Mercedes team mates braced for future friction

Fri Apr 4, 2014 5:44am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Alan Baldwin

MANAMA (Reuters) - Mercedes team mates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have made clear that friendship has its limits and theirs is likely to be tested to the full this year as they fight for the Formula One title.

The two have been friends and rivals since their early teens, racing go-karts together and following each other through the junior series with both winning the GP2 titles in successive years for the same ART team.

Germany's Rosberg made his F1 debut in 2006, Hamilton followed in 2007 and last year they again became team mates when the Briton moved from McLaren, the team with which he won the 2008 championship.

Rosberg won this year's season-opener in Australia and leads the championship after two races, 18 points clear of second-placed Hamilton who triumphed last weekend in Malaysia.

"At the moment it hasn't changed at all," the son of 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg said at the Bahrain Grand Prix when asked about the dynamics of their relationship at Mercedes.

"Maybe because we are not thinking about the championship yet, just race by race really just making the most of what we have, winning races. So early days, maybe," he told reporters.

Rosberg recognized that could change as the season progresses, but was not concerned.

"We've been in this situation before. In go-karts we were fighting for the championship there, it's exactly the same," he said. "A little bit more people around, more media and spectators but exactly the same in the end.   Continued...

Race winner Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain looks at the mobile device of team mate second-placed Nico Rosberg of Germany after the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit outside Kuala Lumpur, March 30, 2014. REUTERS/Samsul Said