F1 Champ: No tension with German rival now

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has said that the tension with his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg has disappeared and added that he is still praying for Michael Schumacher to make a full recovery.

F1 Champ: No tension with German rival now
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at Mercedes' end of season party in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA

Hamilton's victory at Abu Dhabi in last Sunday's season finale saw him crowned world champion for the second time as he finished 67 points ahead of Rosberg after their battle for the 2014 title went to the wire.

The pair appeared at Mercedes' end of season party in Stuttgart in front of 50,000 fans with Hamilton saying all the friction between the pair during the season is now long gone.

"All the tension disappears and we have gone back to being two normal individuals, talking about the normal things guys talk about," said Hamilton when asked about relations with his team-mate.

Rosberg, who resumed testing on Tuesday, is already looking ahead to the 2015 season.

"I didn't reach my big goal, but there was a lot of positive things to take from the season and things I can perhaps do differently. I will focus on 2015," said the German.

Hamilton's contract expires at the end of next season and the Briton was relaxed about extension talks.

"I feel at home here and I also still have a contract until 2015, so there is no rush," he said with Rosberg under contract at Mercedes until 2017.

"I hope we can sit down and talk about it before Christmas."

Hamilton said he hopes to start a new era with Mercedes to dominate the world drivers championships in the seasons to come.

"It is totally possible, this is definitely the start of something special," added Hamilton who won his first world title in 2008.

"We have a great team and awesome management, we can build on that and if we continue what we have started this season, I don't think it's impossible.

"Many drivers will never be world champion, so you have to be grateful when it happens.

"I am very proud of what I have achieved so far with these two world titles."

Hamilton also revealed he prays for Formula One legend Michael Schumacher as Germany's seven-time world champion recovers from serious head injuries suffered in a skiing accident last December.

The Briton said he also often thinks of French driver Jules Bianchi who has been in a coma since October 5 after a crash in Japan.

"I often include Michael in my prayers, it is not easy to think that anything can happen in Formula One," said Hamilton.

"Just like with Jules Bianchi. He is such a talented guy — then he had a really bad accident. I hope both of them will get better soon."

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Austrian Formula One legend Niki Lauda dies at 70

Legendary Formula One driver Niki Lauda has died at the age of 70, his family said in a statement released to Austrian media early Tuesday.

Austrian Formula One legend Niki Lauda dies at 70
Photos: AFP

“With deep sadness, we announce that our beloved Niki has peacefully passed away with his family on Monday,” the statement read.

Lauda's death comes eight months after he underwent a lung transplant.

“His unique achievements as an athlete and entrepreneur are and will remain unforgettable, his tireless zest for action, his straightforwardness and his courage remain,” added the statement.

“A role model and a benchmark for all of us, he was a loving and caring husband, father and grandfather away from the public, and he will be missed.”

Lauda won the Formula One drivers' world championship three times, in 1975 and 1977 for Ferrari and in 1984 with McLaren.

“All at McLaren are deeply saddened to learn that our friend, colleague and 1984 Formula 1 World Champion, Niki Lauda, has passed away. Niki will forever be in our hearts and enshrined in our history. #RIPNiki,” his former team tweeted on their verified account.

Lauda had been non-executive chairman at Mercedes F1 since 2012 and he was instrumental in bringing in Lewis Hamilton to spark a run of success that has brought five consecutive world drivers' and constructors' championships.

During his driving career, Lauda suffered horrific injuries on August 1, 1976 when, having already won five races that season, his vehicle burst into flames on the Nuerburgring in Germany. 

He suffered severe burns on his face and hands, and inhaled toxic fumes which damaged his lungs.

Despite being given the last rites in hospital he made an almost miraculous recovery to race again just six weeks later still bandaged and in intense pain.