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Mercedes could thrive without Hamilton, Rosberg - Hakkinen

  • Published on 03 Dec 2015 10:24
  • comments 2
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are not the only drivers who could win at the wheel of their Mercedes. That is the claim of former double world champion Mika Hakkinen, as Mercedes chief Toto Wolff issued an alarming warning that the dominant German camp might have to re-think the current shape of its driver lineup.

Between them, back-to-back champion Hamilton and his German teammate Rosberg utterly dominated in 2015, winning a record-equalling 16 of the 19 grands prix. But, as in 2014, their battle has ended in personal acrimony, with the pair exchanging barbs at the season-ending Abu Dhabi grand prix last weekend. "Let's skip that part," Rosberg said when asked if he might celebrate Mercedes' season over dinner with Hamilton.

As for whether Christmas cards or presents might be exchanged, Hamilton added: "I don't think we've ever done either so there's no reason to change." But Wolff has told a website this week that the ill-feeling is not only taking place publicly, but also behind the scenes at Mercedes.

So as for whether Mercedes could continue to thrive without Hamilton or Rosberg at the wheel, retired F1 veteran Hakkinen answered: "Good question. Mercedes has a dominant car, so there are certainly a number of other drivers who could win the championship with it," he told his sponsor Hermes in an interview. "But the list is not very long because the team also needs the skills of the driver to develop the car. And experience also plays a significant role," the Finn added.

But Hamilton is quoted by the British newspaper The Sun as saying "fierce competition" between himself and teammate Rosberg is normal. "Look at Serena Williams," he said. "When she is fighting for titles, I'm sure whoever she is competing against is not her best friend. But in F1 you are teammates, with the priority to win the constructors' championship, and we work collectively. When Nico wins a race I need to back him up, and vice versa, and what we do together - in terms of pushing the car and team forward - is hopefully inspiring them, motivating the guys. That's our goal," added Hamilton. (GMM)

Replies (2)

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  • ianf1

    Posts: 185

    It's not rocket science, probably any of the non 'pay' drivers would win in the best car. It's just luck of the draw for which team a particular driver is in when the technical side also hits a sweet spot. Witness LH / merc vs FA / Maclaren - it doesn't matter how good the driver is if the car is no good.

    There will always be friction, no matter who they are, when you get two drivers of similar ability in a winning car; less so in a midfield car.

    • + 0
    • Dec 3 2015 - 11:46
  • Pompey

    Posts: 84

    Mercedes are killing F1 with their typical German 'Domination at all costs' attitude. For the first time since the early seventies I switched off a Grand Prix before the finish. Such is the domination of the team, even down to its drivers, dictating how a driver should drive the car. Controlling the race from the pit wall, is it any wonder LH AND NR are so miserable. As for being "Free" to race and then not giving a driver the freedom of choice, to make a decision based on 'The seat of their pants'. NO, the 'TEAM MUST COME FIRST' hence having to watch LH drive on tyres for more laps whilst losing time. A tyre change one lap after NR would have provided a proper race to the finish but the "TEAM" had to assert themselves and so killed the race. The "Fierce competition" between the drivers is a farce as long as there is a radio between the pit wall and the drivers.

    • + 0
    • Dec 3 2015 - 16:36

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