Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton: 'Nico Rosberg not a friend'

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Mercedes superstar Lewis Hamilton has fuelled rumours of a rift between team-mate Nico Rosberg and himself, by claiming he doesn't see the German as a friend.

He said: "He is not in my five best friends in the world and I am not in his. We are team-mates."

Hamilton's comments came before April's thrilling Bahrain Grand Prix, which itself acted as a red flag in regards to a potentially unhappy camp.

Rosberg, who currently sits top of the drivers' championship ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix, took exception to the aggressive racing of his team-mate at the Sakhir circuit.

And the German - son of F1 legend Keke Rosberg - has admitted the two had a meeting about the race.

He said: "We are meeting to be able to put this behind us. It's perfectly normal for teams to do this.

"Lewis was over the above the limits of the speed he came across me, and if pushed too quickly in the future I might struggle not to crash."

Whilst a strain for the Mercedes team in the pits, the race made for thrilling viewing, with all team-mates, seemingly from all teams racing hard against one another.

But given the obvious tension over the team radio, in particular with Rosberg claiming Hamilton's overtaking attempts were "not on", it's something that requires addressing from within the Brackley-based team.

It was deemed a big enough issue for the team to hold crisis talks ahead of the Chinese GP, but both stable-mates are working hard to play down a feud for top-driver status.

A Rosberg was hasty to point out, it's not the first time the pair have been rivals, having raced each other since their go-karting days, when they were just 12 years old.

He said: "It's not the first battle we've ever had, or the first time it's been a little bit close.

"In go-karting we were competing for a championship and managed to get through with respect. Lewis won that championship but it's my turn now."

So, given the German's designs on securing a maiden drivers' championship title, it looks as though the Mercedes hard racing saga is set to continue throughout the year.

Fireworks for fans, a headache for the bigwigs at Mercedes.

Whilst the two certainly needn't be bosom buddies to ensure success for the German team this season, it is now up to senior backroom staff such as Toto Wolff, Paddy Lowe and Niki Lauda to decide whether this is indeed a friendly rivalry, or a fractious camp.

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Formula 1

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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