Mercedes duo tussle as title battle steps up a gear

  • Published on 07 Jul 2014 14:24
  • comments 0
  • By: Rob Veenstra
Lewis Hamilton insists he is right back on track for the 2014 title. Ever since his 'tantrum' in Monaco, the Briton's earlier momentum swung wildly in Mercedes teamate Nico Rosberg's favour. "I still feel that the momentum is with me," Rosberg argued at Silverstone on Sunday, although thousands of Britons were still cheering as their hero Hamilton closed the deficit from 29 to just 4 points.

But the German had not been actually defeated by Hamilton, as he broke down from the lead with a gearbox problem. Rosberg said he won't let it get him down. "I was totally in command of the race so obviously it's disappointing. But I only use energy on things that I can influence," he is quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport. "This is in the past now. I have to try and accept it."

"Now we move on," said Rosberg. "It's very close between the two of us now, so at least that's good for those who follow formula one and for television," he is quoted by Spain's Marca. What is clear is that the 2014 title battle - dubbed 'Star Wars' by the excitable German media - is now stepping up a gear, as Hamilton's run of poor form apparently ends.

A newly-feisty Hamilton thinks he could have beaten Rosberg even without the German's failure. "I really felt that I had the pace on Nico," he said. "I really was hunting him down like never before. To be honest, I don't really feel anything for his retirement." What he does feel is that his era of funk is now behind him. "I really feel like I can refocus for the rest of the season," said Hamilton.

Even Rosberg's looming German grand prix, he insists, will not stand in his way. "I know whilst it (Hockenheim) is Nico's home grand prix, he doesn't have even one eighth of the support us Brits get here," said Hamilton at Silverstone.

The only thing left for the Briton to do on Sunday was to celebrate. He started with a victory doughnut - legalised for race winners in 2014 - for the Silverstone crowd. "Fingers crossed it didn't do anything to the gearbox," he smiled.

And then there was the trophy. Hamilton initially expressed disappointment with the flimsy, Santander-themed one presented to him on the podium, which promptly broke. "Where's the gold trophy, man?" he wondered. "(This is) plastic, it must cost ten pounds!"

In fact, the traditional RAC trophy was being closely watched by security guards, but it was later released to Hamilton's short-term custody for photo opportunities. "This one's a lot nicer. Real trophies, you know?" Hamilton beamed. (GMM)

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  • Team Mercedes
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