Formula One has seen its fair share of rivalries and the latest one is brewing in the 2014 Formula One paddock between Mercedes teammates, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.
Rivalries are unavoidable, it's what makes the sport exciting. A movie was even made based on the James Hunt and Niki Lauda rivalry back in the mid 80's. F1 Legend Michael Schumacher had a healthy competition for several years in the form of nemesis Mika Hakkinen on his way to his seven world titles. The most explosive rivalries often occur between teammates and the best example would have to be Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. More recently, friction has been reported when Lewis Hamitlon was with Fernando Alonso in McLaren, rumors of sabotage surfaced when Kimi Raikkonen was with David Coulthard also in McLaren. Rubens Barichello literally cried after being forced by the team to make way for Schumacher. Last year, Sebastian Vettel was criticized both by members of his team and by the public after refusing to support teammate Mark Webber.
This year, it looks like Mercedes GP has a good chance of winning every single race of the season. They have won every race between their two drivers so far and Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are not showing any signs of slowing down. The two have finished first and second in every race so far except in Melbourne where Hamilton was forced to retire. Their nearest Rival, Red bull, who have been dominant is previous years, are 41 points behind.
After this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix and Nico Rosberg's win, the team have now won six out of six races this season and the World Driver's Championship is almost certainly going to be won by one of the two Mercedes drivers. This has caused some tension in the team as no clear number one has come out between the two and both are fighting for their own glory.
The first race of the season was won by Rosberg in Melbourne. After that, Hamilton won the next four races. The Monaco race weekend started with Hamilton ahead of Rosberg and ended with Rosberg on top by only four points.
The drama started on Saturday's qualifying. Near the end of the third session, Rosberg was able to lay down his flying lap ahead of Hamilton and was sitting on provisional pole. He then took a little spin and had to back up causing yellow flags on the track and effectively ruining the flying laps for those on track including his teammate Hamilton.
During the race, Hamilton was sitting behind Rosberg and was unable to reel him in for an overtaking manoeuvre in the notoriously difficult Monaco track. He appeared frustrated as he commented on the radio that he expected his engineer not to call him in as it appears he was hoping to overtake through pit strategy.
"We are not friends," Hamilton told Sky Sports in a post race interview. "We are colleagues."
The two have been "friends" since their karting days over 15 years ago when Lewis would even fly with Nico on his father, Formula One World Champion, Keke Rosberg's jet. It seems that the pressures of the sport has now taken its toll as the two failed to congratulate and even acknowledge each other as they received their trophies from the Monegasque Royal Family at the end of Sunday's race.
"As long as it isn't detrimental to the team spirit, as long as it is not underhand, we will handle the situation in the way we did before. But the moment it goes in the direction where we believe it is not in the spirit of Mercedes-Benz we will act accordingly," said Mercedes Executive Director Toto Wolff.
"I hated the guy. When I saw him I got upset, because he was my biggest enemy, in the same team. If you have an enemy in another team it's much easier to fix because you don't see him every day," shared former World Champion Niki Lauda anout his own rival Alain Prost. The two have the most celebrated teammate rivalry in Formula one and Lauda wants to offer Lewis some advice.
"Give him time and he will sleep tonight. Hopefully he will make a good party with his girlfriend. I will speak to him tomorrow and I guarantee you it will be fixed. If not I am his mentor anyway. If there are any more issues I will call him. We are going to work it out," said Lauda.