Friendly Lewis Hamilton takes the sting out of rivalry with Nico Rosberg at Mercedes
But battle set to be resumed this weekend at Merc-friendly Montreal
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 06/06/14 2:44pm
Lewis Hamilton has sought to douse the flames on his purported feud with Nico Rosberg by insisting they have moved on from their spat in Monaco with their relationship unaffected.
The rivalry between the Mercedes team-mates has become the dominant topic of the 2014 campaign with the pair pitched into direct combat for the Drivers’ World Championship. Tension has simmered between the duo since the start of the campaign and threatened to boil over two weeks ago when Hamilton, apparently convinced that Rosberg’s mistake in qualifying may have been laced with cynicism, announced he wasn’t friends with the German.
"We're colleagues," countered the 2008 World Champion.
By Friday, however, Hamilton had sounded a reconciliation, tweeting: “We've been friends a long time and as friends we have our ups and downs. Today we spoke and we're cool, still friends”.
The Hamilton-Rosberg truce will be thrust into the pressure-cooker of a fight for victory this weekend at the Canadian GP with Mercedes’ already vast advantage expected to be extended still further around the power-friendly Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. But it's understood that Hamilton instigated the rapprochement with a telephone call to Rosberg last week in which he congratulated him on his victory at Monte Carlo.
"We spoke after the race and like all friends, we have ups and downs," said Hamilton. "We have known each other for a long time. It is done and dusted.
“Me and Nico spoke and then we individually spoke to the team.”
Just a handful of points – four, at the last time of counting - separate Hamilton and Rosberg in the fight for the title and the Englishman is adamant they will both retain equal status within the Mercedes camp as team bosses Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe strive to keep the team united in the cause of a likely title double. But while Mercedes are near-certainties to win the Constructors' Championship, there can only be one winner in Hamilton and Rosberg's duel for the championship.
“We had dinner together as a team and things are better,” added Hamilton. “We are going from strength to strength and things have never been better. The team have done a great job supporting both of us with Paddy and Toto. Their support for both of us is great.
“We move on, there’s a long way to go, and I look forward to the battle.”