Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Fuji, 2007

Rosberg as tough a team mate as Alonso – Hamilton

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Fuji, 2007In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says Nico Rosberg is as tough as any other team mate he’s had.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

‘Rosberg as tough as Alonso in 2007’ (ESPN)

“The most difficult race with a team-mate was with Fernando in 2007, but Nico’s race with me in Bahrain was as equally tough as that. Then this race [Spain] was probably second to that.”

Todt: teams’ cost cut ideas ‘a joke’ (Autosport)

“The proposals that they seem happy with are to reduce budgets by $2 million, which is ridiculous. When we speak about costs we must speak about reducing it by 30-40 per cent.”

Ferrari target Red Bull’s Adrian Newey in bid to get back in F1 race (The Guardian)

“‘Ferrari badly want Adrian Newey. I don’t know whether they have talked to him yet, but if not, they will,’ a source close to the Italian team said.”

Mercedes banish thoughts of winning every race (Reuters)

Toto Wolff: “They didn’t touch (collide) yet, which is eventually going to happen – or not, hopefully. So it’s much too early (to consider the idea of winning everything). That would be really like losing the plot, thinking about that.”

Bottas: Step forward in Spain (Sky)

“We have definitely made a step forward, it is always really good to see when you bring updates that they work and the whole season every single thing that we have brought has been a step forward.”

Insight: One of the secrets of Mercedes’ success and some interesting pointers from Spain (James Allen on F1)

“You see this kind of thing on aircraft rear wings, but not on racing cars. Red Bull’s clever aero peole may have learned something possibly from aerospace solutions.”

“Medical car on scene”: first medical contact (1) (A former F1 doc writes)

“I tell Alan I’m unplugging from the car radio and intercom, and switch to my handheld radio, tucked away in a pocket of my overalls. I’ll admit to forgetting this sometimes – being halfway out of the car, focused on the incident, only to be yanked back into the car by that damned cable from my helmet!”


Comment of the day

@Jaymenon10 is unimpressed with the ‘armchair psychologist’ assessment of Nico Rosberg’s performance:

Rosberg wilting under pressure? No. These guys are professional athletes who are compete at the top of their discipline, they are drilled to win from a young age, everyone of them is there to win. Obviously, circumstances for some doesn’t allow them to get close.

Sure, in the cauldron of pressure, there will be times when concentration is lost, but a mark of a great athlete is how one recomposes themselves and comes back. I think Nico has given a good account of himself in both qualifying. He isn’t going to give up. If it was a reversed scenario, where Lewis was behind, you think he’d give up? No, these guys probably don’t know how to give up. If anyone of them does, they should probably retire.

When Rosberg was catching Hamilton, I knew he wouldn’t get past. Sure Nico could have taken a lunge into one of the turns, but he didn’t, because it would have placed both the positions at risk. Its only he fifth race, Rosberg hasn’t been in this situation before, where he has the best car, whereas Lewis is accustomed to winning and being at the front. There is a long way to go and anything can happen.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Stephen, Mclarengal and Quinn!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

1994 F1 seasonThe media uproar which followed the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger had been reignited by Karl Wendlinger’s crash on the first day of the Monaco Grand Prix. That led the FIA to announce, on this day 20 years ago, a series of drastic measures to rein in car performance, to take effect from the very next race.

Teams greeted the development with doubts over how effective the changes would prove and concerns about the expense of overhauling their cars mid-season at very short notice.

Meanwhile the drivers had taken matters into their own hands, re-forming the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association to lobby the FIA for further safety improvements.

Image © McLaren

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories F1 Fanatic round-upTags

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 109 comments on “Rosberg as tough a team mate as Alonso – Hamilton”

    1. I agree with Hamilton, that Rosberg is pretty much on Alonso’s 2007 level. However Alonso post-2010 is certainly superior to the Alonso of 2007. If both Hamilton and Alonso were driving Mercs it would be a titanic tussle for supremacy. While Hamilton I suspect would be quicker over a lap, Alonso’s relentless race pace should give him the overall edge. Too bad we’ll never find out :(

      1. I think it’s very hard to compare Rosberg in 2014 to Alonso in 2007. Fernando coming into 2007 was the hottest property on the grid – a double WDC and a multiple race winner who had just beaten the great Michael Schumacher to the Championship in 2006. I agree that Alonso has matured greatly since the events of 2007, both on the track and off of it, but I still don’t think Rosberg is at the level of a double World Champion.

        He’s a great driver to be sure, but I don’t see the comparison to 2007’s Alonso. As the COTD pointed out Rosberg isn’t accustomed to fighting for a championship or even regular wins yet. Alonso in 2007 most definitely was. This can make a huge difference.

        1. Those are very good points you raise. I agree.

        2. Rosberg has beaten the great Michael Schumacher in the same machinery three seasons in a row. I really think Nico is the most underrated driver on the grid and has a really good shot at the championship this year. Is he as good as Fernando? I don’t know. We didn’t see them in the same car, but in my opinion if anyone can make such comparison it’s Lewis.

          1. That wasn’t the Michael Schumacher. Just a Michael Schumacher.

            1. While I do somewhat agree, that’s harder to say since the Mercedes cars of ’10-’12 weren’t very good and he didn’t have as strong of a team around him as he did at Ferrari. Hypothetically, if they had the kind of dominance back then as they do now, only then could we really compare.

              I agree with @maroonjack, Lewis is in a better position than anyone to compare Alonso to Rosberg. But I think Nico will get stronger as the year goes on and this fight can only get better.

        3. I think Nico is a better student than Fernando…

      2. I’ve got a pretty high regard for Nico Rosberg, but Alonso vs Hamilton together again in a dominant team would probably be epic. Never say never, but it sure seems unlikely.

      3. omarr-pepper
        13th May 2014, 2:15

        I think there’s no way Rosberg is at the level of that campaign (2007) because if we compare him to Alonso, you are assuming he is the more experimented one. We should compare Rosberg 2014 with Hamilton 2007 or even 2008, and Hamilton in that time was already superior, even to what Rosberg is doing now. Alonso was a champion and Hamilton beat him every one or 2 races race, the better of them was one on this race and Alonso on the other. Here we see Hamilton crushing Rosberg race after race. Nico is close, but not equal to Hamilton now.
        And I’m not Hamilton fan.

        1. We should compare Rosberg 2014 with Hamilton 2007 or even 2008, and Hamilton in that time was already superior, even to what Rosberg is doing now

          I disagree. What your analysis discounts for, is the fact that Hamilton had no F1 experience at all in 2007 and the relative improvement in his skill since then.

          Rosberg has been racing since 2006 and has put in pretty consistent performances, even with mediocre cars. He may not have won a championship but he knows what it takes to battle with the top dogs. Rosberg 2014 would easily be a tough competitor and most likely prevail over Hamilton of 2007. Does no one remember how inconsistent Hamilton used to be back in the day? Using basic induction based on Alonso and Hamilton’s tied position in 2007, Rosberg today is very comparable to Alonso of that year. But like a said earlier, Alonso is a different beast these days. No one is on his current level! Past or present.

          1. But he had had a LOT of testing, so he at least knew how the cars handled.

            1. There’s a bit more to having experience in F1 than that though.

          2. If anything, Hamilton was lauded for being super consistent all through 2007. Only in China did things finally go wrong, but that was a ridiculously late call from the team as well.

          3. @sankalp88 Actually until the end of 2007, Lewis was praised for being very consistent for a rookie…

            1. Yeah he scored podiums in his first 9 races… That’s pretty damn consistent!

          4. @sankalp88 Lol no one in his level past or present? ROTFL.

            People seriously think putting Alo in the Merc with Ham he would beat him. No way that would raise Hamilton’s game even more. Qualifying wuld be horrible for Alo who as been beaten by the grandad Kimi on 2 occasions in qually. Also how long do people think Alo has left at his peak i like how people forget he is only a year or two below Kimi and Button so Hamilton is in his peak right now 28-33, he is 29.

      4. maarten.f1 (@)
        13th May 2014, 5:52

        I completely disagree with Hamilton. This seems like PR speech to me. Rosberg is good, but not good enough. He’ll keep Hamilton honest throughout the season, he’ll push him all the way to the finish, but unless he improves his qualifications he’s not going to beat Hamilton. It’s one thing to be quicker on track, but if you can’t pass the car in front of you it gets you nowhere. Hamilton seems to have that edge on him.

        1. I agree, total PR. Hamilton’s personality seems pretty synthetic; this type of comment goes along with his entire demenour. The correct position of the visor, proper hat shape, earrings…he spends a fair amount of energy with appearance and his perception of how he’s perceived. One of many things that made Senna so attractive beyond his sheer talent was that he spoke from the soul. Hamilton is pretty contrived IMO.

          1. We get enough image conscious drivers in the US via NASCAR. One of the big F1 attractions for us is how genuine the sport is. I just hate to see it compromised.

          2. Geez, if Hamilton’s not being criticised for saying things without thinking, he’s being criticised for supposedly churning out PR-speak. He can’t win!

          3. @danny11 the hat again? Really? C’mon mate.

          4. @danny11 One of the reasons Hamilton gets so much flak from people in general is because he is very emotional. Some might consider it crude or uncultured but it is a reflection of his background and he sticks to it and does not pretend to be someone who he is not. If that is not being genuine i don’t know what is.

            His obsession with his hat or the way things should be is his own peculiarity. And the way it is interpreted is subjective and is more a reflection of the person who is making that remark rather than Hamilton himself.

          5. @danny11
            You must be disappointed that Lewis is giving you no ammunition to attack him with.

            So why not twist the table…..

        2. Hamilton wont mention his toughest races, like the ones he lost. why not Barcelona last year, here Rosberg was on pole and Hamilton finished 12th in the race. racing against 1 car in Bahrain was more difficult? its not exactly PR, its making comments to make himself look greater then he is. He will saying he is racing the best he has in his career soon, even though he probably isn’t driving any different then he did in 2009. lucky they made durable tyres this year Lewis.

          1. Lol Ham beat your idol haha in his rookei year, Why so bitter? And you say 2009, you must have missed 2012 then.

        3. It’s not PR BS. He is just honest. He didn’t mention Malaysia or China GP but he just acknowledged what we all saw on the track, and that is Rosberg puting huge pressure on him in Bahrain and not so huge in Spain. What if Rosberg won that epic race in Bahrain? I know: but he didn’t. However it was damn close fought race for a log time for sure (Massa’s for sure :)) And we should all consider the fact that Hamilton has a lot more experience than he did in 2007.

      5. 4 – 1 to Hamilton in qualifying, 4 – 0 to Hamilton in the races (where both have competed). Are these the figures people would expect if Hamilton was up against Alonso? I think not to be honest. Nico is giving him a run for his money, but so far has not been able to match him. Time will tell whether Nico can raise his game but until he does i don’t see how he can be considered as tough a team-mate as Alonso.

      6. Ryan (@ryanisjones)
        13th May 2014, 11:08

        I agree with Hamilton, that Rosberg is pretty much on Alonso’s 2007 level.

        That is not what Hamilton said. He said that “The most difficult race with a team-mate was with Fernando in 2007, but Nico’s race with me [him] in Bahrain was as equally tough as that.”

        He is talking specifically about the Bahrain race. He is not making a holistic comparison between the two drivers. Nothing in the article suggests that Hamilton views Rosberg in line with Alonso, 2007 or otherwise. It is a remark on one race, he even suggests Spain wasn’t as tough. This whole thread has become a debate about something which was never said.

        1. @ryanisjones Well said, and that goes for @maroonjack too. LH is not rating FA 07 vs NR 14. He’s commenting more on how it is for he himself, in terms of being challenged. I think this is a great compliment to NR. I really like this rivalry between LH and NR. They’ve known each other a long time, they have different experiences in F1, yet they are the most aware of the implications of the situation they are in now, and so far they are doing everything right. As is the team. Collectively, Mercedes simply gets it. They are miles ahead and yet (or perhaps therefore) the two drivers are allowed to race it out and are doing so marvelously. The last thing we are going to hear this year vs. Mac 07 is accusations of one driver being favoured, and that is the biggest gift to F1 right now as they dominate, and as the new chapter takes heavy criticism, and while TV ratings are a huge concern.

          1. Good awareness there Ryan. I too was swept along with the post in the forum that were actually largely off point accuracy about what was said and meant. Good to see there are still the astute among us, keeping us away from the all too well trodden path of misinterpretation and conjecture.

        2. Well said Ryan. I fail to see how most of the people commenting missed out this important caveat.
          If anything, Rosberg is pushing him far more than Alonso ever did. I cant remember ANY races in 2007 where Alonso pushed Lewis like Rosberg did in Bahrain and Spain.

          1. @kbdavies Indianapolis 2007 and they didn’t have DRS back then.

        3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          14th May 2014, 6:32


      7. I don’t think Hamilton or Rosberg are at Alonso 2010 onwards level or Vettels level 2012-2014. I see Rosberg as a Ralf Schumacher and Hamilton as a Juan Montoya. This year Hamilton and Rosberg have got a dream run, they step on the pedal on any straight and gain 3 tenths over another car, and all they did is hold the steering wheel. they have a huge artificial advantage over the rest of the field. they can be 4th and 5th best driver and still lap a second a lap faster then anyone. I think Rosberg being so close to Hamilton just makes Hamilton look bad, I have never seen Rosberg as a real championship contender – and Hamiltons entry to the sport was so spectacular that every year after 2008 has been a dissapointment. Hamilton should be dominating him if he wants to create a legacy like Senna, Schumacher and Vettel.

        1. @dkpoie I disagree for the most part and one of the more obvious things I’ll point out is that you have never seen NR as a championship contender because he has never had the car. Now he is in fact contending for the championship now that he has the car. I think it is bizarre to call their advantage artificial, but I think the closest we have seen of that was MS/Ferrari. And LH doesn’t have to flat out dominate to create a legacy. He can do that by prevailing when the pressure is at it’s greatest, even if it is by a handful of points vs. someone who is as capable in the same dominant car in an atmosphere where there are no team orders to take the racing out it.

          1. @robbie: Well said.

        2. dkpioe: “Hamilton should be dominating him if he wants to create a legacy like Senna, Schumacher and Vettel”…
          Four wins from four finishes? Four poles from five races? Smells like domination to me.

    2. $2 million reduction. That’s, what, 1% of the top teams’ budgets.
      It’s like discounting a PS4/XB1 by £5.

      1. It’s more like 0.5%. Top-team budgets are around $400 million.
        It’s like a £2 discount on the price of PS4 or XBone.
        Todt is right, it is a joke.

        1. I read 400 figures for Ferrari and Red Bull. Closer to 300 for Mercedes and Mclaren.

          1. The joke is on Ferrari if they are throwing that much money at their team.

      2. Cost capping is more critical for the lower end… there the savings are doubled to 2% of a $100m budget. But the key thing is to see Todt pushing for 30%… That could really shake up the apple cart.

    3. Thanks for COTD @keithcollantine

      On Newey to Ferrari, I guess they’re expecting him to rock up and wave a magic wand? If he does go, which I think he wont, it will take a good few years before results will become apparent. Newey performs at his peak Red Bull because Horner has provided him the optimum working conditions. Will Ferrari ever be able to do that?

      In James Allison and Pat Fry, they already have two of the more highly rated engineers on board, the performance hasnt reflected this. So what gives? There is something wrong at the core of the team, I doubt Marco Mattiaci will uncover it in the short term. Ferrari need to a kick up their backsides, hopefully Marco as the ball$ to place the kick..hard.

      1. I was lead to believe Rory Byrne had returned to Ferrari last year to consult or aid in development in this years car? Isn’t Rory “the other” Newey? I don’t believe the hype, there’s bigger problems at Ferrari than the head engineer, when they work out what they are they might move forward.

      2. Think so too. Imo their development process was never fully adapted to the minimal testing, minimal wind-tunnel parameters that the last resource reduction in 2006 required.

      3. Wasnt Allison just hired? I doubt he had much influence on the F14 T.

      4. Based on qualifying:
        Gap between best Mercedes driver and fastest driver from next best merc powered team was 1.4 seconds. (Hamilton to Bottas)
        Gap between Fastest Red Bull and fastest driver from next best renault powered team was 0.65 seconds (Ricciardo to Grosjean)
        If, as Red Bull claim, Mercedes’ clever turbo design is worth a second a lap to them, then Red Bull may indeed have the best chassis and Newey may have done it again. But Mercedes’ 1.4 second advantage over cars with the same engine suggests that there is much more to their success, and that they have a design team to at least give Newey a run for his money.

    4. Rosberg is comparable to Raikkonen in abilities as a driver. Alonso and Hamilton are slightly above him.

      1. I’ll wait until we have a year or two of NR in a top car before comparing him to KR. FA, LH, and KR have all had way more opportunity car-wise to show their stuff than NR. I believe NR still has room to grow now that he is playing in the highest level.

      2. I’d say Rosberg was a mix of Coulthard or Barrichello.. I think the other three are a step up. Remember that Kimi is the oldest, and Alonso will soon be approaching his mid-30s.. at their peaks they would be qualifying slightly higher up the grid and making less of the odd mistakes in Q3.

      3. Yes, Hamilton has nothing to worry becos Kimi and Rosberg are incapable of doing Hungarian07 style nor teflonic politics.

    5. Haha, yeah, I totally remember Alonso staying winless after the first 5 race, not once finishing in front of Hamilton or outqualifying him. Also, that McLaren in 2007 was head and shoulders above Ferrari and there was no competition for victories from other drivers or teams.

      1. not once finishing in front of Hamilton or outqualifying him

        Rosberg has out-qualified Hamilton.

        1. Strangely it seems Rosberg is better in the wet/damp conditions than Lewis in the Mercedes. We’ll have to see if Lewis can rectify that in time.

          1. @fastiesty That was certainly the case last year, but not this season. We’ve had three wet qualifying sessions (Aus, Mal, Chi) and Lewis has bested Rosberg on all three occasions. If anything, the tables have turned, with Rosberg having looked more comfortable in both of the dry qualifying sessions we’ve had. Although, if Lewis had maintained his form and comfort in the car from FP1, I don’t believe that would have been the case in Spain.

        2. Also, that McLaren in 2007 was head and shoulders above Ferrari


          Does 9 wins vs 8 wins say anything?

          1. @kingshark Does sarcasm say anything?

            1. @klaas
              My bad. My sarcasm detector needs to be upgraded by the Ferrari windtunnel team.

    6. If you read down the comments on the James Allen article you come to a link showing that the FIA requested alterations to Alonsos’ MGU-K before the race, could this be “volt-gate” averted, or something much more mundane, anyone know ?

    7. I agree with Todt that teams having 800 employees is unsustainable but the only way to fairly reduce the staff levels would be to take the car companies and companies with related sidelines out of F1, otherwise technology will flow by osmosis from other divisions to the F1 team, forget the obvious ones Ferrari and Mercedes, who is going to seperate the road car division at McLaren and the technology division at Williams from the F1 division? This is a very difficult problem to solve.

    8. We should be talking about increasing the teams income, not cutting their costs! There are billions of dollars being wasted on bribing German bankers that should go to the Teams and circuits.

      1. No, because if you give the top teams more money, they’ll just spend it then want more. That is why it is being described as unsustainable – the top teams want to win, whatever the cost, even if that cost makes little to no sense.

      2. @kelsier Spot on.

        A review of the whole financial structure is overdue. Big teams can stomach a prize money cut in favor of an increase to those in the “division two”. This solution is so simple and effective (at least on paper) that I can’t understand why it’s not the main topic of discussion.

        1. @jcost I think it is just that this has been kicked around so much for so long that it is hard, at least for me, to take F1 seriously on this. Cost cutting or capping has been on-again off-again too many times, and principals such as LdM have as much as admitted that even they themselves, let alone the other ‘have’ teams, cannot even be trusted to not funnel moneys through channels that will circumvent whatever financial regs are put in place.

          Williams has just recently said F1 is in a crisis mode now. But I don’t get the same vibe from Merc, RBR, Ferrari, and Mac. While those teams are not yet feeling a crisis, nothing will change. I think they will all have to get to a point of the entity of F1 ending before they will think long-term enough, and be honest enough with each other regarding financing regs, in order to literally save an entity on the brink, before real cost measures will be implemented. For now it makes for good sound bytes for the top teams to talk about cost-caps, but they obviously are not yet concerned enough because they are not yet feeling it hurt their bottom line.

          And when one opposite argument is put out there, which is a good one such as @kelsier suggests, which is that more of the money F1 generates could go to the teams, and as you suggest, even a cut in prize money to the big teams who can afford it, for the greater good, no wonder capping costs is not a sustainable discussion right now. F1 will have to be truly desperate, and imho, they can’t be there yet.

          That all said, they do continue to talk about technical regs that could reduce the costs of operating an F1 team, but again, the have teams will simply funnel their money in other directions if their hand is forced. Eg. LdM admitting taking away so much of the past’s endless on-track testing freed up moneys to spend in the wind tunnel and on state of the art simulators.

    9. Hamilton is just in a euphoric state. Yeah right ROS is as threatening as ALO. If those guys were both at Merc this year we’d have Bahrain every race.

    10. Corrado (@)
      13th May 2014, 7:11

      Rosberg is a strong driver for sure, but I don’t think he’s at the same level with Alonso over a season length… yet. The aspect where ROS is better than HAM, in my opinion, is that ROS driving style seems to be causing less problems to the car. Unfortunately for him, the cars are reliable these days, but who knows… another retirement from HAM… and the tables turn again.

      1. Exactly. If Hamilton suffers one or two more retirements but wins every race he finishes, Rosberg could win the championship anyway. Especially with the double points travisty……

      2. It’s just as possible that Nico could have a retirement which could hand Lewis a 28 point lead in the championship. Pushing too hard in Monaco to try and catch/pass his team-mate and he drifts off-line/brakes too late and hits a barrier. Could happen to either driver.

        1. And there’s always Maldonado to lap.

      3. Unfortunately for him, the cars are reliable these days…

        Seems a pretty broad brush of a statement during the first season of one of the largest technical shake-ups to hit the sport.
        Nobody knows if Mercedes won’t suddenly tail-off towards the end of the season as they starting hitting the end of the individual Power Units lifespans – luckily (for them), they don’t seem to be stressing the units at the moment.

        1. Conceptually Lewis’s engine and gearbox are 1 race fresher than Nico’s. I think the Gearboxes must do 6 races in a row, not sure on engines, but Lewis’s DNF in Australia could be benefiting him now. We’ll see in a few races when Nico gets the Fresh replacements & Lewis’s old kit is at the end of its service life.

          1. Is he actually using a new engine and gearbox? I thought it was a simple fix, something wrong with a sensor, so assumed he wouldn’t need to change.

        2. You could be right, but I was thinking especially compared to how reliable F1 was 20-25 years ago. Then, they’ve used an engine for Quali, another one for the race etc and even so, the engine related retirements were far numerous than today. Then again, if we think the current engines are used in multiple GPs… the reliability improvements are huge indeed. Anyway, just wanted to underline the fact that it’s possible for Rosberg to finish the season w/o any retirement (remember that in the last decade many “CONSECUTIVE… RECORDS” were broken, like MOST CONSECUTIVE RACES FINISHES, MOST CONSECUTIVE POINTS FINISHES etc) and that could be decisive at the end of the season. Also, from the 2 Mercedes GP drivers, I expect more a retirement from LH rather than NR.

      4. didnt nico have more car problems last season…..and this season,what car problems has lewis had that was caused by his driving style…..please remind us.and lewis isnt saying nico is as good as 07 alonso,he’s just saying having nico as a team mate is the toughest he’s experienced since he was alonso’s team mate.

    11. As many others have said before… comparing Rosberg to Alonso in 2007 is just ridiculous. Alonso in 2007 was already a 2 time WDC and Rosberg has no WDC so to me that is overrating him A LOT!!
      If Hamilton has to compre Rosberg to a former team mate, Kovalainen is a much better yardstick in my opinion but not Alonso.
      If he´s again playing the mind games with Nico, Kovalainen would have broken him mentally!

      1. KOV isn’t a good yardstick either – He was thrown into a big team after completing his rookie year following the McLaren meltdown of ’07. He did well to get that win in Hungary, but he was never on the game otherwise. Luckily for him, it did wonders for him on a PR level.

        This whole game of ‘comparing drivers’ is fundamentally broken anyway – Judge each driver on their own record, not make wildly swinging comparisons in order to boost or denigrate another driver.

        1. He did well to get that win in Hungary

          He had no choice, with Massa’s engine failure :)

      2. I think LH is just comparing how the challenge NR is presenting him now reminds him of how FA challenged him in 07. He’s not trying to open a debate about who is better…NR 14 or FA 07. That is just how many here seem to have taken it.

    12. R-W (@rogerwilliams)
      13th May 2014, 8:52

      Comparing Nico to Alonso is like comparing a puppy to a lion. Problem for Hamilton is he needs to biggen up Nico, for his WDC opponents in championship years are Massa and the modern day Patrese – Nico.

      On a unrelated note Mercedes/Hamilton’s PR guys need a sanity check. Last year Hmailton wanted to win close fights, but this year he doesn’t. Beginning of the year Merc were the first to talk about team orders, but suddenly they are all for racing. Lastly, they are working on exhaust sound to make more noise. Even if true, you don’t blurt something like that.

    13. Hamilton is really saying the whole driving experience right now is like in his rookie year at McLaren where he applied his karting skills to F1 to stay ahead of his experienced F1 team mate. Nico has been at Merc far longer than Lewis, knows the team & has evolved his ability with the car as it has developed over the years, Lewis has adapted to the car and team fast and applying his natural skill and ability to overcome Nico, in the same way he did in 2007 with Alonso. I think its quite a sincere complement to Nico. Unlike in 2007 though, Lewis will make sure he wins the championship.

    14. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      13th May 2014, 11:10

      @Jaymenon10 – Whilst it might be indeed be “armchair psychology” to suggest Nico is under pressure, I’m sure, despite this comment from Hamilton, that Lewis would still rather have a psychological duel with Rosberg than Alonso. I think neither Mercedes driver has shown themselves as having universally robust mentalities, as we saw with Hamilton in 2011, and as we saw with Rosberg in the opening rounds of his GP2 career and as you say, has never been under the pressure of being in championship contention. In fact who on the grid is a psychological brick wall? Certainly not Vettel who fell to pieces during the 2010 European season versus a highly competitive Mark Webber. Button? Also fell to pieces during the mid-season of his 2009 campaign. Raikkonen? 2008 proves otherwise. Alonso, even? He appeared paranoid in 2007 that Dennis was favouring Hamilton, but on the basis of Ron’s partisan favouritism of Senna in the late 80s, that could well be accurate.

      So whilst it might be indeed be “armchair psychology” to look a past examples, cite trends and construct hypotheses, that doesn’t mean it might not be accurate. For me, Rosberg is certainly mentally stronger than Hamilton on past evidence (had Hamilton just finished second on four consecutive occasions I think Nico would certainly have a considerable psychological advantage), but we are yet to see how he performs under the burning microscope of the motorsport community. Rosberg is now under massive pressure to win the Monaco Grand Prix having failed to capitalize on visits to three of his other favourite tracks (Sepang, Sakhir and Shanghai), to limit the impact of the inevitable Hamilton roadshow will be see when we rock up at Canada, Silverstone, Hockenheim, the Hungaroring and Spa. The pressure is on Nico, let’s see how he delivers.

      1. @william-brierty Agreed that the pressure is on NR, but I also think there is no shortage of pressure on LH. When you are leading/winning by half a second, that means you cannot let up and that any little bobble could mean handing NR points, they are that close.

        But to me this is the true test. All these drivers can drive well, especially when the car is good for them and in the top 3, so just as in many sports it becomes about handling pressure when it is at it’s greatest. Yes let’s revel in this rivalry and see how NR does with pressure greater than he has ever had, and how LH does having won and lost the WDC in various opportunities when the pressure was at it’s greatest for him.

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          14th May 2014, 13:51

          @robbie – Yes, the pressure of expectation and a fast teammate is on Lewis, but equally the mistakes Rosberg made in qualifying at Shanghai, and the way he failed to take pole at the weekend in spite of what appeared to be an abundantly more compliant car: the hallmarks of pressure?

          The gist of it is Rosberg knows he drove better than Lewis last year and that reliability alone cost him a chance of being the best Mercedes driver in the standings, he knows that every long run in pre-season showed him as superior to Hamilton (whilst I thought that Hamilton was the championship favourite pre-season), and yet Nico has just lost four races in a row. Whilst it is perhaps to strong to say that that has rattled Rosberg, the way Hamilton’s form has picked up so profoundly the second he needed it to will certainly have caught Nico’s attention. Rosberg’s intelligence may also play a psychological role here, with it being immediately apparent that a number of tracks that suit Hamilton’s style over Rosberg’s are coming up, and that it is therefore even more vital to halt Lewis’ momentum in Monaco.

          In essence, whilst Hamilton has the pressure of a) being long time championship favourite for 2014 and b) allegations that his potential has gone unfulfilled in recent years, Rosberg has a number of highly worrying facts before him: a) Monaco may be the only chance to regain the WDC lead before F1 arrives at Hamilton’s favourite tracks, b) he has lost the championship lead despite having a 25 point advantage after the first race, and c) he has had the tools to win, but seemingly, not the skill versus his teammate and has made some mistakes, unlike Lewis.

          1. @william-brierty A very well summed up analysis of the lay of the land as usual. I look for NR, who also knows exactly where he stands more intimately than anyone, to step up and show us that he too is WDC material. As you have indicated, the handwriting might already be on the wall, but I like to leave room for NR to surprise us yet. It is why they run all the races. And if in fact this is all a foregone conclusion already, then I look for NR to take from this season’s experience and grow with it. The alternative being perhaps he is not WDC material…but I think he needs some time to prove that now that he finally has the car. He is doing a great job, and unfortunately for him has a tough opponent who has edged him slightly which has translated into what some are already calling domination. This is NR’s lot in life right now, and I’m sure he’d rather be in this spot than in any other car right now. And given that, I’m sure he is only looking toward the next race, and when that is done the next one after that, and he is definitely not dwelling on your points a, b, and c in your last paragraph. I doubt he ever thought he was going to dominate LH, and he was probably expecting that to beat LH on any given day or weekend would require all the ducks to be lined up in a row. When they are not LH wins, even if it is by half a second.

            1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
              14th May 2014, 17:32

              @robbie – He may not be dwelling on points a, b and c, an F1 driver in 2014 hasn’t got time to dwell on anything (as the smudge on my hurriedly autographed replica of Raikkonen’s helmet proves!), but I bet he’s given them some thought. Personally, I’m quite sure Rosberg is championship material, although he does have the occasional quite weekend, and I am quite convinced that in any other era, bar maybe the late 80s, he would have been champion by now. Unfortunately for him he’s up against Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg, Button, Ricciardo, Bottas, Massa, Grosjean, Perez…

              Was Rosberg expecting to beat Hamilton? Well, racing drivers do tend to possess an occasionally blind and vehement belief in their own abilities and he had just beaten the most successful F1 driver ever three seasons on the trot (the fact that Michael managed to beat a driver as excellent as Rosberg on so many occasions in 2012 is certainly a testament to the great man), however equally Nico won’t have forgotten the fact that Lewis tended to beat him when they raced together as youngsters. That said, I would imagine Nico is quietly satisfied with the way he has stacked up against just about the fastest driver over a single lap in the world. And that’s the crux of it: can Nico Rosberg evolve his skills and consistently take it to a great driver like Lewis Hamilton? The 2014 championship will rest on Nico sufficiently developing as a driver to take it to the exhaustively termed (although there is no other way of saying it) “natural” talent of Hamilton, because right now, as you say, all the ducks must be lined up to beat him, and he certainly isn’t quick enough to be Prost to Hamilton’s Senna…

            2. @william-brierty Fair comment again. And let’s face it, not everyone is WDC material, but what was is in the past, and this is the first time NR has had the car in F1, so now we will see where he stacks up throughout the season. This is his first kick at being a ‘Prost’ so I’ll give him room to breathe and settle in while he goes up against someone who has been lucky enough to have had top cars all along. Failing to beat LH this year will not mean NR will never be a WDC, and we often hear of people learning more from their failures and losses then from their successes, so it’s going to be fun to watch how it goes for him. LH is no doubt drawing from his lost WDC’s too.

          2. @william-briety No hewould not have Ros was in low positions when he retired dude. Wehave worked this out many times. Dont orget Ros was lucky in Silverstine and gained 12 points when he should have been 10 behind.

            1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
              14th May 2014, 17:45

              Rosberg was still the more consistent performer, dude. Hamilton tended to be stronger only at his preferred tracks: Shanghai, Canada, Silverstone, Nurburgring, Hungaroring, Spa…

      2. Before this season started, many people preview Nico beating Lewis because “as always” Lewis would meltdown psychologically. Plus, Lewis should struggle to master these complicated cars… because for some reason I can’t explain, Lewis is perceived as a driver whose strengths come from his “natural ability” to drive fast but F1 2014 version would require engineering skills and superior IQ to succeed and being W05 the best car, Nico would be safer bet for WDC, after all he is the smartest one…

        Lewis was suppose to give first signs of frustrations after his mechanical problem at Albert Park, but surprisingly he kept his head cool and made a statement in Malaysia. Rosberg was certainly mystified by the fact his team mate was much faster while burning less fuel and managing his tyres better. Then came Bahrain and Nico put on one of his best performances but he failed to convert his pole onto a win because Hamilton beat him in style, offering a master class of defending driving. After that Lewis won in China and now at Circuit de Catalunya making it 4-0 vs. Rosberg discounting his DNF. Nigel Mansell says wins make you stronger (and it was the impression I got from Seb’s great runs) but many are still waiting for the day Lewis loses his cool because that’s the way he is. Ignoring the fact Lewis Hamilton is killing his doubters softly, one race at a time.

        1. @jcost Fair enough comment but I never felt like many were doubting LH for this season nor were many handing NR the WDC. At least speaking for myself I thought that most, pre-season, were giving the nod to LH as the proven WDC and the one who bested NR last year. But for sure those who are doubters of LH have been quieted, yet isn’t what you are suggesting more about late-season happenings when the pressure has been at it’s greatest for LH? I’m sure even LH’s initial DNF had him still very confident after knowing what they did in pre-season testing, and seeing what NR was able to do in that first race, and all of this being such early days in a drastically new chapter.

          But anyway, absolutely if it comes down to the last race between the two, and forgetting the double points implications and considering simply driver performance in a final WDC decider, one can fairly ponder how LH will handle the pressure this time, while we will be seeing NR under the most pressure he has ever been in, for the first time. LH being the proven WDC with a competitive car and the opportunities they have provided over the years, will be pressured that he didn’t lock out NR earlier in the season, if in fact this all comes down to the final race.

        2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          14th May 2014, 15:59

          @jcost – These perceived generalizations about Hamilton might not necessarily be inaccurate. Yes, journalists commonly point at what are often completely incomparable events and join them up with some retrospective script writing to elude to some hugely broad trend regarding a driver in order to conjure up an article from thin air, but some have some substance.

          Hamilton’s perceived technical inability traces from the fair few weekends where Lewis has either gone the wrong way on setup or has negatively developed Friday’s findings, however, at Mercedes he clearly has a good group of people around him that know what he wants from the car, which has seen him snatch pole from jaws of defeat at Shanghai this year and at the Nurburgring last year. So whilst I would have no hesitation in saying Rosberg is technically superior (few can boast to have turned down an aeronautical engineering degree at Imperial College London to pursue what would end up being a championship victory in GP2 in 2005), Hamilton now has an excellent group of people around him to help him engineer his way to championship success. Personally, I think Hamilton setup woes versus Rosberg will have a minimal effect on the championship outcome.

          Lewis Hamilton is an emotive person, and that is simply a fact. As recently as Abu Dhabi last year Hamilton had something of an emotive outburst, clearly angry with himself for not extracting the most from the weekend. This year also Lewis has appeared gloomy in the Friday interviews following unsuccessful sessions, or angry on the radio when the race was going in his favour. That said, Hamilton has appeared extremely calm and confident throughout this year, and with wins breeding confidence and confidence breeding wins, Lewis is in something of a successful cycle. Rosberg will break that cycle at some point, but his reaction to the notion that someone else has done a better job with the same machinery will be crucial to his championship campaign.

          1. @william-brierty

            1. Humans are built to naturally accumulate knowledge, but there’s a way to accelerate that process and it’s called: formal education. We get to school to learn in a more organized and effective way. If you spend years doing a specific job, your understanding of the field will grow as years go by and most drivers who become F1 drivers have a long motor sports background that is pretty useful to succeed in F1, because as you know your “karting skills” alone will not make you a WDC.

            2. Lewis is emotive, and what’s wrong with that? When he fails people say it’s his emotions getting in the way but if someone else fails it’s something else? Nico made a mistake on his way trying to snap Lewis pole in China, was it related to any psychological fragility or just a simple mistake?

            3. Does a driver needs an engineering degree to set-up his car? Where did this Lewis lacking ability to set-up his car came from? I thought it was Rosberg the one studying deeply Lewis telemetry and not the other way around. Martin Brundle in his last race report suggested that Rosberg has a problem because Lewis beats him when he (Rosberg) has the best set-up and flies away when he (Lewis) has the best set-up.

            4. I can’t understand why Lewis should break-down at some point this season. Nico’s best chance to win this championship is Lewis collecting a few more DNFs because on track I don’t believe he will beat Lewis times enough to claim the title.

    15. According to sources from Pirelli, Ferrari gave Kimi used prime tires for his last stint. Kimi had completely unused prime tires available for the last stint, but for some reason Ferrari decided not to use them.
      Ferrari are truly ready to do everything what it takes to help ALO. Even sabotage Kimi’s race if that’s necessary.

      1. This link you provided to that claim seems to be invisible on my computer. Can anyone please tell me where to go to read this cold hard fact?

      2. Do you have a link?

          1. Well I don’t know what the race report says, but I would suggest Ferrari is in no position to be favouring either driver as they both need to work together to find solutions. I suggest that if they put used primes on KR’s car it is because they felt at that stage in the race, perhaps with the lighter fuel load, that would be the better way to go. It would serve no purpose whatsoever to sabotage one driver when both they and the team are so far behind.

          2. Sounds just like the kind of thing Ferrari would do.

            1. You are right, and here I am trying to defend them, but I think that is because I found sabotage such a strong word in this case. Perhaps they are trying to boost FA a bit, in sort of an apologetic way for not coming up with a car for him after he was vocal last year. And really, without approaching it from a cynical standpoint, KR is the “newby” on the team. But @maroonjack of course you are right that a famously one-rooster team is capable of this.

            2. Indeed, I was surprised to see Kimi so hampered on the last run.. his tyres went off very fast IMO. The clincher is them paying Kimi $10m and Alonso $20m.

            3. @fastiesty Assuming those figures are real (and few things are reported less reliably about drivers than their salaries) the drivers are paid what the market will bear. If someone else was willing to pay Alonso’s salary to Raikkonen, Raikkonen would be wearing different coloured overalls.

            4. @keithcollantine True, and Kimi’s retirement has affected his salary. Before that he was the highest paid driver, after Schumi, according to most reports. Ferrari did pay him that extra year’s salary.. I’m sure he’s negotiated for the extra year again, whether he wants it or not!

    16. The biggest difference between the two situations is that Nico Rosberg raced against Hamilton back in the late 1990’s, unlike Fernando Alonso. Alonso was already a double world champion when Hamilton got the drive at McLaren for the 2007 season, Lewis was an unknown to so many people at that time, a rookie.
      Fernando had all the pressure of being ‘the man’, the champion, who everybody expected would have to fight Kimi Raikkonen for the championship, not Lewis Hamilton. The rest, as they say, is history.
      But Hamilton is quite right, in terms of performance and intensity, Rosberg is without doubt the biggest threat Hamilton has had as a team mate in the last seven years for sure.
      My point is, how will the relationship progress? With Alonso the two drivers fell out quickly, much as Senna and Prost did in the 1989 season. If one driver feels that the other is getting the lion’s share of the teams attention, or if they come together on track as Webber and Vettel did in 2010, anything is possible. Mercedes find themselves in a fantastic position, but so did McLaren in 2007. What Mercedes must be
      wary of is that even with a great car, a season can unravel quickly, especially when you have two drivers who are openly at war with one another.

      1. @The Limit Very true. I am loving this rivalry, as it is what I would call a healthy one, but I have also had it in mind that it could change overnight. I don’t think it will be from one driver suspecting the other is being favoured on the team, but if it happens that there is a falling out I think it will be from contact on the track that will be perceived by one driver as being something more than just a racing incident.

        I think compared to Senna/Prost LH and NR are much more friendly for now, and some of the atmosphere between Senna and Prost was that Senna felt conspired against by Balestre which added a lot of tension to things. Also Senna was, in Prost’s opinion, willing to risk way more for wins and the WDC, which created a discrepancy in their approaches and philosophies. I think with SV/MW they not only came together in 2010, there was also the concept out there that the team was for SV, which is not the case at Merc this year.

        I suspect that Mercedes is well aware of the possibilities as this rivalry continues. It’s got to be like walking a tightrope, and so far we are all benefitting from the potency of it.

    17. They are very close to each other.

    18. Not suprised Ferrari would make a bid for Newey.
      Anyone serious about a great chassis, would be nuts to not even try to lure Adrian.

    Comments are closed.