‘even’ Jenson would probably easily win the title in this car.

      3. KRB says:

        @Tealeaf, you have no clue. Rambo was saying if you think Hamilton will have it easy, then bet all you have on Hamilton. Of course those spouting such garbage don’t have the cajones to actually follow through.

        Webber was a match for Vettel in 2009 and 2010. After that it was downhill for Mark. Ricciardo should have 30 pts right now, double Vettel’s. But you say he’s crap. Hmm.

        I saw Rosberg pull away easily from Vettel. Doesn’t mean you have to do it all in one lap! 0.4s/lap, totally controlled.

        Now you know how ppl felt when it was Vettel with the rocket ship. Vettel has the 2nd best car. Even Marko said that if they can get 40hp from Renault, they’ll be at the front again, BECAUSE of the chassis.

      4. TimW says:

        There you go again tealeaf, twisting what people have actually said, adding in imaginary quotes of your own and of course stating things you can’t possibly know to be true as proven facts.
        We all know how much you dislike Lewis, and of course your devotion to Vettel is equally well documented on previous comments on this blog, but don’t let these two facts cloud your judgement. Lewis has a car advantage this year, as Seb has done in the past, you will probably sayt that the Mercedes advantage is much bigger than Red Bull’s was, but obviously you can’t know that. I Have said repeatedly on here that if a driver is lucky enough to have the best car then all he can do is deliver, seb did this very well, so did Jenson and now Lewis looks like he is going to do the same. I’m not saying Mercedes should support his challenge, frankly I don’t think it will be necessary, neither do I claim that Lewis is the fastest driver ever, but I do think he is one of the best drivers on the grid, and as there is no way any of us can possibly know if he is better or worse than Fernando or Sebastian, that will have to do.
        P.S you keep referring to Rosberg as average, does that mean you consider Lewis to be above average?

      5. Dazzler says:

        The Hamilton fan way ?

        Funny how Vettel fans and Hamliton Haters seem to think that if Hamilton has a dominant car its different to Vettel having one.

        If Vettel has the quickest car then he is some sort of prodigy but if Mercedes have the advantage its a bigger one which Rosberg and Hamilton are not worthy of.

        If Rosberg or Hamilton take the title then it will be mostly down to the Mercedes car.

        But the same counts for Vettel.

        Some people on this forum need to evaluate their prejudices before writing arse gravy.

      6. BogRacer says:

        zzz…Yawn…C’mon boys. Let’s not let the comments on this site deteriorate over this silly issue like some others have.
        I always wonder why Lewis is so polarizing?
        Regarding his on-track prowess, it seems that all the current drivers, engineers, execs and pundits DIRECTLY involved with F1 seem to have a fairly consistent opinion about Lewis’ driving abilities. Why not simply accept the experts’ opinion?
        Out of the car Hamilton seems like a decent, straight-shooting chap, but there’s nothing about his personality that is remarkable in my opinion. There have been much more controversial and remarkable characters in F1 through the years.
        This is a great site that I hope is above this low-browed commentary.

      7. Martin P says:

        James, surely you’re not going to allow responses and threads like this one?

        This site has your name on it – please don’t let it become PlanetF1.

      8. Dazzler says:

        Apologies.

        I wouldn’t want the site to become like the Autosport forum’s seething hatred for Lewis Hamilton.

        However I will challenge what I believe to be unwarranted criticism of Lewis Hamilton.

        And sometimes such as the poor comments at Monaco 2011 and Liegate 2009 his actions fall short and do deserve scrutiny.

        But we are in 2014 now.

        I’m a huge fan of Jenson Button as well and he does not attract the same vitriol from his own
        compatriots

        I like many of Lewis’s fans are sensitive to the criticism and feel that his rivals aren’t similarly judged.

      9. KRB says:

        There’s really no downside for you putting this out there, is there? I don’t think it’s that lopsided at all. Nico is no lump. He’s in the top 6 of drivers on the grid today.

      10. Yago says:

        Nico is probably in the top six, yes. But even in the top six there can be considerable differences. Look at Kimi vs Alonso now. I think it’s going to be more one sided than people thinks, because people is doing a comparison with last year. I think Lewis is on it now, he is on Alonso mode. He is becoming the complete driver me thinks. Only seeing his expression after his pole position or win at Malaysia tells a lot, he is looking at the big picture, only cares about the championship. As I say, Alonso mode on!

      11. Grant says:

        Problem with Alonso mode is that you can be beaten by a ROOKIE.

      12. Tealeaf says:

        Nico in the top 6? Don’t think so.

        Vettel, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Button, Ricciardo and obviously Hamilton are all faster or just plain better than Rosberg, also potentially Bottas, Magnusson, Bianchi and Kvyat will or are faster than Nico too so as you can see half the grid is better and Rosberg is average at best.

      13. bmg says:

        Clearly your a Rosburg and Mercedes fan.

        I remember Webber was faster than Rosburg when they were at Williams.

        I thing Rosburg is a good driver not a great one,just like Webber.

        I also think Hamilton has trouble doing the team thing and he’s hard on tyres.

        It will be interesting to see if they go down the same path as Redbull.

      14. KRB says:

        @Tealeaf, get real! I would put the big 4 of ALO, HAM, RAI, VET ahead of him obviously, and then BUT. BUT is definitely not as quick as ROS, but he can deliver consistent results on race days.

        I guess JA disagrees with you as well, seeing as he picked ROS as 4th best in 2013!

        HUL is up there for sure, but still questions remain for me. That move for the lead in BRA12 was ill-considered, seeing as he was catching HAM at the time. Let HUL get a podium first, then we’ll talk. He might have a chance in BHN.

        Give me a break re: the others you mentioned … not even close. I rate RIC’s speed, and he’s done well so far, but it’s his first year in the team, and first year in a top team.

        @bmg, and I remember that a waning Coulthard beat Webber in their first year together at Red Bull! Does that forever cement an aging Coulthard as better than Webber for time immemorial?!

        Rosberg was a rookie when he started with Webber, and it ended up 7-4 for Webber. Wow, what a demolition.

        Rosberg has since gotten better, while Webber waned in his last couple of years. Rosberg would no doubt have beaten Webber over a season from 2011 on.

        Di Resta beat Vettel when they were teammates in Euro F3 in 2006. He beat ‘em in wins and poles. Would I say Di Resta is a better driver than Vettel today? Of course not, though neither would I say there was some monstrous chasm between them, in terms of ability, like some Vettel supporters pretend.

      15. Wayne says:

        I want that to be true but all evidence is that it will not be. I reckon 65% is more likely. They’ll be closer on the track for most races than they were last week. I just hope they have the car and the reliability to fight each other. In my opinion McLaren wasted 3 years of Hamilton’s talent with their dodgy cars and bizarre strategy calls.

    2. AlexD says:

      Nope, both are not champs. Nico did not win a championship

      1. AlexD says:

        Everybody is a champ of something, but talking current Merc drivers, it is only Hamilton who is the F1 champ. Being GP2 champ might not be enough to become one in F1.

      2. Tealeaf says:

        Glock was GP2 champion as well…

      3. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Pastor is also a GP2 champ, so..

      4. KRB says:

        @Tealeaf and @AlexanderSupertramp, Glock and Pastor won GP2, but not in one season.

        The only one-season GP2 champions, who used GP2 as the final stepping stone into F1, are Rosberg (2005), Hamilton (2006), and Hulkenberg (2009).

        Pastor took 4 attempts, while Grosjean used GP2 as remedial school after his first brief sojourn in F1 in 2009.

      5. KRB says:

        Well, he won GP2 in 2005.

      6. AlexD says:

        Well…in this case call me a champ as well…

      7. KRB says:

        You’ve won GP2 as well?

      8. Dazzler says:

        Maldonado won GP2 in 2010. Paul Di Resta won F3 Euro Series in 2006

        Sadly it doesn’t make them nailed on F1 champions.

    3. I’m a Lewis fan (when he’s not acting like a kid) – but I think people dismiss Nico too quickly. Time will tell, but I think different circuits will suit them both.

      It’s shaping up to be an interesting season whatever. And I’m amazed Redbull are where they are considering their lack of testing. Just goes to show they are an incredible team and I wouldn’t be too surprised if they can close the gap by mid season.

  2. Sebee says:

    This powder keg is going to go boom, isn’t it?

    1. dzolve says:

      I don’t think so. Unlike your two boys last year, they seem to respect each other a lot!

    2. Rod says:

      No, Lewis will dominate.

    3. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      It will when Seb joins the party and starts pushing the Mercs then undercutting them. Which I expect Newey will make happen by about race 5.

      I mean, is it more likely Merc will bring upgrades to get close to Newey’s aero, or is it more likely Renault and Red Bull will improve the delivery of their power… Red Bull will still be the masters of in season development in 2014, just ask Alonso!

      1. Tealeaf says:

        Newey? Pfft its all down to Renault.

      2. KRB says:

        I know Renault is saying they’ll bring more power, I’m just not sure how. The engines are frozen for this year, right? So just engine maps and ERS usage will get them that? Smells fishy to me.

    4. Quercus says:

      No, highly unlikely: look back at the history.

      Lewis and Nico are in the same mould, personality-wise, at Mercedes, as Lewis and Jenson were at McLaren. Both pairings were/are professional… and sporting with it. I expect some hard,fair racing but it would be out of character for the same sort of fights to develop as we’ve seen from certain drivers and their team mates.

    5. Wayne says:

      I don’t think it will. Mercedes paid the big bucks for Hamilton, IF he gets a significant way ahead by the mid season point they’d be mad not to back him.

    6. C63 says:

      Which powder keg are you referring too?
      The Chinese fire cracker which is the Lewis v Nico rivalry, or the 2 tons of TNT which is sitting waiting for Bernie in Munich?

  3. Steven says:

    I’m not your friend…..

    Seems a bit harsh haha

    1. Sebee says:

      Any enemy of my enemy is my friend.

      1. Random 79 says:

        But if the enemy of your enemy was already your friend but kind of your enemy at the same time then it just gets confusing.

      2. TimW says:

        unless your friend is just pretending to be your friend while really he is your enemy, in which case you should pretend to be his friend while knowing he is your enemy…. yeah your right, really confusing!!

      3. Sebee says:

        It’s simple Random, trust no one.

        Honestly, I understand why fans are cheering for Lewis. But there are simply too many little unknowns here, which is why I feel its’ far from a locked up and done scenario for Lewis. And I’m taking just about Mercedes, not RBR potentially getting hot.

        I still don’t understand how a team can pay one driver 5x more than another for example, and still refuse to declare him #1.

        That’s like me buying a Honda Civic and Ferrari FF and saying I like both of them exactly the same and I think they are equally beautiful.

      4. Random 79 says:

        @Sebee

        I think it’s far from locked up for Hamilton just considering the fact that it’s Rosberg that’s on top of the points table right now, although it might look a little different if Hamilton had finished in Aus.

        I have no doubt that Red Bull will come back and challenge Merc, but before they worry about how much the Renault is holding them back they really need to take a look at themselves and cut out the stupid mistakes on their end.

        And there’s no competition – the Civic wins every time ;)

    2. KARTRACE says:

      He didn’t say that. Their aim and job is to race. They race for themselves and for the team. That is all what matters. I like him being straight forward with those “friend” things. Ough, he forgot that he got some couple of thousands of friends on the social media. hahahaa!!!!!!!!!!

    3. Rod says:

      Realistic I would say. He’s preparing Nico for a year of hardship. But by now Nico should know what he’s up against.

      1. Quade says:

        “A year of hardship!” You’re making Lewis sound like The Punisher.

    4. David in Sydney says:

      Juvenile

      After such a commanding performance in Malaysia now Hamilton looks and sounds like a little kid again – he should shut up and say nothing George W Bush lest he look like a galah

      1. Sebee says:

        MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

      2. aveli says:

        what wrong has hamilton done to you?

      3. James Clayton says:

        All he’s saying is they’re not friends in the sense that they don’t stay up until the early hours putting the world to rights, and they don’t confide in each other about personal issues.

        They grew up coming through the ranks together, they battles in lower formulee. They are “mates” at best.

        I think Hamilton’s message was pretty mature. He clearly understands the difference between a friend and a pal, something that takes some people well into their silver years to discover. A Juvenile comment would have been something more along the lines of “Nico’s just one of hunderds of friends [just check my followers on Twitter if you don't believe me] so who cares if I loose one”

      4. David in Sydney says:

        Oh please…

        A mature response to all the friend/no friend thing would have been:

        Yes, we’ve known each other for years. We’ve grown up together in the sport. And now we’re rivals for the World Championship. We’re committed to working for and with the team to achieve the best result for Mercedes. I left McLaren because I believe in Mercedes to build the best car. And I believe in myself enough to win my second World Championship this year. Friendship is for off the track. I am absolutely focused on winning. And so is Nico.

        Instead we got the:

        I have 5 BFFs and Nico’s not one of them. So there. Stop saying he’s my friend because he’s not. :-p

        Maybe I should get a job as a PR dude for a team. Come to think of it, that would be one of my dream jobs…

      5. Random 79 says:

        Journalist: “Hey Christian, can I have a minute of your time?”

        Horner: “I’m a touch busy right now, but can I hand you over to our PR dude David?”

        Yep, that will work :)

      6. TimW says:

        Maybe you should become a PR dude David, but I wouldn’t take a job with mercedes though. Being Lewis’s PR must be the toughest job on the planet as there are people out there who slate the poor guy everytime he opens his mouth!

      7. James Clayton says:

        “Oh please…

        A mature response to all the friend/no friend thing would have been:

        Yes, we’ve known each other for years. We’ve grown..”

        I think you’re mixing up ‘mature response’ with ‘well scripted corporate b***** response’

      8. David in Sydney says:

        Well, I *was* trying to put myself forward for a jet set career as a corporate spin dude for an F1 team.

        :-)

    5. AlexD says:

      Are you a friend to everybody? Well, only on facebook people have hundreds of friends and still feel lonely.

    6. Yak says:

      I think he’s just being clear that while he and Nico get along fine and have known each other for years, they don’t necessarily consider each other as friends. As Lewis said, he can probably count his friends on one hand. So he’s talking about genuine close friends, not just someone he knows and happens to be around a bit.

  4. Gaz Boy says:

    What chance the Merc boys doing a Turkey 2010 or even a Japan 1989? Bit cynical to say that, but the possibility is always there.
    I think the idea that grand prix drivers can be close buddies is a bit of a nonsense really – but as Lewis says, as long as they respect each other, that’s all that counts.
    At the end of the day, it’s all about winning. The only people who remember a driver coming second is his wife and his dog. (C/O Damon Hill).

    1. UAN says:

      Hey, don’t we all remember Alonso coming in second in 2012 – greatest season by a great racer ever? :)

      1. Random 79 says:

        I agree it was impressive (especially considering the dog of an F2012 that he was driving) but that was really only a little more than a year ago. Come back in ten years and see how many remember then.

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        It was a mighty season by Fernando, but was that 2012 Fezza really a knackered old donkey Random? I say that because it finished 2nd in the constructors title that year. Yes, Fernando scored the majority of the points, and Macca binned any chance of a runner up spot in the constructors because of awful reliability, but netherless while I admit the 2012 Prancing Horse wasn’t a Bull or Macca that year, I don’t think it was an F1 De-Lorean either.

      3. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        Glad you remember. He was mighty. ;)

      4. Jamie Norman says:

        Agree with you there, that was just remarkable he was even in the title hunt. Most impressive season i’ve ever seen by any driver.

      5. Gond says:

        I do, and i always will.

    2. NickH says:

      Agreed, the media in recent years have put a big spin on how Lewis and Rosbo are ‘good mates’ from their childhood karting days, but in reality they just know each other having raced in all the same categories in their pursuit of F1 at a similar age. There’s a difference between knowing someone and being mates.

      1. James Clayton says:

        “There’s a difference between knowing someone and being mates.”

        Indeed. And an even bigger difference between being mates and being friends.

      2. David in Sydney says:

        You’re not Australian or a Kiwi methinks.

    3. Martin says:

      I have my doubts about a collision between the two of them in a Senna-Prost way. I don’t see either Nico or Lewis having the whatever-it-takes sense of entitlement that Senna and Schumacher displayed.

      Another part is that Senna and Prost and Vettel and Webber tended to run the same or similar car set ups. So when both drivers were performing they ended up running together on the track. From what I’ve surmised from last year and the two races this year, the Mercedes drivers often go in different directions and there were often cases where only one of them got it right.

      An added factor is the way the tyres are now means that the driver that is in front tends to have an advantage, having the first call on the strategy, so they stop first and that can be worth two seconds on top of the existing margin. The advantage of stopping later and being able to close slightly get eroded by the turbulent air effect.

      It looks like fuel saving isn’t really an issue for the Mercedes-engined cars as Williams chose to not put the full 100 kg into the cars at Malaysia as the weight penalty was greater than then loss of engine performance. Bahrain will apparently be back to 100 kg again, but it suggests saving fuel in a slipstream is unlikely to be a factor.

      Finally, I don’t see it being too track specific. Compared to most drivers, Hamilton tends to gain time in slow corners – brake feel and controlling the weight distribution to rotate the car quickly without losing exit traction. Rosberg seems strong in these areas as well – Singapore and Abu Dhabi are tracks that both do well at. Hamilton probably has an edge in medium speed corners based on tracks he does well at, but apart from Hungary and Korea in the middle sectors these don’t make a significant difference in lap time for many tracks.

      1. KRB says:

        Well, so far we only have Malaysia where they both raced, and there Lewis always pitted after Rosberg. No doubt that was due to Nico’s tire wear at MAL, so I’m not sure how they would work it if they both had the tires under control.

        I don’t think there’s any undercut/overcut with these tires, when we’re talking about the same tire. Of course with the near 2 sec difference between the prime and option in Bahrain, it might again make the 2nd stop (when starting on the options) the better stop.

      2. Martin says:

        Hi KRB,

        Certainly the changes this year are big enough to favour different driving styles to last year, so last year isn’t a perfect guide. However, preferences for stability, turn-in, weight transfer etc, tend to carry over between car types, so I’d expect the set up differences to remain.

        Mercedes probably won’t tell us why they think Nico couldn’t manage his tyres that week at Sepang. It will be up to fans to guess whether it was being ‘blown away’, set up, a small car problem, such as differential lock up not quite right.

        Looking at the Bahrain long runs, Rosberg started faster and ended slower, for a slightly faster average. It could be (and I’m making this up) that Rosberg lit the tyres up at the start and in defending from the Red Bulls, and after each stop had to push harder to stay ahead of Vettel. That may have spiked the temperatures and he never got them back. As I said all speculative.

        Anyway the race here will tell us a bit more assuming both get to the first stop.

        Cheers,
        Martin

      3. all revved-up says:

        Martin – should the fuel flow limit be done away with?

        Why was there no need for a fuel flow limit last year for example?

        Can measuring fuel ever achieve a degree of accuracy that is not performance influencing? If not, then surely the competitiveness between cars should not be determined by a sensor.

      4. Martin says:

        Hi,

        The technology in the sensors is beyond my knowledge, so I don’t know what the limiting factors to accuracy and precision are. But I suspect that it is a relatively simple problem to solve, but that doesn’t mean Gill will be the company to solve it. So I think it can work, but it is fundamentally different to other regs where one measure tests all cars rather than each having its own. So I think the answer to your third question is yes.

        The fuel flow limits are result of having the turbo chargers. The engine capacity and the rev limit determined the maximum fuel flow of the V8s and high rev power was how they worked. With turbos more air can be added to allow more fuel to be used.

        The only reason I’d vary the fuel flow rate rules would be to encourage engine revs up to 15000 rpm for a bit more noise. The turbos and the fuel flow limits mean there’s about a third of the exhaust energy as last year. So it would only be a small change. The problem with doing that is that it shifts the goal posts and that would help new manufacturers if they came in.

        Cheers,
        Martin

      5. All revved-up says:

        Thanks Martin. Excellent perspectives as always.

  5. Alexander Supertramp says:

    Good!

  6. Sebee says:

    Think of it this way…

    If MB win the WDC, it will be first since 1955. But obviously it means in 2015 one driver is a WDC and other isn’t. Which driver then do you back as a team going forward? Who do you give preferential strategy to and assign the single good new front wing to?

    This is going to get tense, and it will be very interseting to watch all on it’s own this year. It was all nice last year, but no more.

    I wonder, who is under more peressure to win it this year – self imposed or otherwise? Nico or Lewis?

    1. AuraF1 says:

      I suspect Lewis – he’s paid more and regularly lauded as the quickest driver if not yet the complete package. The pressure on Nico is self imposed but not from the outside as much. The weight of uninformed expectation is that Lewis should really have 2 or 3 titles by now, whereas Rosberg is more in the Button category in most peoples eyes – certainly capable of winning a title but not going to be distraught if he retires with 1 or even none.

      1. David in Sydney says:

        I hope Nico takes it but I’d actually be surprised if Lewis doesn’t. He’s mega. A twit but nevertheless and shockingly fast driver.

      2. AuraF1 says:

        I don’t really mind tbh. I’m a British McLaren fan so I obviously have a long standing affiliation with Lewis even if he’s left my team. And I think I’d like to see Vettel’s title runs have a few epic fights between him, Lewis and Alonso over the next few years with them all being multiple world champions.

        That said, I can never help loving an underdog story and think Nico winning would make the whole thing more interesting. Mercedes obviously won’t favour him over Lewis simply due to the money involved, but if Nico had a WDC under his belt it would make that whole rivalry a lot more exciting. Like if Mark Webber had won a WDC back in 2010, the Red Bull story would have been even more fun to watch…

    2. Rod says:

      Sebee, all you say is theoretically possible but I don’t see Nico having the slightest chance of beating Lewis.
      MB won’t have to even worry about any of that.

      1. Sebee says:

        Let’s revisit after final standing end of season. We’ll see how it played out.

    3. luqa says:

      MB are already playing games behind the scenes.

      In Malaysia the rear tires on NR’s car were under inflated causing him to slide around and wear out the tires more quickly.

      It would seem the internal team games have already begun!

      1. David in Sydney says:

        He may have had different tyre pressures but no way would the team have done it to make him slower than Lewis. There are too many variables in F1 to do anything but give each driver as close to what he needs to perform the best.

      2. luqa says:

        Well the team admitted it was the reason NR was slower than LH at the last race- so it has already happened, whatever the reason.

      3. Dazzler says:

        That’s quite a story. Do you have proof of this or do I file it under BS.

        How about Lewis was faster than Nico in Malaysia.

      4. luqa says:

        Dazzler: NR in an interview indicated a post mortem by the team engineers on why he was sliding more and using up his tires more quickly than LH in Malaysia was due to his rear tires being under inflated.
        File it wherever you want, but I’ll go with the evidence provided by the team.

      5. Jf says:

        Fans require no proof. It’s all BS same in all sports.

      6. Dazzler says:

        One guy qualified 3rd One guy started 1st.

        The guy who started 1st won.

        The other guy did a great job & finished 2nd

        No politics. No games.

      7. TimW says:

        I think it’s much more likely to have been an error than deliberate, I doubt very much that Mercedes would risk an accident on purpose.

      8. C63 says:

        Please can you provide a link to the story – thanks.

      9. C63 says:

        Thanks for the link, How do you conclude from the article that Mercedes have admitted to under inflating the rear tyres?

  7. Delgado says:

    Which is the one that wears diamond earings?

    1. Delgado says:

      “That’s gotta be worth a tenth or two…”

  8. Random 79 says:

    “Do you think they bought that Nico?”

    “Not a chance buddy” :)

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      It’s about as convincing as the EU and the USA, ahem (cough) “threatening” to remove a handful of passports for well-off Russians.
      By the way, apparently next years Russian GP may take place in the Crimean peninsula……..

  9. goferet says:

    Absolutely, if you’re an athlete and have a close friend that’s also a rival, that will also be your weakness and usually affect your performances.

    Yes, in sport everybody that is your competitor should be seen as opponent first and foremost otherwise you make yourself vulnerable e.g. not fiercely defending a position or taking advantage of a situation.

    Having said that, I respect the Lewnic partnership for they have a history together and have managed to remain mates through the trials and tribulations.

    This is a very different story from that of strangers that are thrown together into a pressure cooker, in this scenario, things are more likely to get ugly because there is no history to fall back on during the stressful times.

    So yes, no matter what happens, I expect the Lewnic friendship to flourish because there’s a eternal bond that connects childhood mates forever.

    P.s.

    In sports, I believe what keeps a partnership from totally disintegrating is if the number 1 driver keeps having the upper hand.

    Should the number 2 driver (or the new chap) start turning the tables, this is when things go dark pretty fast.

    1. Sebee says:

      The thing is this…there is plenty of talking from Lewis. Meanwhile, Nico quietly sits atop of the table.

      1. goferet says:

        @ Sebee

        Perhaps Lewis is doing a lot of talking because he has detected the scent of success in the air whilst Rosberg’s silence could be interpreted as fear.

        Of course we wait and see.

      2. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        Reminds me a bit of Lewis and his nonsense talk that started it all after Monaco 2007.

      3. Robb says:

        Yes, Nico sits quietly atop the table wondering “How the heck was he faster than me while also being easier on tires and fuel? I better check his telemetry”.

      4. Yak says:

        To be fair, Lewis wasn’t even really given a chance in Melbourne. Where he did have a chance, in quali, he was on top, by a decent margin over Rosberg who wasn’t even right behind him. Like in Malaysia. Both times Nico let a Red Bull qualify in front of him. The one chance Lewis has had in a race, he won the race comfortably over Rosberg. So I don’t think the current points table is anything for Nico to feel particularly smug about.

      5. Chris says:

        The naivety of F1 fans astounds me sometimes. Drivers don’t just walk up to journalists to spout off soundbites, they are responding to direct questions. *sigh*

      6. Joost says:

        Sebee, as a frequenty visitor to this site I start to notice you have a something against Hamilton, correct?

        Isn’t part of the reason Nico is on top (at the moment) due to a non finish of Hamilton. Please agree that at best for Nico it could have been a draw at this moment. Nico wining the opening race and Hamilton winning the second race?

        Please remember this: Hamilton will be world champion in 2014. You will start to notice race by race I think :-)

      7. Sebee says:

        He’s not my guy, But I have nothing against him.

        I do find it interesting how sure of his success this year many on here are.

        I can definitely agree on his speed. But I am not sure that is all it takes. Which is why I’m not as confident about 2014 as you seem to be.

      8. Dazzler says:

        They are all talking. Part of the job.

        Nico might need to start qualifying on the front row for a start.

        No good having a dominant car when there is a quicker driver who is your teammate.

        Long way to go Herr Hamilton Hater.

      9. Dazzler says:

        There has also been plenty of talking recently from a German driver who may get in trouble for doing so.

        Not a first offense either.

      10. KRB says:

        As I’ve said before, if the reliability is a non-factor (±1 DNF), then Lewis should win out over the season. If it’s not the closest driver pairing, it’s at least the 2nd closest. ALO-RAI might be tops there, although perhaps RAI is having 1st-year bed-in issues at the moment (yeah I realize he was there before, but that was 5 yrs ago! And he was unlucky in MAL with an RCI).

      11. hal says:

        Most likely he keeps getting asked and he is trying to draw a line under it with his statement. I doubt any driver calls a press conference to make a statement.

  10. Jodum5 says:

    How can you say he’s maturing when he really hasn’t been tested yet? Let’s see if things hot up later in the season

    1. James Allen says:

      Because I’ve been dealing with him week in week out for the last right years!

      1. Steve Zodiac says:

        eight!

      2. Rockie says:

        Still doesn’t matter all he needs is a weekend like Ricciardo and his season would unravel right now things are going his way, when Rosberg wins or he doesn’t catch up soon!

      3. Jean-Christophe says:

        His way? You seem to have forgotten Australia. Nico is still 18 points ahead. Besides at what point does he say that he’s gonna beat Nico? He’s only talking about their relationship to come

      4. Yak says:

        You mean like the first race of the season, where despite having put it on pole by 3/10ths, he only lasted what… two laps in the race? I wouldn’t consider that to be things “going his way”.

      5. George says:

        I thought he had that already with the DNF in Ausi? keep it up Lewis!

      6. Dazzler says:

        Lewis had a bad weekend in Melbourne and showed
        good mental resilience to come back and win last week. There will be other bad weekends for all
        frontrunners too.

        You seem to forget Lewis has won and lost titles in the past and will gain from that experience.

        All Lewis has to do is continue to out-perform Nico all that will give him an opportunity to
        win the title that he has not had since 2008.

        I can see that this doesn’t sit well with you.

      7. KRB says:

        This season has been great so far at exposing the far-from-reasonable posters in our midsts. Another public service from Hamilton.

      8. Anthony says:

        eight? right?

      9. Diesel says:

        You have indeed, James. So, how do you respond to the suggestion the British media are a bit blinkered and obsessive when it comes to Hamilton?

        Blinkered and obsessive tends to make people less capable of objective comment.

      10. James Allen says:

        Doesn’t apply to me!

      11. KRB says:

        In the British press is all across the board in regards to Hamilton. Some love him, some hate him, but the biggest bulk just try to be as objective as possible.

        Like really, objectively, has Lewis made a costly mistake yet this season, or had a big off? He made a mistake on his final lap in Malaysian qualifying, had a bad sector 1, but no costly off’s like Rosberg and Vettel have had already. So far, on the things that he can control, Hamilton’s not set a foot wrong. Of course we’re only two races in, long way to go yet.

      12. Diesel says:

        Good answer, James, like it. The reason I ask is because you, more than most journalists, appear to have a very balanced take on the big picture. I say this because with your command of foreign languages such as French and Italian, you’re much better placed to judge other countries’s fans views of a Brit.

        I believe whilst the British lauded Mansell as the most gutsy, the lion heart, other countries also were more objective and saw his weaknesses too. I’m led to believe that European F1 followers always viewed Piquet, for example, as a much better all rounder.

        I wonder if the same is happening with Hamilton and what you think about that? I can’t imagine the tifosi would have been so able to forgive Schumacher had he lied in a stewards meeting with the consequence that Domenicalli was sacked for example.

        Hamilton us undoubtedly talented but his career in general, I would suggest, is maybe not quite so squeaky clean and to be romanticised as some Brit journos would have us believe. Or am I being harsh? I think anyone in possession of the subsequent facts that came out regarding qualifying in Hungary 2007 would regard his performance in the post-qualifying press conference to be that of a very dubious character.

      13. James Allen says:

        Well I don’t think Hamilton’s career is considered squeaky clean as you suggest. He was involved in plenty of controversies and he learned from them eventually

        We do have a noticeably more mature Hamilton this year and he is clearly primed to go out and grab the title, even if Rosberg and the rest (if they catch up) will want a say in that.

        Mansell was very popular in Italy, Il Leone etc because of his fighting spirit and emotions. Hamilton has fans in many countries and I would not say that the British media are particularly in love with him. They may seem that way because it sells newspapers, but it’s not an easy relationship

      14. Jonathan says:

        He has seemed pretty serene on TV throughout last year and the start of this year, but that could simply be because through all that time, he knew a championship winning car was coming his way soon. The real test of character will happen if Rosberg threatens to take that championship away from him.

      15. KRB says:

        I remember a certain Mr. Vettel accusing his team over the radio of playing with him in the 2010 Italian GP. Also in Canada that year too. Both times the suggestion was that Webber was benefitting to his detriment.

    2. AuraF1 says:

      Clearly he’s more mature than even a couple of years ago as he’s aware that he needs to give the media a narrative ahead of schedule. Alonso has done that for many years, Hamilton usually relied on his driving and hoped some of the public persona would take care of itself.

    3. Rod says:

      I think his maturity is evident, and I think he turned out to be a most likable guy.

  11. Ajit says:

    It’s still early days and they’ve both won a race each…true feelings will show if/when Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda get involved.

    1. Rod says:

      Lol…!

    2. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Someone has got to try and get Toto Wolff to say “I’ll be back”. Sorry, immature I know but I want to see if he’d sound exactly like Arnie ;)

      There’s a daft challenge for James in an interview perhaps the next time a Merc retires…

    3. Jean-Christophe says:

      “We are going to race and we are going to come across issues and troubles and we will get past them and we will keep racing.”

      This pretty much sums it up. He’s not saying that it’s gonna be Lewis & Nico in Wonderland, is he?

  12. Adam says:

    Well good for Hamilton to say it like it is and not candy coat it just for good PR. Like his candor.

  13. Grant H says:

    Im surprised Lewis has publically said were not friends, This will only fuel media speculation on this whole subject

    On the other hand looking forward to the on track battle between them this weekend, nico was quick in winter testing….be good to see some close racing between them

  14. Richardc says:

    Let’s be frank LH is in the right car at the right time and he knows it! Anyone he who thinks he is not focused on winning that title is deluded. I honestly don,t think it would matter who LH ,s team mate is, he just wants to win that title. As James pointed out the mature and honest way he is dealing with the constant questioning is very mature and professional.

  15. tharris19 says:

    I appreciate Lewis giving clarity to their relationship. It allows supporter us as supporters of the team and our favorite driver to be clear that it will be super competitive in the Mercedes paddock this year. Go for it!!

  16. Nick Hipkin says:

    Off topic I know James but for those interested in the recovery of Michael Schumacher should check out the Louis Theroux doc LA Stories that aired last Sunday, although not exactly the same it shows there is hope and the impossible is always possible

    1. Steve JR says:

      I’d highly recommend the incredible documentary ‘Crash Reel’ about snowboarder Kevin Pearce’s traumatic brain injury in January 2012.

      A truly inspiring story about a young lad pushing the boundaries on what’s possible on a board (battling with Sean White at the top) and his terrible accident while practising in the halfpipe and the support his amazing family gave him during his ongoing recovery. You will probably need a box of Kleenex though! I watched it on HBOGO.

  17. Gizmo says:

    I find the word respect interesting.

    I think this is where the Webber/Vettel relationship failed. In my opinion Vettel obvioiusly did not respect Webber. A similar thing can be said about Alonso/Massa.

    If you’re going to continue with the number 1 number 2 driver idea then the second driver is just part of the support team to help the number 1 driver succeed.

    No one has to respect one another, they each just have to do their jobs and do their best to help the team maximize their results.

    Respect is something I value and I would want to have, but in sports it doesn’t seem to be something that is really necessary for success.

    1. Kevin Shiel says:

      Vettel didnt respect mark webber bcoz he out beatd mark despite multi 2-1? Vettel was there to race n win. He never said anything bad about mark as far as im aware of.

      1. KRB says:

        “Get him out of the way; he’s too slow” … I would say that was disrespectful and full of disdain. Just say “I have more pace” like Bottas did last week.

    2. Kenneth M'Boy says:

      I think the Senna/Berger relationship showed clear respect because Gerhard was very quick on occasion but Ayrton was very quick all the time. Berger accepted this and there was harmony within the team.

      I think Webber had a similar feeling towards the end of last year and realised that about his teammate. I think Rosberg will be more of a challenge for Hamilton than Webber was to Seb but most likely Nico will only win if Hammo has too many mechanical breakdowns.

      I think Hammos done a good thing to outline their relationship because it sets up the intensity for a good battle. I hope now it makes Nico rise to the occasion and give a good title showdown.

  18. Gavin says:

    Great comments as always James. I for one am already tired of this “will they, won’t they” fall out media game already. Both are hopefully mature enough to do their talking on the track and should take any wins or losses on the chin. As a fan, I am pleased that Lewis is showing a more relaxed and mature side (finally!).
    The only issue could be if/when team orders are put in place. Thoughts?

    1. aveli says:

      hamilton will not need team orders to win anything this season.

      1. David in Sydney says:

        +1

    2. Kay says:

      On the topic of team orders between HAM and ROS, We have already had that last year, Malaysia GP.

      1. super seven says:

        Something which made Lewis very uncomfortable at the time.

        I doubt this will happen again, unless and until Nico or Lewis are mathematically eliminated from title contention.

      2. Kay says:

        Sure, it may both drivers uncomfortable actually, but that incident occurred the same time when the Multi-21 incident between Webber and Vettel happened, which shows a stark contrast to how things were handled between the Merc AMG drivers.

        HAM didn’t feel confortable, ROS didn’t like it, but both the drivers respected the call and acted in the team’s best interest.

        And from the Bahrain GP it shows the pair can put up a good fight without getting into a mess.

        Nothing to worry about IMO. My original reply to the OP was to point out team order issues had already happened in the past between the pair, nothing new.

  19. Luc says:

    First round racing and now opening round verbal warfare for Hamilton. This developing battle may very well become the headline story for the whole season.

  20. SteveS says:

    It’s a very different situation to Vettel and Webber at Red Bull. Hamilton and Rosberg are the same age (LH is six months older) and have similar levels of experience in F1. LH is a former champion, but NR has been with Mercedes since their return to F1. In their first season together in 2013 they showed similar pace. In other words, they SHOULD see each other as equals.

    When Vettel showed up at RB in 2009 he was just 21 years old and faced the 32 year old Webber as the established #1 driver in the team. Vettel had a season and a half under his belt, Webber had seven seasons. Vettel promptly demolished the (previously highly regarded) Webber in 2009. I believe he beat him 15-2 in qualifying that season.

    A young upstart overthrowing an established driver is always going to lead to more fireworks than a competition between drivers with a similar CV. Look at the champion Prost vs the upstart Senna in 1988.

    The fact the Webber was a big favorite of the F1 press also added fuel to the fire in the Vettel/Webber contest. They openly favored Webber all the way.

    1. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      I get your point but Senna was no upstart by the time he joined Prost in 88. He has some dominating performances and many great wins in the Toleman and three seasons in the Lotuses.

      Entering 88, it seemed less like young upstart vs established driver, more like an evenly matched unstoppable war with the best two drivers. It was quality that current F1 is unlikely to reproduce.

    2. Ahmed Sydney says:

      Steve S 100% Agree.
      Webber had beaten all previous team mates including Coulthard, Heidfeld and Rosberg, and was regarded as a qualifying specialist with good race pace. The qualifying and results in their 5 years together, where Vettel dominated Webber convincingly should speak volumes in itself.

      1. KRB says:

        Uh Coulthard beat Webber in 2007, Webber’s first year at RBR.

        If you look at the fuel weights for 2009, you’ll find that Webber usually ran with 5kg more fuel than Vettel for Q3.

        I never thought of Webber as anything more than a decent driver.

        Doesn’t compare in the slightest to Hamilton taking on the 2xDWC as a 22 yr old rookie, with Alonso getting the initial benefit of less Q3 fuel, and beating him in qualifying and the final DWC standings.

    3. Fireman says:

      This is an interesting observation. Maybe it was impossible for Vettel and Webber to gain mutual respect, given the circumstances.

    4. Andrew M says:

      Irrespective of everything else, Rosberg and Hamilton do not have similar CVs. Hamilton is a world champion, has won 23 races (knocking on the door of the top 10 list of all time) and has had 33 pole positions. Rosberg has had four pole positions and won four races, two fewer than Ralph Schumacher.

    5. KRB says:

      It was Webber’s first year as team “leader”, and he was under no illusions that Vettel would be quick, and also was the star pupil of RB’s driving stable.

      In 2009, when both finished, it was VET 6-4 WEB. When both were classified, it was 6-6. Some demolition.

  21. Paul D says:

    I don’t even think it will be that close. Nico is solid, but all things being equal Lewis will beat Nico 80% of the time.

    He’s just a faster driver.

  22. Kbdavies says:

    Good he cleared all the “friendship” nonsense. up Lewis knew he has to come out fighting and clarify the relationship between him and Rosberg; as the truth is bound to come out sooner, rather than later this season.

    Moreover, i noticed he seems to make more of an effort at maintaining the relationship than Rosberg does – at least in front of the camera’s. In fact i think he makes too much of an effort; as Rosberg does not seem to cae that much. Good job either way!
    This will be the conflagration of the season; NOT Alonso vs Kimi.

    1. Kevin Shiel says:

      Because Nico focuses on his preparation n racing, not media coverage n ‘friendship’ issues. His result speaks. Who is currently no. 1 on the standing? Not lewis last time i checked.

      1. Pipito says:

        Last time I checked Lewis retired from Australia. Seeing the gap from Rosberg that he had in Malaysia, Lewis would have finished 2nd atleast, which would have placed him side by side with Rosberg in the standings.

      2. Kbdavies says:

        Kevin – How on God’s earth can who is no.1 in the standings be relevant after 2 races in? Especially after Lewis’s DNF??
        Having an objective view surely cannot be this difficult. I’ll leave you to your illusions.

      3. Hal says:

        +1.

        Some people see what they want to see. Truth is both are in the hunt and while I hope Hamilton clinches it. Nico is not to easily dismissed.

      4. Joost says:

        @Kevin,

        Really? Seriously?

        Every time I read such a post as yours I am astounded by the “truth” you people think they are speaking.

        You are absolutely right about the current points standing but aren’t you deceiving your mind too much by thinking Nico is the better? We are only 2 races underway.

      5. Kevin Shiel says:

        Oh guys dont get me wrong. Im a kimi fan but have nothing against nico or lewis. Im sure both of them are great but inevitably lewis gets alot more attention from english speaking side of the world and im sure nico is their hero number 2 or 3 in the german world.

        2 races in nico is ahead which means hes managed better than lewis. For sure lewis was quicker in both qualifies but he got a DNF. Its the luck thing which surely accounts for a small portion of the WDC too.
        Still way too early to say whos gonna pick up the crown this yr yet. Both of them have a shot. If lewis could manage his consistency n luck better then he seems to have a very slight speed advantage at this stage (we all know the car evolves dramatically, hard to say which hands merc is developing their cars into).

  23. Carol says:

    I am so pleased that Lewis has a potentially great car at last(fingers crossed).

    The merc drivers are a great pair and I look forward to watching them beat all the other teams, with some inside sparring on the track. Best of luck for the championship Lewis, I hope it is a mercedes 1/2 at the end of the season.

  24. Archie says:

    So now we know the first contender for this year’s arrogance award.
    Let’s hope that there will be fair play from the new Mercedes F1 team principal and no pro-british team orders as last year.

    1. aezy_doc says:

      Arrogant how? People will always read into comments what they would like them to say rather than what they actually say.

    2. Andrew M says:

      Yeah, down the British!

  25. NickH says:

    Off topic, Regarding the driver weight issues recently, I read a Sutil interview earlier and he said he didn’t even carry a water bottle in his car at Oz in order to save weight. Around 1-1.5k. He had to in Malaysia because of the humidity, but he won’t be taking one again this weekend. Pretty drastic, they kneed to address this issue. Button has nothing on him.

    1. Yago says:

      Well, the thing is this year F1 is much less on the physical side, so there is not that necessity of hidratation during the race. Drivers can choose not to carry water if they feel confident they can complete the race without it. Alonso said today that he choose not to carry water during the Malaysian GP, because he didn`t need it. There are probably more drivers not carrying it.

    2. Gaz Boy says:

      Nick, I totally agree.
      James, if you are reading this, or one of your web team, can you ask Jenson and Adrian in particular after the race on Sunday to tuck into a steak, chips, mushrooms, fried tomatoes and onion rings.
      I’m half joking of course, but looking at Jenson’s gaunt face, and this revelation about Adrian, the utter stupidity of drivers almost starving themselves is ironically more dangerous than their job out on the track. Drivers get paid big salaries to risk their lives out on the track and they accept it; but off it they should be allowed to be a healthy, safe weight, and not risk their health and future prospects by jeopardising it with near-starvation. Perhaps a solution is to weigh the drivers every morning and if their BMI puts them in the underweight category, they aren’t allowed to drive.

    3. aveli says:

      driver weight is all a load of rubbish. as massa correctly said, it’s not only the driver’s weight that is the challenge but there are so many other factors which contribute to the overall weight. how is hulkinberg doing in his force india?

      1. NickH says:

        Yes and why do you think he is still in a Force India?

      2. aveli says:

        why is button at mclaren?
        it’s a whole load of rubbish. the media are simply looking to sell their product.

      3. aveli says:

        taller drivers have an advantage in that their feet are further forward in the car, moving weight forward. shorter drivers will need more ballasts up front to even things out.

      4. aveli says:

        why do force India not put kovalainen in the car instead of hulkinberg? after all kovalainen is much lighter and will give them an advantage.
        it’s a whole load of rubbish!

    4. Kbdavies says:

      Is Sutil partnered with Button?

      1. NickH says:

        I feel you misunderstood. ‘Button has nothing on him’, as in he is carrying no weight at all

    5. Robb says:

      Yeah, I read this too. This is crazy. A very small amount of weight can’t possibly cost as much time over the course of a race (or a season) as a driver who can’t focus because he’s weak and dehydrated.

      1. David in Sydney says:

        I think teams struggling with car weight are using driver health to lobby for an increase in minimum weight to make their cars more competitive.

        Although didn’t Brundle mention one driver who claimed to have fainted at a PR even in Malaysia?

  26. dazzle says:

    The dynamite has been ignited, soon we will see fireworks…starting from sunday

  27. deancassady says:

    We’ll see what we’ll see.
    As usual, the Brit-o-centric F1 media is loving Lewis in the fastest car, and, it should not be lightly dismissed that a. Lewis has won, and b. Lewis was in a hard, hard head-to-head championship battle with the tenacious Fernando Alonso.
    On the other side, Nico must realize that this is his chance, and he will have to go for it or forever be ‘the number 2′.
    technically, it seems tighter than the Brit-o-centric media bias suggests.
    It seems Nico has the softer touch, and so where subtlty and nuance is the premium differentiator, he seems to have the edge.
    Where it is ragged and ‘hanging out there’, then perhaps Lewis is the top natural intuitive driver, at the moment, and he likely has the edge.
    Or not.

    We’ll see what we’ll see.

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      “It seems Nico has the softer touch, and so where subtlty and nuance is the premium differentiator, he seems to have the edge.
      Where it is ragged and ‘hanging out there’, then perhaps Lewis is the top natural intuitive driver, at the moment, and he likely has the edge.”

      Did you watch Lewis’ onboard in Malaysia? It doesn’t get much ‘softer’ than that. To use Brundle’s words, he was ‘metronomic’. I don’t think there is a single skill in Nico’s set that Lewis does not possess.

  28. John Marshall says:

    I think it’s a very reasonable thing to say. A person in Lewis’ position (or Nico’s, or any top athlete or famous person) has a lot of people trying to take from them. The number of real friends that they have is necessarily limited to a small number of people they’ve probably known for a long time that are trusted.

    I think what he’s saying is that he and Nico are friendly, but not friends, per se. I don’t find it surprisingly, nor do I find it harsh of Lewis to say. They are co-workers, essentially. How many people consider their co-workers friends, versus how many are friendly?

    Having said that, I think the biggest potential for problems with Lewis and Nico comes from how the team handles any iffy situations. If either driver perceives bias, that would probably be a catalyst for problems.

  29. patrick says:

    Always remember Mercedes is a German team and there are eighteen races left this season…

    It would have been interesting to see Michael Schumacher in this years car, get well soon Michael!

    1. KRB says:

      17 y’meant.

  30. Old Dry Joint says:

    Interesting LH making a comment about Vettel and Webber in 2010 not being a similar situation..

    Clearly there are parallels. LH has the upper hand in team favouritism as did Vettel – from Malaysia last year when Rosberg was told that he can’t attack in the closing laps even when having a clear tyre advantage.

    The most obvious is that Rosberg is more charismatic than LH.. as was MW over SV..

    1. Andrew M says:

      Absolutely, “Charisma” Rosberg they call him.

      1. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Britney you mean?

    2. David in Sydney says:

      Rosberg seems a bit creepy to me, alongside Chilton, in a smilier vein to Leonardo di Caprio.

      The only time I’ve seen Rosberg with charisma was chatting to Vettel post race in German.

      1. Old Dry Joint says:

        I think you’ll find that he’s a fave with the girls… Like, not so much the best driver but the best looking driver…;-) (I’m speaking from the better halves perspective BTW)…

    3. KRB says:

      That wasn’t LH making that comment … that was James.

  31. aveli says:

    it’s all prophecy, i found out that prophecy is the least paid profession. why can’t they all just wait and find out whether they fall out or not?

  32. deancassady says:

    Now that I’m thinking a bit more about this “intra-team WAR at Mercedes”, it seems to only exist in a virtual reality, in the online media.
    So this smacks of contrivance, and has all of the blunt, angular awkwardness of eastern teutonic public relations, to create the sense of competition, even though one team has… basically in this ‘competition’ an unchallengeable comparative advantage.
    It’s boring, the only question is, ‘which Mercedes driver is going to win?’
    Make no mistake, love or hate him, Michael… I don’t think he ever had this kind of advantage in machinery (okay, maybe one year); but the point is, it’s pretty extreme.
    There is a long history between these two. I don;t know the details, but my general impression is that they have been pretty well matched in equal machinery.
    The talk of tension and [blah, blah, blah, bling] is just that, talk. It has the feeling of engineering, not, as has been suggested, the maturation of Lewis. (I can’t wait to tell you, ‘I told you so’ when he has his first adolescent outbreak, probably within a week of now, or so).
    But like I said before….

    We’ll see what we’ll see.

    1. TimW says:

      bit too early to say obviously, but I would guess that 2000 and 2004 were similar.

    2. C63 says:

      There is a long history between these two. I don;t know the details, but my general impression is that they have been pretty well matched in equal machinery….

      Is Lewis beating Nico in every category,where they have been teammates, the same as pretty well matched?

  33. Robb says:

    This is Lewis putting his game face on, and making sure Nico sees him applying his war paint.

  34. Craig in Manila says:

    Was interesting in the post-race cooldown when VET talked to ROS in German.

    Instead of replying in English, ROS chose to reply in German and therefore locked HAM out of the discussion..

    As such, HAM was suddenly looking like the odd man out and not knowing what they were talking about. Nice one Nico.

    Overall, whilst HAM is probably faster on the track, I think ROS will be pretty-good at mindgames should he need to play them against HAM and, I feel, HAM is quite succeptible to these.

    Will be an interesting battle in many ways.

    1. David in Sydney says:

      Yes that was a bit of obvious passive aggressive behaviour.

    2. Alexander Supertramp says:

      I think it’s normal for Vettel and Rosberg to speak German with each other. I remember having a team mate who’s first language was french, but he was very fluent in Dutch as well. I grew up bilingual, speaking both French and Dutch. We were playing for a Dutch speaking team, but we were always talking in French to each other. That was not because we were sharing secrets or playing mind games, it was just a natural reaction..

  35. mansellsMoustache says:

    I think that was a good pre-emptive statement in the lead up to what seems like a merc centric season. The race track is no place for friendships – respect yes (as Lewis said) but not friendships. Team mates will always try to get the upper hand over each other and that’s what keeps drivers on their toes and hungry. I’m sure Lewis’s revelation came as no surprise to Nico, who feels exactly the same..

  36. Peter says:

    James, totally OT but what do you reckon of this?
    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/motor-racing/exclusive-us-team-to-be-given-green-light-to-jump-on-the-f1-bandwagon-by-next-year-9234109.html

    Is Eccleston really in support of Haas and does that mean we will get more races in America if so?

    1. James Allen says:

      Looks like it

      If I were Haas I’d try to buy Caterham F1 team

      1. Phil R says:

        Wow, Caterham ahead of Force India, Lotus or Sauber is the one most likely to change hands?

      2. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        Kind of ironic, almost like a Nascar inspired F1 team. Wonder if Hass is motivated to give global promotion to Hass Automation or if it’s to promote more at home by getting F1 and races into America? Sounds like he’ll have a strong bargaining chip with Ecclestone.

        Are there any rumours on another American company, General Motors, or if any other car manufacturer like say VW, are interested in joining F1 with the new hybrid/green/efficency push?

      3. Gaz Boy says:

        Apparently, yes, VW have compiled a feasibility study into developing an F1 engine, they may use their Audi brand. It’s just rumour and hearsay, and could be a load of old tosh, but we’ll see.
        Cosworth is interested in coming back as well.
        Would BMW and Toyota want to come back after their utter humiliation in the previous V8 era? I don’t know…………….but stranger things have happened in the F1 world.

      4. KRB says:

        Would Haas have to assume their contracts with Renault, etc.? Haas was wanting to use Dallara chassis with a Ferrari engine. Some have even suggested that the Haas entry might act as the Ferrari ‘B’ team, similar to Toro Rosso vis-a-vis RBR.

        Talking about Ferrari, saw Aldo Costa in the Mercedes garage. JA, has Costa been at the previous events? I haven’t seen him in the paddock until FP2 yesterday.

        Also, great comment during that broadcast, on the fairly compact spread between the entire field. I checked FP2 from 2013 to compare, and this is what I found:

        BHN13 FP2 1.RAI 1:34.154; 20.CHI 1:37.313
        Difference: 3.159 sec

        BHN14 FP2 1.HAM 1:34.325; 21.KOB 1:38.257
        Difference: 3.932 sec

        And removing the Merc’s from it yields …

        BHN14 FP2 3.ALO 1:35.360; 21.KOB 1:38.257
        Difference: 2.897 sec

        The difference between the best ’2nd car’ and the best ’11th car’ in Bahrain ’13 was still 3.129 sec, more than this year.

        Considering the predictions before this season, everyone is doing pretty well. Of course, I didn’t compare any of the previous races versus their 2013 counterparts, so it might be that Bahrain bunches them up more. I don’t know.

  37. Mike Martin says:

    For those of you who are interested who the five best friends are Lewis was referring to:

    1. P.Diddy
    2. Nicole
    3. His brother
    4. His Father
    5. Alicia Keys

    Just wanted to share this with you guys.

    1. Phil R says:

      LOL and two of those are also able to be sent to his other hand which is his most hated people and go there every few weeks or so.

    2. David in Sydney says:

      Very droll.

    3. Dazzler says:

      Very funny.

      You forgot the dogs.

      In fact, you should just focus on the racing.

  38. Racyboy says:

    I love Hamilton,but I think he will be psychologically crushed if Rosberg wins this championship.
    He’s already said this Merc is the best car he’s ever driven. Two out of two poles,one commanding win from two races. His team is dominating so far, his confidence must be huge at the moment and so are his expectations.

    Yes he’s a champion,but only by the skin of his teeth.(Brazil’08 is still the freakiest thing I’ve ever seen in F1.) That must irk him,especially watching Seb rack up 4 in a row. I fully expected Lewis to be a multiple champ by now.

  39. Kevin Shiel says:

    This guy cares too much.
    They both racing drivers. Let your result speak Lewis, dont waste your time on these media craps.
    He might b maturing, but certainly not quite there yet.

  40. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    The big question this year is whether Mercedes Management will do a “Horner” or a “Brawn”. Ross had the respect of his drivers whilst Horner didn’t.

    I would like to hear James’s views on whether Paddy commands the same respect as Ross did and therefore the ability to make the tough calls and manage his drivers. Or whether Lauda is a unifying figure within the team or a devisive one like Dr Helmut.

  41. kfzmeister says:

    So far this season there have been none of the moments of high tension that characterised the relationship between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber at Red Bull”

    ……Yet!

  42. jmv says:

    Lewis starts to sound like Lauda. Which is good.

    I am craving to see the ultra competitive Lewis Hamilton back. The one who ignored the script during 2007 Hungary qualifying.

    He has for long time trying to be mr nice guy (competing with other mr nice guys like Jenson and Nico).

    He does rightly by creating some distance which will enable him to become a shamelessl ferocious and selfish winner.

    1. Krischar says:

      2007 is long gone and you know what lewis himself still rates Alonso ahead of him, same way Alonso have confirmed lewis is the quickest out there. I do not know how you tie up 2007 with 2014. Alonso was 2x WDC and atleast earned the right to ask for NO 1 staus which Mclaren have clearly promised him and failed to materialize which led to the Alonso -Ron dennis bust up back then

      The situation is different now, lewis is quicker than nico doubts and a clear favorite to land the WDC 2014. Nico has a outside chance to beat lewis, however for that to happen Nico have to raise his game to a different level and stay strong mentally through out the season to score consistent podiums and few wins here an there

      I like lewis quite a lot, yet with only 2 races done we cannot simply rule out nico too soon. Pace wise lewis is superb and have the advantage yet lewis need to be midful at times through out the season.

  43. Stephen says:

    It refreshing to see that Lewis may finally be maturing, with a level head and straight forward, honest statements. Maybe he is ripe for a 2nd WDC after all. His recent statements and wanting to make this year count to ensure he gets another WDC are good to see. Not his biggest fan, but like what I see and hear so far in 2014.

  44. Mhilgtx says:

    Wow if Vettel had said that …

    Not sure what to think of that statement. I like Lewis a little more than Nico. But I am not sure that was a well thought out statement. Time will tell.

    1. James Clayton says:

      “Wow if Vettel had said that …”

      I think both Mark and Seb were pretty open about not getting on, towards the end.

  45. danny almonte says:

    Hamilton has his game face on. He’s found the other teams lacking and knows that the real fight begins at home. I’m sure Nico feels the same way. I was never under the illusion that Lewis and Nico were best friends.

  46. Grant says:

    Nico did beat Michael Schumacher granted, but he’s definitely no match for Lewis.

    But then again, who is?……

  47. Glennb says:

    I’ve read the article and read the comments but seriously, how many people actually give a dump whether Lewis and Nico are friends or not? I certainly dont care either way. Absolutely pointless discussion.

  48. Fireman says:

    Unfortunately, as much as I want Nico to beat Lewis, it certainly seems Lewis has the upper hand for now. Nico currently leads the championship but that doesn’t paint the whole picture.

    But according to your average Vettel hater, WDC won with this kind of speed advantage doesn’t mean a thing. So if Lewis really beats Nico to ’14 WDC I hope the same people start giving Vettel some credit also.

  49. Hal says:

    Only two races in and already people are making it sound as though Lewis has won. As much as I want him to win WDC he does tend to catch moments of bad luck throughout the season.

    Also Nico is no slouch and Hamilton knows that.

  50. kenneth chapman says:

    to my way of thinking, ones team mate is the ‘enemy no.1′. given that he has an identical car then being beaten by him is more devastating than that of another driver in another team.

    personally i have no allegiance to either driver. they are both good but different. rosberg was, for a long time, ‘mr. easy beat’ and he never showed any mongrel talent. he now has a better attitude and he will put up a great fight so lang as he is given equal treatment.

    hamilton,IMO, is somewhat flaky and has a glass jaw. too easily distracted but fast when he is focused. who will come out on top? i have absolutely no idea.

  51. Nicolas says:

    Asking questions are actually fastidious thing if you are not understanding anything fully,
    except this piece of writing presents nice understanding even.

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