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Hamilton: Mutual respect means no repeats of Rosberg feud

NEWS STORY
09/05/2019

Lewis Hamilton needs no reminding of how bad things got with former teammate (and friend) Nico Rosberg as they battled for the title in 2016. Just a couple of corners into the Spanish Grand Prix the two took one another out, one of several incidents over the course of a season remembered for what had become a bitter rivalry.

Now, in the third year of his partnership with Rosberg's successor, Valtteri Bottas, as the two ramp up their title bids, the Briton insists that mutual respect will prevent a repeat of the silliness of 2016.

"It's going to be tight and close between us," he told reporters as the Barcelona weekend got underway. "And tense... that's because there's always tension when you want to beat somebody else."

Asked about Toto Wolff's claim that he has seen similarities to 2016, Hamilton smiles and responds: "When he mentions glimpses of that, he has seen glimpses.

"We've discussed it," he adds, without giving any further insight, "and hopefully rectified it and hopefully that won't happen again.

"It's all internal," he smiles. "We keep everything internal, it's not for the public domain.

"Everything's great, the respect is still there and we continue to push on and we won't have any problems. Don't expect what you've seen in the past.

"I truly believe it's the best pairing, in terms of that respect, in terms of how we deliver each weekend, than any other team has ever had, or currently has," said the Briton. "The fundamental key is that we have to be team players, we're not here for ourselves. Of course we want to win the championship individually but what we're paid to do is win for the team and deliver for the team. So as long as we remember that, we shouldn't have problems."

Remembering the Barcelona crash, Hamilton says: "There's things that happened in the background that you won't know about," again, however, he is giving little away.

"It will always be respectful," he says of the relationship with Bottas. "Ultimately the core goal is for the team to finish at the top so we're not going to be touching, that's for sure.

"What happened before, an individual just continued to go down that route. But that's not what we have here, we have a really great energy in the team, the respect is there. We have an agreed rule set out so that we do finish the races one-two and we play supporting roles either way.

"I'm a much stronger person outside the car, as well as inside the car, than I was back then," he continues. "Much better at knowing how to manage things, my relationships, and understanding of how I need to work to people is far greater. I think I'm a much better team player than I've ever been in my career.

"I don't have any doubt about my ability and what I need to do and how to improve. I'm down for whatever challenge I have, whoever is going to challenge me.

"I'm encouraged by that, I'm excited by that, and if I don't do a good enough job I've just to work harder next time."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Barcelona, here.

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1. Posted by Karim, 11/05/2019 16:38

"" ... I think I'm a much better team player than I've ever been ... "

And I think he was always "me, me, me", never a team player and never will be."

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2. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 10/05/2019 8:43

"Until the championship is on the line."

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