Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen have been trading a slender title for much of the season with the Belgian driver currently on top. Verstappen outscored Hamilton at the Turkish Grand Prix, and has a six point lead at the summit of the World Driver’s Championship with just six races to go. With the two drivers fiercely contesting the title, Hamilton’s long-time rival Rosberg yesterday offered Verstappen advice on how to beat the British driver in this season’s Formula 1 title race
Rosberg heaped praise on his former teammate, calling him the “best of all time” but added: “But, as is the case with any human, there are also some weaknesses.
He revealed to Square Mile: “Lewis also has these periods where he loses a bit of motivation ‒ he has these dips in form ‒ and there it’s important to maximise those moments, to keep him down for a bit longer.
“If all these ingredients come together you stand a chance.”
Hamilton and Rosberg endured a fierce rivalry between 2013 and 2016 while the pair were Mercedes teammates.
When the team delivered a completely dominant car in 2014, the World Championship became a two-horse race, and Hamilton and Rosberg’s childhood friendship deteriorated into a bitter rivalry.
In an unearthed video while the pair were still teammates, a Sky Sports interviewer asked Hamilton if he would “mend bridges with his friend”.
The driver bluntly replied: “Well, we’re not friends. “We are colleagues and we will work with the team to get as many one-twos and points as possible.”
The interviewer followed up by asking: “Does the fact you’ve known each other for a very long time not count for anything in terms of friendship?”
Hamilton appeared struck by the question, and mused for a moment before unenthusiastically responding: “Maybe.” The pair first became karting teammates at Mercedes Benz McLaren in 2000 when they were teenagers.
Robert Kubica, who raced with both drivers before Formula One, recalled how they would be competitive both on and off the track, and said: “They would even have races to eat pizza, always eating two at a time.”
However when the drivers joined Mercedes in F1 their friendship and healthy rivalry developed into a bitter feud.
In 2014 Hamilton sensationally accused Rosberg of deliberately crashing into him “to prove a point” during the controversial Belgian Grand Prix.
The pair touched as Rosberg attempted to overtake Hamilton, which caused the British driver to suffer a puncture and retire from the race.
In 2016 they also clashed in Austria, this time with Hamilton controversially claiming first place, while the same year saw the drivers take eachother out in a race in Spain.
During their stint as teammates Hamilton won the Formula One World Championship title twice, while Rosberg claimed victory once in 2016 before immediately retiring.
Together however, the Mercedes team utterly dominated, winning 54 of 78 races over four seasons.
Since retiring Rosberg has been complimentary of Hamilton’s driving, and this week told Sky he believed the Briton was more naturally gifted than F1 legend Michael Schumacher.
He said: “Lewis is just an extreme natural talent ‒ in terms of talent, he must probably be the best ever.
“And he builds on that, that instinct is phenomenal with him.”
Last year Hamilton equaled Schumacher’s record of seven World Championship wins.