What they said: Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg's friendship in their own words
Following a fractuous Monaco GP, here's what the Mercedes duo have said about their friendship in the past
By Sky Sports Online. Last Updated: 02/06/14 2:16pm
While F1 history is littered with high-profile examples of team-mate fallouts - especially when a World Championship is at stake - the state of the relationship between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg has been particularly scrutinsed in recent weeks.
Here's what both men have had to say about their friendship over the years from their early days in F1 onwards:
Rosberg and Hamilton on boyhood dreams coming true after the former karting team-mates stood on an F1 podium together for the first time at the Australian GP.
Rosberg: "It was a great time, I think it we were 14 or 15 years old at the time. We were both in the MBM team which was Mercedes Benz McLaren, so I think thanks to them for supporting me on my way up in those three years with McLaren Mercedes. It was a great time. We really had fantastic fun, travelling the world and racing in the European championship, the World championship and all the rest of it. We finished first and second in the Europeans that year, with Kubica third, so it was the three of us up there. Good memories.
Hamilton: "As we always said, one day we would be in Formula 1 and winning races and on the podium together. It's a childhood dream for both of us, so it feels really cool."
Rosberg looked ahead to being team-mates with Hamilton again after the Briton's switch to Mercedes is announced:
"We spoke about it a little before, that the possibility was there. We were laughing about it because we spoke about it when we were 14 years old in go-karts. 'Ah, imagine if, one day, we're team-mates in F1, how cool would that be?' Well, now all of a sudden it's happening, which is quite unreal.
"We managed that very well in go-karts already so I don't see any issue or concern there. We were team mates for two years, even shared the hotel room and it all worked fine. Very well, actually."
Hamilton speaking on his first day at Mercedes:
"We were team-mates many years ago in karting so I've known Nico for many years and I'm really looking forward to working with someone who is a great guy and a great talent."
Hamilton speaking about the importance of mutual respect between team-mates after the Red Bull & Mercedes orders controversies of the Malaysia GP:
"We're just working as hard as we can at the moment. We've known each other for a long time, we've got a history like no other drivers here probably has - team-mates in 2000 - and that relationship remains today."
Hamilton and Rosberg speaking ahead of the Bahrain GP - where they would wage a titantic duel for victory - on whether their relationship would be put to the test by a head-to-head title battle:
Rosberg: "It hasn't changed at all. Yet. Maybe we are not thinking about the World Championship yet, it's still early days. In go-karts we were exactly the same position, although there's a few more people around and a bit more media, and we managed to get through that with respect."
"I'm confident we can handle it again in any circumstance. There will be tough times, inevitably, but I'm confident we can work through it."
Hamilton: "It's very simple. People are constantly talking about us being friends and all that stuff. Nico and I, as with anyone, can count our friends on one hand. Nico does not come into those five friends I have, and I don't come in the five friends he has.
"We're colleagues who have known each other for a long time, longer than any of the other drivers, and we have a great amount of respect for one another. We work in the same team and we have a great working relationship."
At the Spanish GP, the Mercedes paired are asked whether, with the championship at stake, their relationship will be the same by the end of the season:
Hamilton: "We've been racing together for a long time so I don't see why not."
Rosberg: "Definitely yes, because we've been through this before. It's not a first time and even back then we had discussions, debate but always... life goes on, discuss it and life goes on so that helps, yeah."
Two weeks later, in the same interview ahead of the Monaco GP in which Hamilton suggests he is 'hungrier' than Rosberg, the Briton said of their relationship:
"When you're so competitive it is impossible to be best friends - but then it stays respectful. We will always have the years in karting, that kind of foundation of a long time ago. For example, I have been storing my safe in his house for several months and just took it back now - and that could always also be the other way around."
Then co the events of the Monaco GP weekend. Having appeared far from convinced that Rosberg hadn't deliberately gone the track in qualifying, Hamilton appeared to draw a line in the sand with his comments to Sky F1 after the race:
Lewis Hamilton: "We are not friends, we are colleagues."
Nico Rosberg: "We've always been friends, we always will be friends. But friends is a big word. What exactly is friends? We have a good relationship and work well together."
Five days after the race, however, and Hamilton tweeted: