Hamilton on racing Rosberg: “He’s pretty easy… although he did push me off the track!”

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It’s rare to hear F1 drivers speak candidly about their rivals. But while being interviewed at the Paddock Club during the Singapore Grand Prix weekend Lewis Hamilton gave some frank views on who are his toughest adversaries on the track.

Speaking before his contract to drive for Mercedes alongside Nico Rosberg was announced, Hamilton described his 2013 team mate as “pretty easy” to race against.

“Although he did push me off the track in Bahrain this year,” he added.

Hamilton and Rosberg previously drove together in karts during 2000, when they both raced for Team MBM.com (Mercedes-Benz McLaren).

Hamilton was less equivocal about some of his other rivals. He referred to Mark Webber, who Hamilton said “crashed into me a couple of years ago here, took me out of the race, so I have to be very careful when it came to him”.

He also admitted to taking extra care with Michael Schumacher, who “tried to put Rubens Barrichello in the wall a couple of years ago” in the 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix.

But Hamilton admitted it was a particularly thrill to take on Schumacher, who he is replacing at Mercedes next year: “The most exciting one is is if you ever have the opportunity to overtake Michael, you know, he’s a seven-time world champion, so if you get past him you think ‘wow, I just overtook a guy I was watching on TV while I was growing up’. That’s quite neat.”

2012 Singapore Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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62 comments on “Hamilton on racing Rosberg: “He’s pretty easy… although he did push me off the track!””

  1. Nice find! Isn’t it Rosberg in the background we can hear reacting to that?

    1. i wonder what maldondo & massa had to say on hami…………

    2. I doubt it. If Singapore’s Paddock Club is anything like Silverstone’s, there’s a general area for everyone, and private lounges for guests of each team. I was in the Lotus one at Silverstone and Kimi, Romain, Gerome and Sir Jackie all made visits at some point over the weekend (Boullier too). The McLaren drivers would be at the McLaren lounge, I saw Paul di Resta head to the Force India one etc.

  2. Good start to their renewed relationship.

  3. Well, u will be hero to zero

  4. Did it ever occur to anyone that this might be, y’know, banter?

    Or are we all still doing that thing where we pick apart every word a driver utters for every possible glimpse of significance?

    1. Given the amount of anodyne PR ******** they usually utter then its got the “picking apart” thing.

    2. Surely he’s more or less joking, but it’s still noteworthy if a driver calls some other driver ‘easy’, especially if it’s his future team mate. It could be taken as simply ironic comment, if he had said that about Vettel, Räikkönen or Alonso, but Rosberg has never proved anything. Of course we don’t know the whole context (had Rosberg just joked similary about Hamilton, is it their inside joke and so on), so we should avoid taking this comment too seriously.

      1. He’s talking specifically about how easy it is to pass them quickly, rather than prolonged racing. I interpret this as Rosberg just being very fair and not overly defensive, particularly as I think here he was talking about passing drivers who he might lap.

        Rosberg has never proved anything

        Given their history prior to F1, I think Hamilton would disagree.

        1. @matt90 That’s exactly what I read into it.

        2. I first heard it as ‘Nice is easy to describe,’ although in the context of it I do believe that him being not overly aggressive makes more sense. Especially as he then follows it up with his statement about being pushed off the track. So yeah, completely agree with this.

    3. I also fail to see the newsworthiness of this particular statement of his.

      1. This is a blog, not a news website. And bloggers create, write content for many reasons other than bringing news. I think this is a nice, light hearted sunday afternoon article, which gives some extra insight in Hamilton. I like it.

        1. I’ve been misunderstood. I was referring to the fact that it’s banter, i.e. he didn’t anything serious about Rosberg. I like it too!

    4. It is banter for sure, but for an F1 fan, isn’t it cool to hear them speak candidly? @victor Surely F1 Fanatic can, and should be more than just news.

    5. Aye, it’s tabloid fodder.

  5. He’s not saying he’s easy to race against… he said he’s “easy” (fair) when it comes to respecting eachothers room.

  6. I read Keith’s write up and thought, how dare he……. watched the video and saw he was having a bit of a gag, great vid thanks.

  7. what did he say for Fernando Alonso ??? anybody knows??

  8. And he forget how he struggle to pass Schumacher at Monza last year in a faster car and being pass by him ths season at Silverstone and that wasn’t prime Schumi

    1. Oh yeah, you mean the race MS was warned for blocking?

      1. Warn but couldn’t prove he was wrong therefore no penalty. Overall he couldn’t pass for laps

    2. faster car?…Hamilton’s Mclaren top speed with DRS open was 317, Schumacher’s Mercedes 340.

      1. Mclaren has the advantage on the corner, Mclaren was 0.5+ sec fater than Schumacher it was the great skill that put Hamilton behind him.

        1. It was extremely ‘borderline’.
          Reminded me a little of when he nearly had Hakkinen off at 200 plus at Spa in 2000, although not as shocking as that.

          1. ok it’s borderline , seems many of the drivers also in those situation

          2. You folks talking about MS’s blocking warnings for his moves in front of LH, that caused the FIA to use that as an example to actually write the rule more clearly? Must have been extremely borderline to cause a change in the rulebook.

  9. …………well, you dont want to get stuck with the monkeys at the back!

  10. Lewis Hamilton gave some frank views on who are his toughest adversaries on the track.

    I think it’s worth pointing out that HAM is talking about who he’s wary of when overtaking (because of increased risk of accident etc), which puts the “easy” Rosberg comment into context. I interpreted it as him being confident that they can race fairly together – don’t think it has any negative connotations.

    I assume that the majority of the discussion (not recorded here) was about Maldonado being the “toughest” adversary of all!

  11. He means easy as in clean to race with.

  12. He should really stop talking/deactivate his Twitter. The destruction he brings upon himself when he speaks his mind is just unbelievable. We all want drivers to speak their mind, but Hamilton simply shouldn’t. Simon Fuller MUST take control of Hamilton. He doesn’t know how to act sensibly. I can list too many image-destroying examples.

    1. We all want drivers to speak their mind, but Hamilton simply shouldn’t

      I believe that sentence just nullifies your comment really. I really like the video, it’s frank and light, nothing B-I-G as you seem to want to think.

  13. watching the video, Hamilton doesn’t mean ‘easy’ as in easy to overtake. he means ‘easy’ in the sense of easy-going, not going to hit him off track (cue reminder about Bahrain as an exception).

    1. Whatever is the meaning of the “easy”, it means that every single word from a public people is scrutinized beyond every rational reason. When we talk to others we do not pay so much attention to what we say, and if we have to do so, it means that every people is so sensitive that we can never say what we think, but just things that can every people to be confortable with. The day Hamilton will not say strange things, it means that he will lie to everybody, and it looks like that everyone expects that.

      1. Matthew ross 2000
        30th September 2012, 19:12

        Hamilton well never match a prime schumacher!!! You are deluded fools! He is no Senna, and he well not turn mercedes into a team like Ferrari! Mercedes cant even make there tires work. Good luck Hamilton…

  14. I think this is a great example of how something can be misconstrued when put into a headline and a serious article. It was clearly a light-hearted chat about other drivers and ‘easy’ was actually a positive remark, as other people have pointed out. The article looks like something out of a tabloid, which is disappointing given how great the quality usually is on this site.

    1. @andrew81 In the video Hamilton refers to several drivers as being difficult to race against, describes Rosberg as being less challenging (“pretty easy”) then adds the caveat of Bahrain.

      Neither the article nor the headline misconstrues what Hamilton said or omits anything significant. A ‘tabloid’ headline would have been something along the lines of “Lew not worried about ‘easy’ Nico”.

      1. You called this video and his comments ‘frank’. Nah, clearly a lot of us feel that is pure banter. Not frank. I would guess Andrew’s comments are because of the way you portrayed Lewis’ comments.

      2. In my opinion, it’s tabloid to take something said in a light-hearted way and write it in a matter-of-fact way, describing his comments as ‘candid’ in the first sentence of the article. Had I not watched the video, it would have been easy to misinterpret what he said because the tone is everything. Not once do you mention how light-hearted it is.

        1. @Andrew81 @KeithCollantine I think it wasn’t a total ‘hahaha’ even if said in a light-hearted manner as Hamilton’s references to real incidents and the remark about fighting with Schumacher suggest.

          1. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘total hahaha’, but I would say it’s light-hearted enough that it is much less serious in the video than it looks written out in quotes. He’s even laughing when he mentions the Nico incident in Bahrain!

    2. If you are not able to make the distinction then good luck to you.

      Anyway, it’s pretty clear that Hamilton is having a laugh…

      1. Yes, if you watch the video. However, it is not clear he is having a laugh from the article alone, which is my point.

        1. Personally I didn’t take the quotes in Keith’s article as ‘serious’ analysis, but more like general commentary, so I didn’t need to see the video, nor have I watched it yet, to determine that he was just speaking in generalities and as off-the-cuff remarks.

          I think the lesson here @andrew81 is don’t just go by the headline or the article if there is a video as well. There is a reason Keith put the video in there.

  15. artificial racer
    30th September 2012, 20:44

    It would help to hear the question that sparked his responses. Since he keeps talking about overtaking it sounds like the question was for him to talk about how easy/hard it is to overtake or lap the listed drivers. Your headline makes it sound like he’s making a general comment on Rosberg’s pace.

    1. No, no it doesn’t.

      1. artificial racer
        1st October 2012, 16:58

        It says “on racing Rosberg”. That is as general as you can be but the statement seems to be more specific.

  16. It’d be hilarious if Nico were to do it again and push Lewis wide, this time as teammates. :D

    1. In my opinion, it would not be hilarious.

      1. If there is 2 km of run-off area like at most Tilkedromes (Bahrain is no different); I don’t see why it would be any more dangerous than driving on track.

        Either that, or you’re a Lewis fan. Isn’t that right? :P

        1. Yes I am a Lewis fan.

    1. Oppa Yeongam Style!!

  17. This article wouldnt be here if it wasnt for Hamilton being so cocky. Even if it is just banter they know it will stir up a debate and set up a rivalry with Nico before the ink has even dried on his Merc contract. Happy days

  18. He also describes Rosberg as ‘a great driver’ in the interview.

  19. Kieth, I don’t know if you and James Allen are direct competitors, but on his blog he has “Hamilton turns his back on Mclaren” on yours “Perez takes Hamilton’s seat.” I thinks these are written with a little mischief sprinkled in.

  20. Well, Lewis, we know your only friends are Sutil and Nico. Apparently Nico is no longer… Nearly everyone else thinks you are a spoiled child!

    1. Sutil isn’t either. Didn’t they break up last year, and Sutil called Hamilton a coward for changing his phone number?

      Whatever. :P

  21. I wonder if Don King has a stake in Lewis. Maybe we’ll see the F1 version of a ‘rope-a-dope’.

  22. What is a bit interesting is the fact that this interview took place before the announcement of LH’s move to Merc. But LH likely knew at the time that NR would be his teammate. Not saying anything for or against what he said about NR, because I found the interview light and general, but I do wonder what LH would have liked to have said had the cat already been out of the bag. Or if he would have worded it a little differently and not used the word ‘easy’ in case that made it sound like he was calling his future teammate down. Then again, assuming he already knew NR was going to be his teammate, perhaps he did choose that word particularly.

    I think LH and NR will make a great duo. NR didn’t get phazed by MS, nor will he by LH imho. I think it will only continue to make him a better driver, having another WDC as a teammate. Another great opportunity for NR to shine. I think, depending on the car of course, it might be like with MS in that we will be able to throw a blanket over these two most of the time, they will be that close. NR made a step this year by winning a race, but let’s face it sometimes the car wasn’t anywhere near that level. It’s been a roller coaster for them this year…everything from a win to dnf’s. And little that was very impressive in between.

    LH and NR both have their work cut out for them. Should be a blast to see because at this point, imho, it’s hard to imagine NR getting trounced by LH and I don’t think he will.

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