Lewis Hamilton: Nico and I will have troubles but we will keep racing
Mercedes
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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1

Asking questions are actually fastidious thing if you are not understanding anything fully,

except this piece of writing presents nice understanding even.

2
kenneth chapman

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.

3

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.

4

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.

5

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.

6

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

But then again, who is?……

7

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.

8

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.

9

“Wow if Vettel had said that …”

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

10

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.

11

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.

12

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.

13

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!

14
Adrian Newey Jnr

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.

15

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.

16

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.

17

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.

18

Very funny.

You forgot the dogs.

In fact, you should just focus on the racing.

19
David in Sydney

Very droll.

20

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.

21

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?

22

Looks like it

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

23

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.

24
Clarks4WheelDrift

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?

25

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.

26

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

27
mansellsMoustache

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..

28
Craig in Manila

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.

29
Alexander Supertramp

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..

30
David in Sydney

Yes that was a bit of obvious passive aggressive behaviour.

31

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

32

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.

33

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?

34

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

35

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?

36

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..

37

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

38
David in Sydney

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.

39

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)…

40

Absolutely, “Charisma” Rosberg they call him.

41
Alexander Supertramp

Britney you mean?

42

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!

43

17 y’meant.

44

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.

45

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.

46
Alexander Supertramp

“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.

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