Lewis Hamilton claims Nico Rosberg is 'not really German' ahead of his home race
Just four points separate two Mercedes drivers in the standings
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 08/07/14 8:10pm
Ahead of Wednesday’s F1 Midweek Report, David Tremayne says that Lewis Hamilton’s comments about Nico Rosberg’s nationality were blown out of proportion. Y
Lewis Hamilton has ratcheted up the pressure on Nico Rosberg ahead of his Mercedes team-mate’s home race by claiming Rosberg 'isn’t really German'.
The comments, bound to be classified as ‘mind games’, were delivered in the aftermath of the British GP when Hamilton moved to within four points of Rosberg in the Drivers’ Championship with victory at Silverstone.
Hamilton had already invited a hostile reception from the Hockenheim support after declaring in the post-race press conference: “I know whilst it’s Nico’s home Grand Prix, he doesn’t have even one eighth of the support us Brits get here. The fans are unlike anywhere else so I’m not worried in that sense.”
But it’s Hamilton description of Rosberg which is bound to dominate the build-up to next week’s event.
“To be honest, Nico has never been in Germany, so he’s not really German. I remember when we used to race during karting, he never stood next to a German flag – not ever,” the 2008 World Champion told The Guardian.
“We would have to go on the start line and all the drivers would have to stand next to a grid girl in a line. The girls would be holding the flags or a sign saying Hungary or whatever, and he always stood by the Monaco one. He never stood by a German flag. He is German-Finnish-Monaco-esque, or whatever. So it would be great to win in Germany.”
Rosberg donned a Germany football shirt in the Silverstone paddock on Friday night as he cheered on their progress to the semi-finals of the World Cup.
Along with Hamilton, Rosberg lives in Monaco, having grown up in the Principality, and is the son of a German mother and a Finnish father, former World Champion Keke. However, while Keke raced under a Finnish flag, Nico has always been registered as a German driver.
The 29-year-old's background has become a regular topic of conversation this season after Hamilton sparked controversy by comparing his upbringing to Rosberg's 'privileged' childhood.
“Let me tell you this: I come from a not-great place in Stevenage and lived on a couch in my dad’s apartment and Nico grew up in Monaco with jets and hotels and boats and all these kind of things, so the hunger is different," said Hamilton.
On his personal website, Rosberg describes himself as being 'born on June 27th 1985 in Wiesbaden, Germany and raised in Monaco. My family’s roots are in Germany and Finland, but I consider myself a German.’
However, in an interview in 2005, Rosberg admitted: "I don't think of myself as being Finnish but I don't really think of myself as being a German either. It is not like the Brazilians, who have this big patriotic thing. I don't have that and I guess in a way it's unfortunate."