From the period of 2014 to 2016, Formula 1 witnessed perhaps its most talked-about rivalry, concerning Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. This was to be a partnership that apart from popularising the competition in F1 and making Mercedes grab both the drivers and constructor’s championship, would expose the chinks in the relationship between these two drivers.
What was once a fine friendship and a close bond became, at the end of it all, an embittered rivalry between Hamilton and Rosberg! If you witnessed the Lewis Hamilton vs Nico Rosberg show in Formula 1, with the rivalry being at its peak, then anything imaginable in the equation between two fierce rivals of their time- whether taking jibes at one another during press conferences, making snide remarks during the post-race interactions, even collisions on the track- came true and became quite a routine occurrence.
But that was that and in the post-2016 era in Formula 1, the Mercedes team would witness a fine alliance of Hamilton and Bottas, two of the fastest and most consistent drivers in the sport at this time.
And currently, it’s Bottas who leads from Lewis Hamilton in an utterly dominated Mercedes show in the 2019 season, as far as the four races stand.
But apart from the point scoring and race finishes, the fastest laps and the top draws in any given Grand Prix, there’s still that constant struggle to usurp each other (a contemporary or a rival in a team) to emerge right on top. And when you consider this equation in a Mercedes perspective specifically, you are alerted about the possibility of another Nico-Lewis scenario.
Perhaps, this is why five-time world champion and the 2019 defending champion, Lewis Hamilton has been seen wary of the troubles such a tricky equation can exert. And perhaps that is why he was keen to offer his piece of mind as to what might he do in order to avoid a partnership with Bottas that would liken itself to the inglorious – or should one say not so fondly remembered- saga at the Silver Arrows.
So what is it that Lewis Hamilton offered as an insight about his equation with Bottas being of a healthy and cordial nature, in stark contrast to the unforgettable duel he had with the German driver?
In his interaction with another journal, Lewis Hamilton maintained that mutual respect and camaraderie were key to the prevalence of a healthy bond with his teammate, at the end of the day.
He, therefore, shared,”When [Wolff] mentions glimpses of that, 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 continued to go down that route. But that’s not what we have here. We have really great energy in the team, the respect is there, we have agreed rules set out so that we do finish the races one-two and we play supporting roles either way.
“So I truly believe it’s the best pairing in terms of that respect, in terms of how we deliver each weekend [more] than any other team has ever had or currently has.”