Lewis Hamilton does not fear a repeat of the intense flair up between himself and Nico Rosberg with his current Mercedes Formula 1 teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton and former teammate Rosberg endured a fractious relationship as they battled it out for three consecutive world championship titles, before Rosberg retired after pipping Hamilton to the 2016 crown.

With Bottas and Hamilton separated by just a single point in the 2019 standings after taking two wins apiece from the opening four races, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said the situation reminds him of having to manage Hamilton and Rosberg in the past.

“There are things that happen in the background that you won’t know about and I don’t really feel this is the place to talk about it, but there are things that happen that you just don’t know,” Hamilton said.

“So when he [Wolff] mentions glimpses of that it’s because he has seen a glimpse of it, but what’s really important is that will pull together as a team, we have discussed it and hopefully rectified it so that won’t spring up again.

“What happened before was an individual [Rosberg] continued to go down that route and that’s not what we have here.

“We have a really great energy in the team and we have an agreed set of rules so that we do finish the races one-two and we play supporting roles either way,” he added. “I truly believe it is the best pairing in terms of that respect and how we deliver each weekend than any other team has ever had or currently has.

“It’s going to be close and tight between us and tension will be there because tension is always there when you want to beat someone else, but the fundamental key is that we have to be a team player.

“We are not here for ourselves, although of course we want to win the championship individually, but what we are paid to do is win for the team and deliver for the team. As long as we remember that, we shouldn’t have problems.”

Asked to elaborate on his comments eluding to things happening in the background, Hamilton replied: “Nope, it’s all internal and not for the public domain.

“But as I said, everything is great within the team and the respect is still there, we will continue to push on and we won’t have any problems. Don’t expect what you have seen in the past.

“Maybe one day I’ll write a book. But I don’t really need to talk about it. I will just let me results do the talking, so that’s what I will focus on.

Hamilton believes he has become stronger both in and outside of the car since 2016.

“Naturally it’s three years later and I have grown a lot since then through experiences,” he explained. “So I am a much stronger person outside of the car as well as inside of the car than I was back then.

“I am much better at knowing how to manage things, my relationships, and understanding how I need to work with people. I think I am a much better team player than I have ever been in my career and I don’t have any doubt in my ability and what I need to do and how to improve.

“I’m down for whatever challenge I have from whoever is going to challenge me. I’m excited by that and encouraged by that and if I don’t do a good enough job I have just got to work harder next time.

“I will always be respectful. Ultimately the core goal is for the team to finish at the top and I am a team player, so we are not going to be touching, that’s for sure. But in terms of giving up positions, that won’t happen again.”

Comments

Loading Comments...