Retired Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg is open and willing to rekindle the friendship he had with his former Mercedes teammate turned nemesis Lewis Hamilton.
Speaking to media at Laureus Sports collected the Breakthrough of the Year Award, Rosberg of reviving the friendship, “I think it’s going to take a little bit more time than that to find our way. In general, yes, the competition is gone completely and suddenly, so we have already had some nice relaxed moments.
“Who knows, I’m open to having a better relationship with [Lewis Hamilton] again in the future… we were best friends 15 years ago after all.”
Famously, Rosberg and Hamilton carved their way into Formula 1 through karting, Formula 3 and GP2 – a period in which the pair were best of mates. Indeed even when Hamilton made it to F1, a year after Rosberg, the pair remained friends as the Briton raced for McLaren and Rosberg plied his trade at Williams.
The animosity began when Hamilton joined Rosberg, at Mercedes in 2013, and deteriorated to an all out feud by the time the German decided to quit a few days after the season finale in Abu Dhabi last year. During their four years together Hamilton bagged two world titles in 2014 and 2106, while Rosberg claimed the 2016 title.
Meanwhile, on the occasion of receiving the Breakthrough Award, the German also gave insight into what drove him to succeed at the very top of the sport, “I was massively passionate about my racing. It’s with that passion that you become world champion after fighting for 11 years in Formula One.”
“Those things were never really on my mind in such a way and none of those things would be a reason for stopping, because really the challenge was the sport. That’s what I was racing for.
“Even fighting through those difficult situations, that gives the awesome pleasure afterwards of having overcome those challenges. That’s what sport is about because we are warriors out there, in the end, on the race track.”
“My passion was also very much related to these challenges and trying to be the best out there; trying to beat everybody else and be the best in the world. That’s what my passion was,” added Rosberg.