Start, Baku City Circuit, 2019

Past Mercedes drivers didn’t respect “rules of engagement” like Bottas – Hamilton

2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he expects his relationship with team mate Valtteri Bottas to remain harmonious as long as both continue to respect Mercedes’ “rules of engagement”.

The pair went wheel-to-wheel through the opening corners of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with Bottas ultimately emerging ahead and going on to win the race. Hamilton later said he would have been more aggressive if he had been racing a driver from another team.

In their third year together at Mercedes, there has been no sign yet of the tensions which persisted when Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were team mates.

Asked whether he expects his relationship with Bottas to remain constructive, Hamilton said: “I can’t tell you what’s going to happen further on in the year. I can’t judge if one’s character will change or not.

“But drivers in the past didn’t stick to the rules of engagement that we have as a team, and Valtteri and I do.”

There were several flashpoints in Hamilton and Rosberg’s relationship, notable in the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix when they collided within moments of the start. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said he is pleased with the partnership between his drivers.

Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2016
Hamilton and Rosberg’s relationship was strained
“I think we are lucky that they have a very good relationship,” he said. “They got on with each other. There is not a lot of games in the background and I am very happy about that.”

“But as a matter of fact we are conscious we’ve seen relationships deteriorate,” he added.

“We wouldn’t allow a relationship between drivers to deteriorate to the point that it has a negative effect on the team. If that would ever be the case again, after Nico and Lewis, we would issue yellow and red cards.

“But we are far away from that.”

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  • 89 comments on “Past Mercedes drivers didn’t respect “rules of engagement” like Bottas – Hamilton”

    1. I wonder what being on the other side feels like..
      Rewind back to Hungary or Germany last year, and what would Valtteri have to say about the rules of engagement ? “Copy James” ?

      1. Partisans, pro or anti Hamilton, will have divergent views on this.

        But the fact of the matter is that Bottas and Hamilton appear to have a relationship of mutual respect which was notably absent between Hamilton and Rosberg. Attempting to ascribe blame one way or the other is entirely missing the point.

      2. Indeed, it’s more ‘rules of obedience’ securing that the relationship remains harmonious. @webtel

        Germany last year is one of the best examples: Bottas was told to hold position when he was already alongside. No such radio call last weekend (and there should not be one).

        1. @coldfly Bottas was not allong side lewis, stop making stuff up. Bottas was given the chance and couldn’t overtake Lewis when the weathet was getting worse. Ferrari gave Kimi a order too and look what Vettel did with it..

          1. check TV footage and post race interviews, @noname.
            The actual radio message came exactly when he was alongside, though broadcasted later.

            1. @coldfly
              Bottas admitted Hamilton already pulled away before the order came. Hamilton’s tyres by then had already warmed up & he started to pull away. But Bottas was given his chance to overtake Hamilton, but couldn’t do it

            2. @coldfly still cold arent you?

              Bottas himself admitted he tried while ham’s tyres were cold, but he couldnt pass and by the time order given, ham warmed up and no point bottas came ahead of any corner, he only pulled along side thanx to slipstreaming and newer warmer tyres! stop trying to pull up rabit out of your tin foil hat guys!

        2. @coldfly
          That’s a nice way to put it.
          Its a shame that the rules of obedience apply to one driver.

    2. Hamilton is the one who is the guiltiest of breaking the “rules of engagement”. His moves weren’t necessarily “illegal”, but there’s no chance in hell he was prioritising the team over himself in those moments, when he would force Rosberg onto the grass with the aim of demoting him behind the Ferraris and the Red Bulls. Since there was no competition for Mercedes, it was swept under the carpet as a bit of a non-issue. And I believe that’s fair enough, but just don’t go making statements that make it seem like you were completely innocent and Rosberg was wholly to blame. That is just bitterness and arrogance in my book.

      1. Correction. It was actually Ros that pushed Ham onto the grass.

        1. 2015 USA, 2016 CAN, and I didn’t even have to Google it. And there were more than these.

          1. Canada 2014 Rosberg did the exact same thing to Hamilton as Canada 2016 so please explain how Hamilton started it? Confirmation Bias eh!

            1. Who said anything about “starting”? I was under the impression this was not a kindergarten playground, but clearly I was mistaken.

              I merely stated that Hamilton did the very same thing he accuses Rosberg with numerous times. I’m truly sorry if I upset you with this unpleasen view.

        2. Spain 2016 was only one incident. There are numerous examples of Hamilton’s exploits such as the ones @palagyi mentions (you can add Japan 2015 to that list), during which Hamilton purposely pushed Rosberg out wide in an attempt to demote him down the field. In Spain 2016, Rosberg’s intentions at least were not to bully Hamilton off the track, but rather to just close off the inside line and he just misjudged it due to the closing speed as he was in the wrong mode. Furthermore, Hamilton was never willing to follow team instructions, such as in Hungary 2014 which may have cost Mercedes a victory in that race, whereas Rosberg was at least willing to push his own agendas slightly aside for the good of the team in Monaco 2016. Had he not let Hamilton through, Ricciardo would almost certainly have won that race. The thing is, I somewhat understand his reasoning behind those decisions, as he was fighting for a world title, and needed every edge he could get. What I cannot agree or sympathize with is when he tries to act like the victim and apportion all blame to the other parties, which were far more innocent than he was.

          1. @mashiat good lord that is some level of nonsense.

            I suppose Monaco 2014 was a simple mistake too lmao.

            1. Stewards actually ruled it was a simple mistake, so it must be good enough for you. And it was ceratainly none less gentlemenlike than deliberately slowing down for an entire race distance to hold up Rosberg in the hope someone overtakes him.

            2. Well, Stewards ruled it must have been a simple mistake, because they knew of no clear evidence it wasn’t, and the driver in question was not that kind of guy, didn’t they?
              But there is the account from Brundle who completely changed his mind about it after he actually talked to some in the team.

        3. @ Yoseph

          In Spain 2016, Ricciardo was 3rd on the grid, right behind the Merc drivers when it happened. So, he saw it all. He placed the blame more on Rosberg. He said Rosberg squeezed Hamilton, didn’t leave Hamilton any room.

      2. Rotfl, Hamilton’s h@ters in full force trying to deny the obvious.

      3. Both Rosberg & Hamilton broke the rules sometimes, But it was actually Rosberg who was the first to draw blood. He started all the infighting and he caused the atmosphere between the 2 drivers to be one of mis-trust. It all started in Bahrain 2014. Rosberg, underhandedly, was using higher engine modes against team rules not to do so.

        1. There is no doubt that Hamilton’s race craft was far superior to Rosberg, but Hamilton spent a fair bit of time pulling some pretty rubbish moves on Rosberg. Extremely aggressive chops across Rosberg’s front wing were Hamilton’s specialty, with Rosberg’s quick reactions the only thing preventing a coming together – see Bahrain 2014 for some pretty good examples.

          This article is basically saying everything will be fine and dandy as long as cry baby Hamilton is kept happy. And don’t pretend it’s not – we all saw Hamilton when Button was giving him a spanking – he walked around with a face like a slapped backside, even tweeting the team’s top secret telemetry for heavens sake!

          I really don’t understand why a team like Mercedes would put up with it. It’s hardly like they need Hamilton to win races and championships! Put Max Chilton in that thing and he’ll be a WDC contender. Just a fact.

          1. I have a feeling that you dislike one of the drivers. That dislike is definitely clouding your judgement.

          2. Of all the ridiculous biased nonsense posts on here this has got to be top 5 mate. Hilarious read.

          3. @nick101

            we all saw Hamilton when Button was giving him a spanking

            Dude.. if you want people to take your comment seriously, then don’t type this kind of nonsense.

            2011 was a fantastic year for Button .. the best of his career. 2011 was also the worst year of Hamilton’s career. Yet, in 2011 Hamilton out qualified Button throughout the year and scored as many race wins as him. He crashed in to Massa on multiple occasions and had a lot of road rage moments, but he was still quicker than Button. Over the 3 years at Mclaren together.. it was Button that got a thrashing. Button was convincingly out qualified and outraced during those seasons. Heck, Lewis was fighting for wins and podiums in 2012 while Button was fighting back markers in the same machinery.

            1. 2011 was a fantastic year for Button .. the best of his career. 2011 was also the worst year of Hamilton’s career. Yet, in 2011 Hamilton out qualified Button throughout the year and scored as many race wins as him. He crashed in to Massa on multiple occasions and had a lot of road rage moments, but he was still quicker than Button. Over the 3 years at Mclaren together.. it was Button that got a thrashing. Button was convincingly out qualified and outraced during those seasons. Heck, Lewis was fighting for wins and podiums in 2012 while Button was fighting back markers in the same machinery.

              This. +1

            2. @todfod

              If you want anyone to take you seriously, then maybe you should read what I wrote.

              I said WHEN Button was giving Hamilton a spanking. WHEN. I didn’t say it happened all the time, but WHEN it did, Hamilton spit the dummy.

              If you’re going to deny Button ever spanked Hamilton then you’re about a disingenuous as they come.

            3. @nick101

              I said WHEN Button was giving Hamilton a spanking. WHEN. I didn’t say it happened all the time, but WHEN it did, Hamilton spit the dummy.

              Hamilton spanked himself that season. Button didn’t do anything other moan about massive understeer, massive oversteer and poor balance every time he was getting owned.

              I’m sure you think Rosberg ‘spanked’ Lewis as well…

              I’ve never come across a more biased and nonsensical comment on this site.

            4. @todfod

              So in the 3 years they were team mates, Button never beat Hamilton and Hamilton never reacted badly? Clearly you didn’t watch F1 between 2010 and 2012.

              You said you’ve never come across a more biased and nonsensical comment on this site? Just look back at what you just wrote!

              Although to be fair, you were probably crying yourself to sleep every night seeing your beloved Alonso miss out on the title all those years…including 2011 (which you seem to be obsessed with) when Button also beat him as well, not just Hamilton. Just saying.

              Not the only season Button beat Alonso either if I recall correctly…

            5. @nick101

              You’ve got a knack for posting rubbish comments followed by another piece of garbage. Button was beaten convincingly in 2010 and 2012 by Hamilton. He was out qualified.. Out raced.. Outscored and if it wasn’t for Hamilton’s mechanical DNFs in 2012, the gulf in class between those drivers would be even more apparent.

              Every driver gets beaten by their teammate once in a while.. Hardly what any reasonable human being calls ‘spanked’. And obviously Hamilton isn’t going to be happy on those occasions he’s going to get beat. Just like any other competitor on the grid.

              Regarding Button ‘beating’ Alonso… What a yoke. If Button was better than Alonso he’d still be on the grid right now.. Not forced in to retirement by a rubbish Mclaren. I’m sure you had to cry yourself to sleep when your beloved Jenson got that kind of treatment.

              The guy who ‘spanked’ Lewis and Alonso got dumped by a back marking team.

              Get your head checked

            6. @todfod

              Button was beaten convincingly in 2010 and 2012 by Hamilton

              Button was beaten convincingly by Hamilton in 2010? Once again, another stupid comment showing you either didn’t actually watch the 2010 season, or are just a bit slow. I’d lean towards the latter.

              Regarding Button ‘beating’ Alonso… What a yoke. If Button was better than Alonso he’d still be on the grid right now.. Not forced in to retirement by a rubbish Mclaren.

              Ummm…perhaps you can show me where I said that Button was better than Alonso? I’ll wait…

              And Button was forced nowhere – he had an option to race in 2017 but HE decided not to take it up. Unlike Alonso, who was not forced into retirement by a rubbish McLaren…

              …oh wait…

            7. @nick101

              Why don’t you do a lite reading.. Or maybe a fact check once in a while before spewing your garbage all over the internet. Heres an article that should refresh your memory and hopefully enlighten your daft mind – https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/hamilton-and-buttons-head-to-head-record-at-mclaren/3219323/

              End of discussion.

          4. Actually, as regards the “top secret telemetry”– Numerous people lamented that the telemetry didn’t have any sensitive information on it other than the acceleration and braking curves… which teams pretty much have via the GPS data these days anyway.

      4. The 1st incident was Bahrain 2014 when they fought hard but fair. Maybe Hamilton overstepped when he chopped across Rosberg going into T2 for the 1st time but it was marginal. The incidents in T4 were just normal running the person on the outside off the track if they are not really ahead by the apex.

        Then there was Monaco 2014 when Rosberg binned it. It looked dodgy from the onboard and Hamilton has seen the data so he knows if that was on purpose or not.

        There was also Canada 2014 where Rosberg forced Hamilton wide at T1 which dropped Hamilton behind Seb.

        Then there was Spa 2014 when Rosberg punctured Hamiltons Tyre. Funnily enough Rosberg said this was because he was not going to move out of the way of Hamilton and give no quarter but Hamilton took the same line Rosberg used against Schumacher a few years prior so that came off as a bit dishonest IMO.

        Looking at the history it was Rosberg who was the 1st to cause the other driver to lose places by running them wide into T1 and it was Rosberg who was the 1st to make contact when it could be avoided.

        In reality Hamilton just stepped it up to where Rosberg set the bar.

        OTOH when you look at Bottas vs Hamilton they have not made contact once and they have not forced each other off the track either. They both seem to race cleanly and they can both accept when they are defeated without putting each other in move or crash situations.

        1. The first incident that started it all was Bahrain 2014 Rosberg using engine settings. End of story.

          http://en.espn.co.uk/f1/motorsport/story/160127.html

    3. All gentlemanly fun and games at the moment. Lets see Ham say this at the end of the season with a couple of points in it.

    4. I don’t think there was a single instance where there was contact between the Merc drivers that wasn’t initiated or could’ve been avoided by Hamilton. Biggest blunder that comes to mind still is when he took out Rosberg and himself in Spain.

      But then again, Lewis is known for his distorted view of the past – still claims that the penalty in Spa was wrong. Most open-and-shut case of a penalty I’ve ever seen.

      1. Think again. You might come up with some cheating masterpieces like Monaco 2014, Belgium 2014 and yes, Barcelona 2016.
        Guess what? All of these brilliant episodes have Rosberg as the mastermind.
        No wonder he escaped from F1 once he finally was able to “win” once.

        1. You sound like a flat earther!

      2. So Austria 2016 was his fault too?

      3. How any person with 20:20 vision could blame Spain 2016 on Hamilton is beyond me.

        You clearly need to head to specsavers.

        How can someone force someone onto the gras fRoM BeHiND 🤪

        1. Well if you actually watch the footage, you can see Rosberg already aggressively closing the door before Hamilton got there. Hamilton committed himself and so did Rosberg. It was very line ball but I call it a racing incident. Hamilton didn’t get a significant portion of his car alongside Rosberg and then Rosberg shoved him off – it all happened simultaneously.

          1. As per the rules about when you could defend all the way to the inside on a stright the front wing overlapping the rear wheel is considered to be a ‘significant portion’.

            Hamilton had that level of overlap before any part of his car was on the grass. Due to that it was entirely Rosbergs fault. However due to the speed at which everything happened I can totally understand the decision to call it a racing incident.

          2. @nick101 Hamilton did get his front wing alongside. According to the rules that is enough.

        2. @RB13, if you read previous comments, someone with brain fart blamed for spain incident of ham of forcing rosberg into the grass too :)

      4. I don’t think there was a single instance where there was contact between the Merc drivers that wasn’t initiated or could’ve been avoided by Hamilton

        I don’t think there was a single instance where there was contact between the Merc drivers that wasn’t initiated or could’ve been avoided by Rosberg.

    5. Problem with the ,lets call it negative responses to Ham, is that Mercedes package wasn’t going to be beaten in past years it wasn’t even a contest (except 2017 on wards), as long as the Mercedes drivers brought the car home to bag the points.

      Therefore Ham and Ros fought hard, arguably Ham fought harder until Ros decided to be a lot more aggressive on track which potentially lead to points being lost for not just the drivers but the team. Barcelona crash where it was the only double DNF, due to driver errors, was shared blame and ultimately was never repeated. People blaming Ham over Ros and vice versa are being overly defensive of their favourite driver nothing more.

      I hope the other teams get to the same operating level of Mercedes and are not looking to one or two elements to just win it for them.

    6. Hamilton is a very very very good driver. But phew he does need a lot of mindgames, maintenance and attention…

      1. I agree with your statement. Said LH post-Baku… “And in the race I was too friendly at turn one and basically gave it to him.”

        So I’d like to hear what these rules of engagement are. Next time be less friendly? Only VB should respect the rules of engagement like I always do? Like disobeying the team and trying to back Nico into trouble in his Championship winning final race of 2016? You see LH, the rules of engagement are theoretical and you know it, and change depending on the circumstances.

        And let’s recall, TW was perfectly happy to have Nico through 2018 had Nico not wanted to retire, so…methinks TW will put up with whatever ‘rules of engagement’ the drivers sort out between themselves as long as the 1-2’s are there. After all, he has said numerous times that in order for Valtteri to step up his game vs LH the gloves are going to have to come off.

        Hopefully the rules of engagement are that they are going to race each other in the pinnacle of racing as the dominant team.

        1. @robbie

          another brain fart?
          “Like disobeying the team and trying to back Nico into trouble in his Championship winning final race of 2016?”

          Seriously?
          team won already some time ago, and wdc is still possible, what rule is there? since Spain, Rosberg has shown his ugly face and austria was just confirm it, if anything team should have kept quite as there was nothing else more for the team to gain! they only went on radio to show to factory they kind of didnt want them to fight for marketing purposes but no driver at that point would follow the team order and they knew it well!

          “You see LH, the rules of engagement are theoretical and you know it”
          Fart some more maybe you will relax on your Ham hate…

        2. @robbie

          Like disobeying the team and trying to back Nico into trouble in his Championship winning final race of 2016?

          That’s a terrible example. He was trying to win the WDC after they had already secured the WCC for Mercedes. What do you expect him to do? Let Rosberg win?

          Hopefully the rules of engagement are that they are going to race each other in the pinnacle of racing as the dominant team.

          Isn’t that what they’re doing currently?

          1. @todfod The point being the ‘rules of engagement’ can change at the drop of a hat. I’m only curious as to what LH defines as rules of engagement. Being too friendly? Saying he ‘basically gave VB the win?’ Presumably then doing something different the next time? Therefore are they actually racing each other yet? LH is saying it will be up to whether or not VB changes his character, not him, because of course it is only ‘others’ who have changed, not him. Meanwhile LH himself has tried to change the rules of engagement mid-race such as those numerous times he was trailing Nico and questioned the team’s strategy and asked for special treatment to get back ahead of him.

            The ‘rules of engagement’ are whatever suits LH at the time, yet he is trying to lay it all on ‘others’ and play the innocent martyr. As we are already seeing, LH says on the one hand VB deserved the win, and on the other hand he handed him the win. VB take note…the rules of engagement have begun to deteriorate already. Assume that LH won’t be friendly next time.

            1. you make sense in ham hating world mate, otherwise complete and utter rubbish…

              mercedes won manufacturer champs, and drivers was also confirmed to either one of the mercedes drivers! both were trying to win it! so it make no sense for team to meddle with it! rosberg would do 100% exactly the same thing! he said it himself, team managers said it as well, they just wanted to show they didnt want them to crash, but they knew very well that they couldnt do anything as either driver was going to get the championship… being aggressive doesnt mean being destructive like nico! if you cant see it, i think you should at least try to take off your tin foil hat of hate!

        3. No, the rules of engagement are to ensure Merc win the WCC and WDC. 2016 Abu Dahbi both of those objectives had already been met.
          It will also mean driving within the rules and regulations of F1. I can only ever recall Nico receiving a penalty from the stewards for his driving with Lewis (Austria 16). I don’t think it ever happened the other way around.

          1. Re those team orders in Abu Dhabi 2016.They were completety unnecessary & Wolff has said it’s the biggest regret of his career asking Hamilton to speed up. By doing this, he was essentially asking Hamilton to give up his championship hopes.

    7. Incoming Hamilton hate 5..4..3..2..1

      1. Hamilton in last race of 2016 was disgraceful, so I don’t know what on earth he is talking about here about rules of engagement. Also Spain 2016 was his own doing.

        1. With the WDC already wrapped up and 9 technical failures to ONE it was FAR from disgraceful.

          And Spain was 100% nico, stop talking nonsense.

          Vettel supporters clearly getting their kicks where they can these days.

          1. What has the amount of mechanical failures got to do with how a driver should conduct himself on a race track?

            1. Seeing how Mercedes failed Hamilton especially, Mercedes owed him.

            2. @f1osaurus Also seeing how Mercedes was the only reason Hamilton was even able to challenge for the WDC.

        2. @kpcart

          At Abu Dhabi 2016, just about every driver and team boss who was asked -including Rosberg- said that would be Hamilton’s best option to push Rosberg into range of the Ferrari’s and Red Bulls.

          And that was when they were asked about it BEFORE the race. After the race, not even Rosberg changed his stance on it.

          As for Spain 2016? At most, 50-50. Rosberg even admitted he’d started the race in the wrong engine mode so wasn’t able to get anywhere close to normal speed and he left it incredibly late to defend leaving Hamiltom -who in fairness was barreling up at tremendous speed and was aiming for the tiniest of gaps- nowhere to go.

        3. @kpcart Rosberg was on the wrong strat mode.

        4. Hamilton in last race of 2016 was disgraceful

          Nope

        5. Surprise surprise. You’re nothing if not predictable.

    8. Past Mercedes drivers? I’ve no idea who he could be talking about? Surely he can’t be taking a dig at Michael Schumacher or Juan Manuel Fangio? :) Lol

      1. I think he is talking about himself in the past tense.

        1. @socksolid – LOL, that’s quite the under-rated comment :)

    9. But, this “other driver” made it much more fun didn’t he?

      Unless Bottas 2.0 keeps it up

    10. GtisBetter (@)
      30th April 2019, 11:15

      Both lewis and rosberg knew they couldn’t afford to lose any point to the other. I think Hamilton isn’t convinced yet of the threat that bottas presents. Right now they both work to build up a difference between them and Vettel. In a couple of races when it’s clear it’s between them I suspect Lewis will ramp up the phsycogical games and stop giving things away.

      1. I agree although I suspect LH already sees him as a threat and is already in game playing mode with his ‘I was too friendly and basically gave it to him’ comment post-Baku. Even his suggestion of teammates obeying ‘rules of engagement’ like he always does and they don’t always, can be taken as head play that he expects VB to be ‘obedient’ to whatever defines ‘rules of engagement,’ which to LH appear to be…next time I’ll be less friendly.

        1. @robbie – very good viewpoint.

        2. @robbie hate and nonsense is strong with this one…

    11. Things are rosy now, but Bottas hasn’t given Hamilton a serious contest for the title yet whereas Rosberg fought him for 3 years. If Bottas’ current form continues I think that dynamic could change as the pressure builds.

    12. Lewis wasn’t really fair to Rosberg as well in some GPs. And if Bottas keeps getting points like he’s now, the gloves will come off soon. And they should if two drivers fight to win.

    13. In my opinion, both Lewis and Mercedes driver of the past (we can only be talking about either Rosberg or Schumacher here, and Schumacher was not on the team with Hamilton, so…) Rosberg were very tough on one another. Both went too far sometimes. I think that is a fair assessment, and I will tend to mistrust anyone who cannot agree with that. Neither were angels.

      That said, my problem with Hamilton’s statement here is that it comes on the heels of him saying he was too easy on Bottas in Baku. Well, which is it? You either want fair play from your teammate or you want to basically put him in the wall, because there was nowhere else for him to go. I imagine doing that once will curtail any further fair play.

      1. I will add that early on at Mercedes, Rosberg was told to hold station behind Hamilton and did. Bottas has done the same.

        Now that Hamilton and Bottas are running level, should Bottas get ahead, I’m curious if Hamilton will fall in line or not. Granted, I do not expect this to occur as I assume Hamilton will take the lead soon and win the title. But I am curious…

        1. @hobo Good point. Let’s not forget, Lewis and Nico were actually good and chummy as team-mates, until they found themselves competing against one another to win the championship (2014-2016). The rivalry only blew up in Monaco 2014, but it’s been brewing since 3 races earlier in Bharain.

          I actually think that Hamilton having more to say this weekend (after VB’s victory) is him already laying down the marker, and preparing himself for battle. Although there are still 17(?) races to go, the way things have panned out so far, it looks like 2019 will be Hamilton vs Bottas (assuming the Finn can maintain his momentum throughout the year).

          I don’t mind a title fight between team-mates, to be honest (even if it could mean a 100% win rate for Mercedes). 2014 and 2016 were actually memorable years, as far as title fights go: although the races were mostly processional, the back and forth between the Mercedes drivers from one weekend to another was exciting to follow. Hamilton’s raw pace and talent was astonishing to see, whereas Nico’s cleverness and tactical inclinations were fascinating in their own way.

          1. I actually think that Hamilton having more to say this weekend (after VB’s victory) is him already laying down the marker, and preparing himself for battle

            That’s pretty much how I see it. Naughty Bottas! Don’t be doing that again!

      2. It can be both.

        Hamilton could have been a bit harder on Bottas due to having the inside line without overstepping the rules of engagement they have. We do not know entirely what those rules are so it is entirely possible Lewis left more margin that was required of him.

        I can easily see that margin disappearing if Bottas looks to be the No1 threat for the WDC but as it stands Hamilton and Bottas are playing the long term team game which makes perfect sense after only 4 races.

        1. You’re correct, Andrew, Hamilton may want both. But I’m saying that I don’t think he can have both. If he wants fair play, he has to give it. If he wants to be able to play rough, he’ll either have to take it in return or have the team step in—which I don’t think anyone wants at this stage (not even him).

          With regards to Baku turns 1 and 2, and whatever margin existed between what occurred and what Hamilton meant by saying that he was “too friendly” and should have pushed harder… I would posit that it doesn’t really exist. There may have technically been a few centimeters/inches more he could have pushed, but that’s about it. And to what end? In my opinion, the only way pushing Bottas more gets Hamilton the place—without disaster for one or both—is if Bottas backs down. Bottas didn’t, and therefore I think Hamilton was left without any options.

          I think if Hamilton could have taken the place without risking both cars, he certainly would have. He is that good and that competitive. I struggle to think of a pass he could have made but chose to avoid. The fact that he did not take the place indicates (to me) that it was nearly impossible. Maybe it was the dusty side of the track, or maybe Hamilton’s tires were a hair colder. But I don’t think Hamilton gave Bottas room to be friendly. I think he did it because the move was not there to make cleanly.

          So my point was that (again in my opinion) he could not have it both ways. He can play clean and fair or he can play a game of chicken or bumper cars hoping for the best outcome. I like that he chose the former. However, I don’t really care for him saying that basically Bottas won because he (Hamilton) essentially let him. Nor does he need to worry about Rosberg. Hamilton will go down as the greatest maybe ever (or at least until the next Hamilton comes along), it would be cool for him to be above this petty part of F1.

          1. I would say Hamilton was soft and fair in Baku. He has room to step it up before it gets to unfair so it seems entirely plausible that he can play harder without causing problems.

            I also think If this was not a street track Hamilton would have run bottas out wider since he would have been able to do that without risking a crash.

    14. Not if f1 fans were to revisit their engagement footage pre-mercedes era, with other drivers.
      Too bad any driver, a German no less, dared to stand up for himself eventually.

    15. Like with Button and Rosberg I expect the media to start calling for Bottas to put his elbow out,And when they say put his elbow out,but what they mean is do some borderline dirty move alla Button and Rosberg,The FIA will not intefere,they get away with it ,Lewis will feel aggrieved,and voila the media have there story Lewis is easily rattled.
      Bottas will succumb and draw blood first then Lewis will respond in kind.There is always this black guy vs white tension that always exist between lewis and his teammate,that the media plays up and fans pretend dont exits.but you will allways see it mafest itself in statments like Button and Rosberg beat Lewis with intelligence and wit.offcourse they produce no evidence except one race…where blah bla…Lewis action this weekend is to show leadership and to start to building the case when he has to respond aggressively to Bottas.hey guys I was cool with Bottas until he first started….
      And if Bottas does keep it clean and fall behind,he will be more willing to tow the line to help Lewis,knowing that Lewis gave him a fair shot

      1. @spactus – I don’t know. I’m not trying to speak ill of anyone else but I don’t recall drivers like Hakkinen, Raikkonen, and Bottas playing dirty. I may be forgetting some foul play that one has done, so please correct me if I am. But I don’t see Bottas heading down that sort of path.

    16. Lewis’s experienced. Never been a huge sympathizer, but he plays it like a real multi-champ should.
      Of course it will all crumble and fall into hell-fire at some point. Guess there’s just no other way to go for…

    17. BlackJackFan
      1st May 2019, 3:52

      What a boring thread this article turned out to be… But you desired that, didn’t you…? ;-)
      I gave up after the first dozen comments…!

      1. Basically all the Vettel fans lurking who’ve had nothing to contribute for a while chucking their 2p in because they have nothing better to do or be happy about.

    18. Give them time. The stakes are not very high at the moment. But we already have Hamilton saying
      he was too kind in the last race. Who knows how far Bottas will go to defend his position if things start to get away from him later in the season and they are still fighting for the championship.

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