Hamilton thought Rosberg would crack under pressure

2014 Italian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton said he decided to attack his team mate immediately after the first round of pit stops because he believed he would crack under pressure.

Hamilton’s strategists advised him to hold back immediately after catching Nico Rosberg following their pit stops at Monza but Hamilton closed on his team mate instead. Shortly afterwards Rosberg made a mistake which handed Hamilton the win.

“I’ve got a great team of people that work with me during the race and always give me advice and really guiding me,” Hamilton told reporters after the race. “And it’s advice, it’s not ‘you have to do this’. And it’s for us to work together so they give me a bit of information, I have to take that and I have to decide how I use that.”

“And just at the time I felt like I had the pace on Nico and I felt like I had a good balance and I felt I’ve got to use it now otherwise the opportunity will not come later on, I was certain of it.

“Because in the first stint I caught up but my tyres were old, sliding all over the place, I couldn’t get close enough. So I knew that would be the best time to do it and put pressure on him. I did it a couple of races ago and he doesn’t seem to like it do I’ll try and do it always now.”

Hamilton had to fight back after losing three places when the race began when his start mode failed to engage.

“It’s a launch button that we press – and everyone will have it – which engages a launch map<" he explained. "So when you stop, you do your bite point find, and then you select gear and you accelerate a little bit and the map helps you control the rpm and then you let the clutch out and do the perfect start." "And it wasn't working so I pressed it for the formation lap, didn't work so I pulled away. And then I thought 'no problem, it'll work on the next time'. "And it didn't, and so I had to just floor it and nailed it and was just wheelspinning on the spot so everyone got a much better start but I'm really grateful that I was able to not lose too many places." Hamilton said that after that he had to tell himself it was still possible to win the race. "Today was another hard day but I loved every minute of it, to be honest," he said. "Of course when you have those issues, particularly knowing how quick Nico would be and the position I was, I was like I'm never going to be able to catch this back." "But you can't let that kind of sink to deep into your thoughts. You just have to think 'I can do it'."

2014 Italian 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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104 comments on “Hamilton thought Rosberg would crack under pressure”

  1. Hamilton is so full of himself. How utterly arrogant

    He is trying to provoke a confrontation. Very unsportsmanlike.

    1. Every time he has been under pressure he made those types of mistakes: Monaco, Canada and even Belgium. Personally I agree with Hamilton and I am not going to criticize him for telling truth.

      1. *the –>

    2. I can understand that sometimes what he has tweeted or said can sometimes be taken badly. But if you’d watched the interview I don’t think that any major offence could be taken. Sometimes seeing comments in print can cause a different tone to be interpreted. From my view very mature and experienced driving & insight

    3. Read the actual words, not the headline. It is very reveling and utterly nothing like you are tying to make out.

      He uses the words pressure, nothing about cracking.

      1. Well said…

    4. No he isn’t. He just said what exactly happened. Hamilton put Rosberg under pressure, forcing Rosberg to make a mistake.

    5. Sports is all about provoking confrontations within the rules and see who cracks. See who has both the physical and yes, MENTAL skill to prevail. I thought HAM did a superb job all around this weekend, both driving and mentally. If he can stay in the mental sweet spot he was in this weekend and has no more serious mechanical issues, he will win the championship no question.

      1. which is quite surprising, maybe it was luck, as usually Hamilton has the weak head. he did great this weekend.

        1. Agree. He has made a mental adjustment in the interval since Spa (maybe it was how the team ended up handling the confrontation?) but he was in a very level-headed mood and very team-oriented this weekend. Maybe, just maybe, he’s finally seeing the bigger picture, which is really good news for all his other weapons.

    6. @sridhar

      Did you watch the interview or just read the headline ? Even reading the article you can see it wasn’t him being arrogant.

    7. Trenthamfolk (@)
      7th September 2014, 17:02

      Lol… is all I’ll say!

    8. Dude – do you actually read the words or better yet, listen to the interview(s)?

    9. Sridhar, sounds like you are the one trying to provoke a confrontation.

    10. Did you actually listened to Lewis interview or just decide he is arrogant because of your dislike for him? Even, Nico just confirmed that he cracked under Lewis pressure on Sky News now. What more do you people want from Lewis before you stop hating on him?

  2. Comon! That were team orders Louis and you know it

    1. Louis??.. Louis Vuitton or??.. I think he is dead! I don´t know if it was a team order behind his dead!

      By the way, I´m pretty sure it was NO team order from Mercedes to Lewis Hamilton at Monza, but I´m not sure if You are intressed in that.

  3. Yeh! Winning is so unsportman like!!!!

  4. I don’t think he knew Rosberg would crack, he’s telling so, because he plays some mind games. Yes, he made one mistake, but if I were him, I wouldn’t have expected Rosberg to repeat the same mistake.

    1. Rosberg has been acting desperate for a few races now. It’s pretty clear the pressure is getting to him.

      1. Rosberg isn’t quite desperate yet…..but let a few mechanical gremlins effect his car the way they have Lewis’ in qualifying and in the races…then you will see that man sweat…because in his heart he knows that if the bad luck Lewis has suffered this season had befallen him, this championship would already be over with Lewis well and truly sprinting off in the points.

    2. At Canada Rosberg missed a chicane when under pressure from Hamilton, closing in on him fast. Same scenario, same result. A repeat actually does seem very possible.

    3. I think he knew…ROS made the same mistake before ..same place….without HAM direct pressure.
      Looks like ROS is loosing his cool. Plus now the mind games are evident.
      Last race, that banzai move on HAM was not precisely on a cool head…It was just the 2nd lap!
      He is really feeling the pressure by now.

      1. I think Lewis needs to play the tough mind game with Nico ,

        Nico smells gold but he’s never been in this position ,

        Lewis has been in pressure situations from his first F1 ,

        It’s all still to play for !!

        These guys are going into life and death battle now, (cue music) BA BAH BARMMMMMM!!!!!!!

        It’s getting better and better ,

        We’ll scripted Bernie
        I’m loving this season

        1. would have been an even better season if Renault and Ferrari hadn’t f-d up their powertrains. Mercedes took them to school on the engine, and the chassis ain’t too bad either. Guess my next road car will have to be a Merc. Hope I can afford one.

  5. He’s not being arrogant he’s telling the truth, he only said he wanted to apply pressure on Rosberg and see what happens as after the stops as Hamilton is better on brand new tires, it also worked. He did the same thing at Silverstone after the stops Hamilton was mighty, and then like now a Nico problem prevented us from having a battle.

    1. +1. I was expecting a nice battle. HAM was inching up around 0.2 seconds per lap and was already around 1.20 seconds behind….only 0.2 secs (1 or 2 laps) before HAM could get into the DRS option and then have a full attack on ROS.

      Damn we missed that ! I t should have been a phenomenal duel !

      1. He was .6 behind at that point, so the next lap he was gonna be a lot closer, maybe .2 or something.

  6. Hamilton needs mental positivity, when he is on a high he wins, but when he is under pressure he cracks. he got lucky that rosberg cracked today, but looking at the time intervals between them today, Hamilton can not dominate Rosberg like champions like Vettel, Alonso and Schumacher dominated their teammates. the end result for this season is a toss up, both drivers not in the best 3 in the sport, both make too many mistakes. one will winn the championship and be remembered for may years as a true f1 champion. if only the series was designed in a way that the series was equal in machinery – yet still the fastest in the world, then we would have a true drivers championship, and this year Ricciardo and Alonso would be the ones fighting for the championship not these 2 Mercedes clowns.

    1. There are plenty of spec car series out there. The engineering and car development is part of what makes F1 what it is.

    2. lewis has had so many knocks this season,and bounced back.australi,monaco,hungary,germany,spa etc.so to say he cracks under pressure despite winning after getting a puncture in the last race,and having a glitch at the start of this race,proves your claims wrong.

  7. Well i guess it really is true that the germans don’t like it up ’em…

  8. To be honest, after seeing the replay of Rosberg’s second “mistake”, I’m inclined to believe that it was probably team orders.

    Nico could have quite comfortably made the chicane (IMO) – even if he didn’t – cutting the edge of the chicane (Bottas-Magnussen) would have lost him far less time than going through the twisty route.

    Rosberg also was strangely slow when Hamilton past him, then suddenly sped up and kept the gap at 4 seconds for the rest of the race.

    Likewise, if the mistake was genuine, he surely wouldn’t look as happy and cheery on the podium as he did.

    I’m usually not the first to buy conspiracy theories, but this one is more likely to be true IMO.

    1. Hmm I just think he didn’t want to risk flat spotting his tyres so early into 30 lap stint

      1. +1, most probable.

      2. Yeah he did mention that in the Sky interview

    2. And Rosberg will just yield to the team orders yeah

      1. If issued like that (response to Spa), he would have to – or they could impose something even worse.

    3. Look at malaysia 2013 and how uncomfortable hamilton was knowing he didnt deserve the podium place due to team orders. If this was team orders then there’s no way he knew about it.

    4. He didn’t keep the gap at 4 seconds.
      Hamilton build that gap.
      When Rosberg made that mistake, the advantage Hamilton had was less than 2 seconds.
      He build it up to 4 than went on cruise mode.

      Hamilton had a better set up for his car all weekend. Wasn’t for the bad start, it would be like this the whole race.

    5. Nonsense.

      If he wanted to give him the place he could very easily have done a slow in and/or outlap from his pitstop, it wouldnt have looked obvious to the naked eye, and he wouldn’t have risked ruining his tyres by locking wheels.

      Despite Hamilton falling back to 4th at the start and Rosberg having clear air, he couldn’t pull away, then when Hamilton got past the slower cars and caught right onto the back of Rosberg and stayed within 1.3secs for about 20 laps, which shows he had a bit more pace than Rosberg, when you can stay that close for so long in turbulant air. Evidently once Hamilton got past Rosberg, the gap grew to almost 5seconds to a point where Hamilton could just manage his pace and not over work his car/tyres

    6. explain why they told lewis to stay 2.5 seconds behind nico,if they were planning that deliberate move….

      1. Matt can you explain me why Toto smiled after Rosberg missed the first chicane and took the escape road the second time in the race?

        1. Maybe because Hamilton was going to catch Rosberg anyway, and by Rosberg making a mistake Toto didn’t have to worry about them crashing.

          That was the best way for Hamilton to get in front of Rosberg for Mercedes hence the smile. It does not mean Mercedes ordered it to happen.

          1. Toto could also just still be kinda mad at Rosberg for Spa. You don’t know what’s going on in that team and I know people sometimes like to think Rosberg is the team favourite but it’s pretty clear that Lauda prefers Hamilton and maybe Paddy and Toto do too, doesn’t mean they will act on it at all but you can’t help it if you prefer someones attitude as a person/racer.

        2. Toto smiled even more with a bit of a shake of the head when Nico couldnt overtake Vettel in Spa and ran straight flatspotting his tyres. So what happened then? Another deal?

    7. Agree with you @kingshark , also Toto’s smile after that second mistake by Rosberg makes me think that this was the other ‘disciplinary action’ they took on Rosberg besides the monetary penalty .

      1. Yeah, the disciplinary action is “hand over the lead you’re about to lose anyway”.

        A really light action, i must say.

        1. Yeah, the disciplinary action is “hand over the lead you’re about to lose anyway”.

          Lewis couldn’t get past Nico in Canada on track despite being over 0.5 sec/lap quicker, so I doubt he would have passed him here.

          1. In that case why did Roseberg cut the chicane. and for your info Ham did pass him and lost the place again because of brake problem. How many time has Rosberg beaten Hamilton on track by passing him without any controversy?

          2. NB:Hamilton made the pass just before his brakes went.

          3. @dmw

            NB:Hamilton made the pass just before his brakes went.

            Yeah, in the pits.

            Lewis was at no point even able to pull alongside Nico in Canada, despite being half a second/lap faster on the prime tyres.

          4. My bad—Rosberg just went off under pressure, beginning a theme with him. In the pits, on the road, off the road, whatever, bottom line is that Rosberg has yet to beat Hamilton in a fight on the track. Maybe he is not as hungry, amirite?

      2. Mark in Florida
        7th September 2014, 21:10

        Yes the Mercedes team strategy is to mentally beat Rosberg down for the win when the Fia said there was nothing to punish. Then they supposedly fined him for the incident on top of that. Mentally cracked? When your own team won’t have your back. When you’re leading the championship and they declare to the media that your some kind of pariah within the team do you wonder why he’s under so much pressure? Toto go back to oz your no good here.

    8. You’re buying into an Eddie Jordan conspiracy. One that has a huge number of holes. For it to work, we have to have:

      A) Mercedes knew Lewis would bog at the start
      B) Mercedes knew Lewis would recover, and be a threat
      C) Mercedes either used a better code than the Enigma device, or were relying to Nico to determine the best time to screw up his own race.

      All of this after Nico was forced to make a large donation to charity and to publicly apologize for an incident that he’d been defending for two weeks as “not his fault”.

      Seriously– the flat earth society has better logic than this.

    9. @kingshark I find the idea that Rosberg would not only willingly give up a victory to Hamilton, but do so in a fashion that makes himself look incompetent, to be extremely unrealistic.

    10. Nico could have quite comfortably made the chicane (IMO) – even if he didn’t – cutting the edge of the chicane (Bottas-Magnussen) would have lost him far less time than going through the twisty route.

      No because going over the bumps at speed would definitely launch you off the track (remember Chilton) so in order to go over the bumps safely he would have to slow way down, which would mean a slow get away down to the chicane which puts Lewis in position to overtake him into the second chicane.

      Rosberg also was strangely slow when Hamilton past him, then suddenly sped up and kept the gap at 4 seconds for the rest of the race.

      Going off that escape route you pick up dust which given there’s not too many corners in this track, takes time to rub off. You also loose some tyre temps which will take some time to get back. That plus Lewis being .2 faster in sector 2 could contribute to him losing the time. Plus he didn’t lose 4s all at once.

      Likewise, if the mistake was genuine, he surely wouldn’t look as happy and cheery on the podium as he did.

      I don’t think he was looking happy at all. Even his interviews sounded a bit down. I don’t know what he said in Italian but it looks like the boos got to him a bit.

      1. Are we actually sure that the smiling Wolff footage was because of Nico’s error , ????

        New conspiracy, even the TV director knew Rosberg was going to yield by cutting through the scenery, !!!!

        Isn’t that called match fixing ????

  9. That move was satisfying. Take that, Rosberg. More to come!!!!

  10. I remember specifically looking at Hamilton’s times in his race simulation during practice & comparing them with Rosbergs. Rosberg was lapping in 1:29s & 1:30s whereas Lewis was in the 28s & 29s never once dropped into the 30s. I wasn’t surprised after Lewis made his pit stop & was on the hard tyre that he started to draw Nico in. Obviously we know they share data so both drivers knew the situation so the pressure was Nico, I think that, & when Nico saw Lewis coming he did crack. Nothing controversial about that.

    1. The thing is Lewis did only 3 or so laps in P2 in his long runs, so I’m not sure it would have been enough data for Nico to look at. Secondly, given Nico didn’t have P3 he couldn’t really apply anything he may have learned until the race. Third, maybe Lewis kept some things until qualifying, especially in sector 2.

      1. The race simulation Hamilton did was at the beginning of P3. A 10 lap race sim; he set his fastest lap on the last lap of the sim putting in a 1:27.9, the rest 1:28’s & 29’s compared to Nico’s race sim of high 1:29’s & 30’s – admittedly done during P2 but conditions were similar & Monza is an active track so would have already been well rubbered in before P1.

        1. He also did a short long run stint in P2 when he came out late, at that point he was about .3 faster than Nico on his long run.

  11. keith,why the misleading headline,,,where does lewis say he believed nico would crack under pressure.

    1. Click-bait headlining, no big deal really, everybody does it. Does that make it ethical? Jury’s out on that.

    2. @keithcollantine why so misleading? :-(

    3. @wil-liam @ssm0304

      “I knew that would be the best time to do it and put pressure on him. I did it a couple of races ago and he doesn’t seem to like it do I’ll try and do it always now.”

      The headline is a fair and representative paraphrasing of what Hamilton said. It is not a direct quote which is why there are no quote marks.

      1. The headline is far from fair. It’s borderline irresponsible.

        “I knew that would be the best time to do it and put pressure on him. I did it a couple of races ago and he doesn’t seem to like it do I’ll try and do it always now.”

        How does the above mean Hamilton thought Rosberg would crack under pressure? Hamilton put pressure on Rosberg because he thought Rosberg wouldn’t like it. No where did he imply that Rosberg would actually crumble under said pressure.

        1. He saw Nico locking up a few times before so probably thought I’ll put the pressure and see what happens. After all its hard to overtake a car in Monza especially if you have the same speed so one way is to apply pressure.

        2. @trublu Hamilton pointed out that Rosberg had made a mistake under pressure before and said that’s why he chose to do it again. He didn’t do it because he thought Rosberg wouldn’t respond, did he?

          And “irresponsible”, really? That kind of ludicrous over-reaction reveals these kind of complaints for cheap points-scoring they are.

      2. Poor journalism, no excuses. Lots of people seem to disagree with you Keith, best just man up and accept that not everyone is going to agree with you putting words into a drivers mouth.

        1. No I haven’t, for the reasons explained above. If you want to persuade me otherwise you’ll have to do more than insist I should cave in because a handful of people have disagreed with me. Which apparently is your definition of ‘manning up’.

          1. Each to their own Keith, I don’t expect you agree with me, and my post suggests you note the number of criticisms not change your whole point of view. Kudos for replying to posts at all though lots of the journos/bloggers/commentators don’t.

  12. With or without Rosberg’s mistake, Hamilton would have won this race. He looked very comfortable and fast throughout the weekend, so congratulations to him.

    1. @mjf1fan
      Catching a car is one thing, passing is another.

      1. @Nayank: I agree with you…
        @ Kingshark: Thai is true
        Oh well, It was very unfortunate for us spectators that ROS made a mistake when HAM was getting close to the 1 second DRS enabling.

      2. @kingshark

        Although Rosberg had less downforce and a bit more top speed than Hamilton, Hamilton would have passed him IMO. As i said Hamilton looked very confortable throughout the weekend whereas, Rosberg was bit down mentally this weekend. He was not upto his game and the aftermath of Spa incident has taken a good toll on him.

        All we can now hope is that Rosberg regains his confidence and we can see a fair and tight battle between him and Hamilton in Singapore.

        1. +1
          Yep , ros and ham can duke it out chasing Dan Ricciardo San !!!!!


  13. Stay classy Lewis. Best remember no driver has crumbled under pressure quite to the level you did in 2007.

    1. Must mention that I rate him as a great driver. Just wish he would let his driving to the talking from time to time. Its clear that he is the faster of the Merc drivers.

      1. You clearly didn’t watch the interview or read the article.

    2. Hamilton crumbled under pressure in 2007?

      Interesting. I seem to remember him driving around on a damp track on tyres where you could visibly see the carcass while his team kept going against his requests to pit. Because in typical McLaren fashion, they where busy looking at weather radars instead of looking at the situation infront of them, something they are famous for. Sure, Hamilton could have forced a pitstop sooner, thats a poor decision on his part, but a crack under pressure? I think certain people are confusing different situations.

      Thats brings us to Brazil, where his gearbox malfunctioned. I guess some people expect him to be able to drive a car…..without drive. Still, when his car fired back up, he drove back into 7th from being 20+seconds behind the very back of the field. If thats cracking to you, then, you have some seriously twisted expectations.

      1. Talk about only telling half the story.

        In China, both Raikkonen and Alonso were on the same tyres as Hamilton in the same conditions. Lewis just ate through his inters much more rapidly than the other two.

        In Brazil, he ran wide twice in the opening 5 laps or so. Once when trying to overtake Alonso on lap 1, and then in the same corner a few laps later when chasing Heidfeld.

        In Brazil 2008, he also almost threw away what should have been a relatively easy title.

        Hamilton is far from immune to cracking under pressure.

        1. “In China, both Raikkonen and Alonso were on the same tyres as Hamilton in the same conditions. Lewis just ate through his inters much more rapidly than the other two.”

          Hamiton using his tyres differently is completely irrelvent to the OP’s point that he cracked under pressure. Car setup/Driving style/Stint length all contribute to the tyre wear. Alonsos and Raikonens tyres were not in the same state Hamiltons where when he tried to take that sharp/slow left hander into the pit on tyres with literaly no tread on them.

          “In Brazil, he ran wide twice in the opening 5 laps or so. Once when trying to overtake Alonso on lap 1, and then in the same corner a few laps later when chasing Heidfeld.”

          Again, irrelevent to Hamiltons title chances. Hamilton ran wide the first time to avoid a car infront, he showed immense reactions, actually. Most other drivers would have ploughed into the back of Alonso at that point. And regardless, that off-track moment was not detrimental to his title chances since he was still in the top 5 and had an entire race length to either stay there or improve his position, given that he finished 7th after being dropped around 25+ seconds from the back back of the entire field, indicates he’d had finished easily in the top 5 if not for that utterly bizzare gearbox problem.

        2. “In Brazil 2008, he also almost threw away what should have been a relatively easy title.”

          Funny how you pick out one race of the whole year and try to use that to make your nonsensical point. First of all, Hamilton did an immense job in Brazil in an extremely difficult race with difficult changable conditions, where, when the weather is changing like it was, could have gone anyones way (Go watch Raikonen in Brazil 2008). Secondly, if you do some maths, you’ll know the Ferrari was by-and-large a faster car that year, Hamilton won that title despite some extremely dodgy decisions earlier in the year and would have won it much more convincingly if not for those.

  14. You’d be stupid to believe that the second case was team orders. Rosberg simply made a mistake under pressure, and we could see that he was under pressure, and let his main championship rival into the lead of the Grand Prix. I’m beginning to believe that the pendulum is swinging in Hamilton’s favour once again, as he has delivered a massively important result today heading into the final flyaways.

  15. On sky at least Lewis carefully avoided saying he thought Rosberg would crack under pressure.

    On the conspiracy theory I said after Spa that if it were my team I’d make Nico equallise the points before he was allowed to start racing again. I really doubt Toto heeded my advice tho :) I reckon his grin when Nico went off was just that he has a sense of justice like most of us.

  16. This title is so misleading. It’s just an attempt to sensational the issue just create more controversial among fans. Poor journalism Keith!

    1. @1abe It’s not misleading at all as I explained above.

  17. People saying that Rosberg’s moves wasn’t a mistake is the same that believes Monaco’s qualification move was a real mistake…

    1. Yea, kind of neat summation

  18. Well executed team orders by Mercedes after Hamilton’s start went south with the electronics or whatever issue . That is what I am taking about . That is how bosses run the race. He almost gave it out in the interview. Good Job Toto !!!!

    Rosberg did a good job of doing the practice run in the chicane before the actual move. The practice run was smooth and so was the actual one. Remember how Nelson piquet did the practice spin at SGP. Good job Nico !!!!!

    To finish up the show the usual media stunt by Lewis !!! I put on the pressure , Nico cracked under pressure . Good Job Lewis !!!!

    Great work Mercedes Team !!!! Based on how Lewis’s contract gets negotiated between now and the end of the year. Mercedes team can create such interesting races based on their preference on the terms of the contract. Way to Go !!!!!

    I am not a conspiracy theorist but I could not miss the strange nuances this time.

  19. Rosberg looks utterly drained in the post race interview, Hamilton full of energy. These last few races have taken a big toll on Rosberg.

  20. Poor journalism with the OTT headline, I’m not reading The Daily Mail am I?

    Anyone else notice how Rosberg spoke only in Italian in the pre-podium room? To the engineer, then Massa, only Lewis who wasn’t able to understand. Mind games all the time between Rosberg and Hamilton. As a neutral I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.

    1. There’s nothing wrong with the headline as I’ve already explained and which you appear to have chosen to ignore.

      1. I didn’t ignore it, I disagree with your stance, that’s all.

        1. Apologies, I hadn’t seen that comment as it hadn’t been published yet. I’ve now replied to it.

  21. The gamesmanship between Rosberg and Hamilton is great. Rosberg speaking only in Italian in the pre-podium room was interesting. Only Hamilton in there couldn’t speak Italian and Rosberg effectively excluded him from what was being said. The run in to Abu Dhabi should be good, lots of needle and no doubt some more controversies.

    1. @twoshots Yeah I noticed that. I thought it was a bit like saying: “Okay you won the car-racing, well I have my 5 languages so yah.” But it’s not a language competition…

      1. I bet Hamilton was thinking “You can keep your Italian language skills i will keep my Italian winners trophy”.

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