Belfast Telegraph

Niki Lauda wants swift end to Mercedes Formula 1 feud

By Ian Parkes

Niki Lauda has warned feuding Mercedes team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to start behaving like "grown-up" sportsmen rather than spoilt children.

Hamilton and Rosberg are currently not speaking to one another in the wake of a series of incidents that have led to a rapid disintegration in their relationship as they scrap for the Formula One world title.

There was undeniable tension on the podium between the duo following Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix, with neither man acknowledging the other despite a record-equalling fifth successive one-two for the team, spearheaded by Rosberg.

Lauda, Mercedes' non-executive chairman and a veritable father-figure to both drivers, said: "Before we go to Canada this will be solved. I will speak to them like I always do. They always call me when they have problems, so I think it will sort itself out.

"They're not children. They're grown-up professionals who have their difficulties, but I will help them to overcome them in a nice way and they will understand."

Suggested to Lauda the relationship between Hamilton and Rosberg was fast becoming as bitter as those between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost or Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet, the three-times world champion added: "It's normal. I had the same with Prost. I hated the guy, but at least I said 'hello' in the morning.

"There are certain limits, and these certain limits I can reintroduce because I speak their language – the drivers' language, and they do understand me, they like me, and there is no issue."

Of key concern for Lauda was Hamilton's attitude on the podium as he felt the 29-year-old was particularly in the wrong for not at least recognising Rosberg as victor.

Runner-up Hamilton, whose run of four straight wins is now over, showed clear signs of feeling aggrieved given the manner Rosberg clinched pole position on Saturday.

Rosberg was cleared of any wrongdoing by the stewards after locking up into Mirabeau and reversing back on to the track, resulting in yellow flags being waved that thwarted Hamilton on a quicker lap.

The Briton has suggested, after studying Rosberg's data, that something was untoward, resulting in him being second on the grid, second in the race, and four points behind in the standings.

Lauda feels he needs to remind Hamilton of his responsibilities to Mercedes as he said: "Lewis not happy finishing second is normal.

"But in the end he has to accept another guy was quicker. This is very simple in racing.

"What I did not like, and I will tell him this, is when you are up there and you don't say 'hello' to your team-mate, this is not good.

"It's not because I am well educated, but it's easy to fix."

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph