Tuesday, November 10, 2015
GUEST POST - HAMILTON VS ROSBERG
How Bad Are Things Between Rosberg, Hamilton and Mercedes?
Social media is abuzz with the tension between Rosberg and Hamilton following the US Grand Prix and now Rosberg’s revival at the Mexican Grand Prix.
Rosberg was frustrated at being clipped in the first corner by Hamilton in Austin, losing out the race with only eight laps to go.
Hamilton refused to be called in for a second pit stop during the Mexican Grand Prix. He chose not to believe his Mercedes team that his tyres were dangerously low, staying out an extra lap while questioning the call and then asking for feedback on the tyres.
In the aftermath of the Mexican GP, Hamilton said: "I didn't agree with the decision but the team make decisions and I abide by them most of the time. We'll have a chat when I get back. I have full confidence in those guys."
It would therefore seem the latest Mercedes disagreement is a minor one and can be moved past relatively quickly.
Rosberg took poll position in the race, with Hamilton a close second. After the race, Hamilton praised his team mate’s driving but also took a slight dig as he mentioned Rosberg’s gust of wind excuse for the US Grand Prix.
Mercedes’ Point Of View
Following the US Grand Prix, Mercedes acknowledged that the situation between the two drivers could deteriorate quickly if left unchecked, as it did after the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix, when Hamilton claimed Rosberg deliberately crashed into him.
Talks have happened behind closed-doors before the Mexican GP. It is difficult to say how these went, but it appears that the main issue for Mercedes would have been the contact between the cars in the first corner in Austin, which could have had devastating impact for the team. Speaking about the public spat, Hamilton has now said that Mercedes told both of them clearly that they, “must race against each other from now on in a fair and respectful manner.” They seemed to have follow those instructions during the Mexican GP.
A Clash Of Personalities
Behind the divide are two very different individuals. Hamilton is Britain’s richest sportsperson, and his on-off relationship with the lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls and his love of the night life with the likes of Rihanna and Jay-Z has ensured that he is a recognizable figure beyond the world of F1 racing. He’s even been talked once more for the coveted BBC Sports Personality of Year, having been placed as the most likely winner for 2015, behind only track and field athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill.
While Hamilton comes from a working-class background, Rosberg followed on the footsteps of his father Keke Rosberg, the 1982 Formula 1 World Championship. He has kept a much lower public profile than Hamilton, partly through personal choice and partly as he has been doomed to play second-fiddle to Hamilton for the most part of his career.
The two have known each other for a long time, having first met as 14 years old competing in kart races. From the start, there was tension between the two, as you expect from highly competitive people fighting for the same trophy, so there is in effect nothing new with the two of them having a public argument.
What Does The Future Look Like?
The two drivers continue to compete fiercely against each other. The question remains whether it can be a healthy competition between two team mates, or a division amongst the Mercedes camp.
Hamilton is the favourite heading into the Brazilian Grand Prix on the 15th November at 13/20, with Rosberg second favourite at 6/4.
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