Does the Hamilton-Rosberg rivalry have benefit?

Mercedes are in a league of their own this year, racing with a superior car to the rest of the teams and dominating the season by winning every race so far.

Mercedes are in a league of their own this year, racing with a superior car to the rest of the teams and dominating the season by winning every race so far. However, after the race in Monaco last weekend, the spotlight wasn’t on the performance of the team, but rather the crumbling relationship between teammates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

Drivers in Formula 1 are often recognised for rivalries as much as, if not more than, their ability on track. Whether it’s Hunt vs Lauda, Senna vs Prost or even the more recent Webber vs Vettel, there’s no doubt the drivers’ relationships soon become a main topic of discussion for the season.

The media has widely covered the brewing rivalry that stemmed from Monaco qualifying. Before the race, tensions were already increasing as Rosberg and Hamilton fought for the championship, only points away from each other.

As a result, qualifying saw an unimpressed Lewis Hamilton as he was unable to snatch pole position from his teammate. The pole in Monaco is one of the most important of the season, as only once has a driver won the race from a different position—the driver being Lewis Hamilton himself, this didn’t seem to calm his rising anger.

A fierce competition

Controversy blew up across the Formula 1 following as Rosberg caused yellow flags as a result of running off of the track, therefore preventing Hamilton from completing a faster lap and snatching pole position. Speculation rumbled the sporting world as people wondered if he did it on purpose. The FIA didn’t seem to think so, but what do you think?

As expected, Rosberg won the race after keeping a steady pace against Hamilton throughout. It was clear that people were less than interested in the drivers’ performances in the race but more their relationship, unfortunately casting a shadow over the calm and consistent performance that Rosberg pulled off through the streets of Monaco, still managing first place despite having to conserve fuel for a large amount of the race. 

The interviews that took place afterwards were difficult to say the least, as an unhappy Hamilton made it very clear himself and Rosberg are not friends, whilst giving short and hesitant answers.

It seems though, that the rivalry will only benefit the team.

Or will it?

“It’s great because they push each other to new limits and that competition makes the car quicker,” said Toto Wolff, Executive Director of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team.

The team seem less than concerned about the rivalry as it’s somewhat expected in the sport. “Drivers can never be friends because they are trying to beat each other on track,” Wolff explained, rationalising the conflict between the two drivers.

There is a high chance this has been blown way out of proportion, but constant publicity for the team and drivers can only be a good thing, right? The spotlight on the Mercedes garage is now even bigger than before.

It’ll be interesting for fans to see how the rest of the season shapes up as the two continue to battle. Will their relationship crumble even further? 

What do you think? Does this rivalry have any benefits for Mercedes? Have your say in the comments section below.