There will be blood…?
Lewis Hamilton has come out swinging at Nico Rosberg after the German driver’s incident in qualifying at the Monaco GP, fuelling speculation about the state of the relationship between the long time competitors. In comments made after the press conference yesterday, he implied that he would push his teammate off the track in a similar way to how Ayrton Senna dealt with his rival Alain Prost at the turn of the 90s.
In the post qualifying press conference, the British driver’s generally refused to answer any questions and his smiles were tight. In an interview later that day with the BBC he made his views explicitly known.
“I should have known that was going to happen,” he said. When he was asked if he thought Nico Rosberg locked up his brakes deliberately to secure pole position, he replied “potentially”.
The comparison between the two Mercedes drivers and Prost and Senna is inevitable, and Lewis all but agreed that their relationship had reached similar levels of acrimony.
However, Hamilton escalated the situation by taking the comparison a step further. “I don’t know if Senna and Prost talked about it but I quite liked the way Senna dealt with that so I’ll take a page out of his book,” he said. This referred to the complete breakdown of the relationship which began in San Marino in 1989 and led to incidents between the arch rivals such as Senna famously driving Prost off the track in Japan in 1990.
It is a fascinating development: in a time when the personalities of the driver is so well controlled, to see tensions bubble over provides an interesting element to the game. Both drivers are hungry and have the same machinery, so it becomes a case of mental toughness and grit. The debate around whether Nico deliberately did lock up his brakes is one thing, but the way Lewis reacted is also of interest. What does Monaco have in store?
What one would do to be a fly on the wall in the Mercedes garage…