The rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg as teammates at Mercedes is well documented, the German driver taking as a compliment that the Briton referred to their intense relationship within the sport’s dominant team as a hurricane.
Rosberg said in an interview, “I’ll read you a quote. This quote is from Lewis Hamilton: ‘When you have two strong drivers in the team as we had, well, when the battle is within the team, it’s like a hurricane with strong energy and it is just stuck in the room.”
“That’s a quote from Lewis and I’ll take that as a compliment!” added the 2016 Formula 1 World Champion.
Rosberg believes that the animosity that developed between the pair, which still prevails, despite knowing one another since their teens is because Hamilton is still smarting from losing the title last year.
The former Mercedes driver said, “I won, so I can imagine maybe that wasn’t so positive [for him] – I would be saying the same if I lost last year, that it wasn’t too positive for me. I found it very positive. We were probably the most successful teammate pairing in the history of Formula 1 on the track.
“We were pushing each other to the ultimate high level. Of course, it’s not easy, but that’s what in my eyes keeps the drive going and the motivation high. For me, that was largely positive.”
“Clearly it was an extremely intense and challenging situation, but all the more rewarding then to come out on top, and against Lewis, who was rewriting the record books himself.”
“To come out on top against him was so damn rewarding, and all that has come together in me being just absolutely so entirely fulfilled with my career, because the ending was just perfection for me.”
A year has passed since Rosberg’s triumph, but relations have yet to thaw between the pair, “The fact is that I’m not at all a competitor anymore – it’s a completely different ball-game now, I am 100% out.”
“That changes a lot of things and therefore I don’t see why, with time, we can’t start having conversations again in a normal way.”
“I’ve always had great respect for him, I don’t have anything against him, he was just a competitor and then naturally there was this difficult situation, but the base respect was always there.
“I still respect him as a person and as a racing driver – I always will and always have. That always remains and remains since we were 14 years old,” added Rosberg.