Formula 1

Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg gear up for Canada

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Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, reignite their Formula 1 world championship rivalry this weekend in Montreal, as the feuding Mercedes duo look set to dominate yet again around the high speed Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Hamilton and Rosberg have been friends since their karting days and must have appeared to be the dream ticket for Niki Laude, Tito Wolf and the Silver Arrows, however after a six rounds of the Formula 1 championship that has seen Mercedes steamroll their way to 5 perfect weekends, the driver instinct of both Hamilton and Rosberg to win at all costs has pushed their friendship to breaking point and thrust the team into the limelight for all the wrong reasons.

After the disappointment of not finishing the opening race of the season, Hamilton stormed to 4 consecutive wins, holding off team mate Rosberg in Bahrain and Spain with team orders allowing them to race.

One sensed that the titanic battles between the two sparked a few tensions in the Mercedes garage, which finally exploded into the public domain around the streets of the Principality last time out at the Monaco Grand Prix.

At a circuit where qualifying is almost more crucial than the race itself due to the importance of grid position and the degree of difficulty in overtaking, Rosberg appeared to halt the flying lap of Hamilton in the dying moments of qualifying three when he locked up at Mirabeau and was forced down the escape road.

This brought out the yellow flags, halting Hamiton's charge which looked on course to edge his team mate off the top of the times and a place him at the front of the Monaco grid.

This clearly aggravated Hamilton and comments made, added to the weight of comparison between the duo of being much like the Senna and Prost rivalry.

Hamilton suggested ahead of the race there could be some fireworks between the pair, “I don’t know if Senna and Prost sat down and talked it out. I quite like the way Senna dealt with it, so I’m going to take a page out of his book.”

Hamilton suggested that Rosberg had behaved in similar fashion to a 2006 incident in Monaco when seven-times champion Michael Schumacher was found guilty of deliberately crashing his Ferrari at La Rascasse.

After what appeared to have been five days of soul searching by Hamilton, the Brit made the announcement on his Facebook page that their feud was behind them, "We have been friends a long time & as friends we have our ups & downs. Today we spoke & we're cool, still friends #noproblem."

The announcement must have come as a huge relief for the Mercedes team and one that was probably provoked by the powers that run the championship leaders, however if you believe the clouds have scattered from the Mercedes garage, never to return, you are wrong!

A host of current and former drivers have stressed that the tension will linger on for the remainder of the season and more than likely reignite in 2015, after all, this is professional sport and the desire to win will always be the overriding emotion.

That tension is sure to rise again this weekend at a circuit that is built for the Mercedes speed and power through the Parc Jean Drapeau on Montreal's Ile Notre Dame.

Hamilton will surely start as favourite considering his previous record of 3 wins in Montreal, not to mention being forced to retire in 2011 and crashing into the back of Raikkonen while leading in 2008.

Contrastingly Rosberg has enjoyed limited success over the years in Canada with a best finish of fifth last year. 

The Red Bulls look set to be the best of the rest and shouldn't be a challenge for Mercedes on a circuit that lacks high speed corners, negating their downforce advantage. 

What will however be interesting is if the young Daniel Ricciardo can continue his dominance over team mate and quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel. 

Could this lead to a feud within Red Bull and ultimately his exit from the team that has delivered him four world titles? 

Canada always dishes out one of the best races of the season and whatever has been supposedly put to rest between the Mercedes duo is sure to resurface.

If not this weekend, at least expect to see the clouds gather again ahead of the storm that is bound to rip the Mercedes garage apart as the championship race unfolds.

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Formula 1

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