Lewis Hamilton dismisses "doesn't care" claims

Published on 15 Dec 2016 17:24

Lewis Hamilton has denied that he "doesn't care" who partners him at Mercedes in 2017.

The Silver Arrows will have a new driver racing alongside Hamilton next year after Nico Rosberg's decision to retire, and it had previously been reported that Hamilton was not concerned by who was in the second car.

Now, however, he has denied that, revealing that the team has to discuss their net driver choice with him.

"What they [Mercedes] have to do is, once they've dwindled it down to five drivers or whatever, the shortlist, contractually they have to discuss it with me," Hamilton told Channel 4.

"But I don't have a say on who [my future team-mate] is. I was recently commenting [on the topic] and it came online, saying 'Lewis doesn't care who his team-mate is', which is a little bit out of context. It's important who we have in the second car. It's important for the team's morale."

"We've seen in other teams where it can be a poisonous effect on the team, the arch-rivalry between drivers. For sure, that's really important. I'm really happy here. I love being where I am and whilst, OK, there have been some interesting scenarios, we generally always pull through.

“We've got to make sure that whoever we bring is at least as good as what we had before, if not better, in terms of creating that energy."

Replies (2)
Posts: 60
If it really is Mercedes intention to not have a ‘number one’ driver, then it seems to me that, in effect, there are only three drivers who could realistically challenge Hamilton as ‘number one’ within the Mercedes team in terms of experience, skill and (most importantly of all) mental fortitude.

There is no point in considering Vettel, as he needs to be the ‘number one’ in the team and melts down if his team and/or F1 officials don’t instruct all in front of him to get out of his way whenever he considers such decisions are warranted. Clearly such an approach would not work within the Mercedes outfit.

When comparing Bottas’ performance against Massa’s in 2016, I don’t think he’s got the ‘oomph’ and ‘get-up-and-go’ to take on Hamilton.

Hence, in my mind that leaves only Alonso, Verstappen and Ricciardo as worthy candidates of being given the privileged opportunity of actually being permitted to ‘actively’ challenge teammate Hamilton in 2017.

Clearly Verstappen’s experience has been ‘turbo-charged’ by way of the grounding, education and training he has received from his family(‘s) connections. His driving skills are undeniable, whilst in respect of his mental fortitude, he has the excuse of youth should he press too hard, whilst the way in which he handled himself this year when the whole field was effectively criticising him was impressive to behold, seemingly making him even stronger and more resilient.

Alonso definitely has the experience, he’s probably the best driver out there, and most importantly of all Hamilton’s boyish brooding, ‘dummy-spits’ and self-centred postulating would be like water off a duck’s back for the less flamboyant, more mature, steely, pragmatic and hard-headed Alonso. It would be a riveting dynamic to watch play out!!

Then there’s Ricciardo. He’s had the experience within an elite team and he has shown that his driving skills are heightened when challenged by a team mate. In terms of his mental fortitude, he is a team man, he has the capacity to rationalise the positives of a situation and can laugh (smile) off most adversity. Ricciardo seems to be more respectful of the team dynamic than Hamilton, would probably be popular within the Mercedes outfit, and would have the capacity to ‘smile-away’ Hamilton’s tantrums and brooding. It would be fun to watch Ricciardo’s warm ‘light-hearted’ approach play-out in contrast to Hamilton’s more heavy ‘love-of-self’ approach.
Posts: 1
Button would have been great at this two...

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