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Lauda speaks out on Hamilton/Rosberg relationship

Well, as we all know former Mercedes team mates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg aren’t as close as we are to F1 Banter. Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda has opened up on the relstionship between the pair.

Lewis and Nico were very close friends when younger. As you may remember as Nico Rosberg got his first F1 podium back in 2008 he and Lewis were jumping around celebrating in the podium room.

Lewis and Nico often hung out as young racers coming up the ranks.

In 2013 the pair became team mates as Lewis Hamilton joined the Mercedes squad, at the time both were happy working together.
However over the next four years, that friendship was to be torn apart…

2013 didn’t see much controversy between the pair, they were fighting Ferrari in the constructors whilst Sebastian Vettel ran away with the title winning NINE consecutive races.

However in the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel ignoring team orders and passing Mark Webber for the win wasn’t the only controversy. Behind them Mercedes were controlling Hamilton’s pace, much to the dislike of Rosberg.

Rosberg made a move but soon the place belonged to Hamilton again. With Mercedes telling Rosberg to leave a gap and finish in the current order. 

Over that season Nico took two wins, and Lewis took one.

2014 was the beginning of the end for the duo, a year that saw them fighting for the championship. It involved a collision between the two in Belgium, controversy in Monaco as well as some fantastic racing.

Fighting for a title is strenuous enough, however some could see cracks starting to show in the friendship.

In 2015 the pair fought for the title again, however this season wasn’t too dissimilar from 2014. Main talking points are the Hungarian Grand Prix and American Grand Prix.

In Hungary both Ferrari pounced on the Mercedes in the first sector, leaving Lewis and Nico fighting for third until Lewis went wide. Immediately on the radio claiming Nico had forced him wide however the stewards saw it differently. 

In America Lewis took the title, and Nico Rosberg became a meme again after throwing a cap at Lewis. 

By this point the friendship was heading downhill faster than Jolyon Palmer got sacked by Renault. 2016 was to be the death of the relationship between two once very close friends.

The tension between Rosberg and Hamilton was clear throughout their period as teammates especially 2016, but in an interview with Graham Bensinger on YouTube, Lauda opened up on the depth of the feud.
Nico took the first four wins of the season, something Lewis very much disliked and he knew he had to fight back. 

Spain. Lewis took pole but off the line it was Nico who took the lead round the outside of turn one. However heading into turn 4, the F1 world witnessed the death of the friendship, as well as disaster for the Mercedes team.

And Hamilton’s onto the grass, Hamilton’s had a massive crash and he’s crashed into his team mate! The two Mercedes come together!

Lewis tried to pass Nico, however Nico quickly defended and the pair came together.

 In the immediate aftermath, Mercedes’ management summoned both drivers to a meeting in the team’s engineering trucks where Lauda made it clear that he thought Hamilton was to blame.

“The big question was whose fault was it?” Lauda said. “For me it was clear because Lewis was too aggressive going to the right, hit the grass, couldn’t stop his car and then hit him off.

“I said if I have to choose between the two it’s more Lewis’ fault than Nico’s fault. And Lewis did not appreciate that, because he was of a different opinion. He said, ‘Why do you criticize me?’ I said, ‘Excuse me. I cannot accept that you guys crash and then we have nothing and nobody’s fault. For me it has to be somebody’s fault.’ And then Lewis really got upset. Nico said, ‘Yes, it was your part too, you moved to the inside. Why did you not leave room?’ He said, ‘Why should I, I was doing the race’.”

Mercedes introduced stricter rules however this did not stop the pair coming to blows. A few races later whilst fighting for P1 in the Austrian Grand Prix. On the last lap Nico appeared to forget how to turn and collided with Lewis. 

Nico came off worse and Lewis won the race.

“They had no relation, which is always bad,” Lauda told Bensinger. “They were so bad that they didn’t even say hello in the morning. I don’t expect them to have breakfast together if they don’t like each other, I don’t expect them to sit down and have breakfast, but the relationship was really bad. It affected Lewis mainly and Nico [as well], so it was fine but not easy.”

It was clear by now the friendship was no more, and come Abu Dhabi it was Rosbergs title for the taking. 

Lewis slowed drastically in an attempt to back his team mate into trailing cars. At one point he lapped NINE SECONDS slower than his pole time. 

Despite Mercedes demanding he picked up the pace Lewis continued this last ditch attempt to get the championship. 

However it didn’t work and Nico took the title before retiring a few days later. 

The pair haven’t fixed their friendship, and apart from at F1 races Lewis and Nico have only seen eachother once since then. When they said hello whilst passing in London.

But for the fans, it was great to watch but it is a shame the once great friends no longer speak.
Side note:

YouTube “FLoz” created a video showing the fight between Lewis and Nico during 2016. If you haven’t seen it already we strongly reccomend you watch “The Silver War“.

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