Lewis Hamilton’s fiercest F1 rivalries including childhood friend and team-mate

The F1 season will reach its conclusion on Sunday with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix set to host the final race of the 2021 calendar.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are neck and neck, with the Mercedes driver on the cusp of winning his fifth successive world championship, and his seventh in the past eight seasons.

But with championships as intense as they are in Formula 1, Hamilton has endured several title rivalries over the years.

The latest of which is with Red Bull driver Verstappen, who is aiming to win his first-ever title in F1.

With that in mind, here Mirror Sport takes a look at fiercest F1 rivalries including one with his childhood friend and former team-mate.

Childhood friend – Nico Rosberg

The pair had been childhood friends from their karting days, but that all changed when Hamilton joined Rosberg at Mercedes in 2013.

Multiple incidents saw the relationship between the two turn somewhat sour, particularly during the 2014 fight for the title, which was one of the most fascinating in the sport’s history.

Hamilton went on to win the championship, but it was not without its problems between the pair, who had incidents in Bahrain, Spain and Belgium.

The most famous fallout came in 2015 at the US Grand Prix when Rosberg threw his cap towards Hamilton’s direction in the warm down room in what came to be known as ‘hat gate’.

Former team-mate – Fernando Alonso

Then-world champion Fernando Alonso became team-mates with Hamilton when the young prospect joined the Spaniard at McLaren in 2007.

But hope quickly turned to despair when Alonso left McLaren after just a single season working alongside Hamilton.

At the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix, Alonso was deemed to have blocked Hamilton in the pits, leading to a penalty being imposed on the Spaniard which subsequently resulted in victory for his team-mate.

The incident reportedly led to a huge argument which eventually led to Alonso’s departure at the end of the season.

Long-term rival – Sebastian Vettel

The pair spent several years going toe-to-toe for the title, but the rivalry reached its peak when Vettel was racing for Ferrari and Hamilton for Mercedes.

At the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Vettel rammed his car into Hamilton while they were preparing for a restart behind a safety car.

Vettel was subsequently given a ten second penalty for his actions – which he later apologised for – while he finished ahead of Hamilton in the race.

But Ferrari could do little to stop Hamilton and Mercedes, who would go on to win the F1 championship that year and in the following season.

Fresh feud – Max Verstappen

Hamilton’s latest rivalry has seen him come toe-to-toe with Verstappen and Red Bull once more.

Tensions have reached boiling point on several occasions this season, but none more so than at Silverstone.

Hamilton was adjudged by officials to have been “predominantly’ at fault for causing the collision between the pair which left him with a ten second penalty.

The Mercedes driver served out the penalty at the pit stop and subsequently dropped to fourth place, but fought back to somehow win the race and cut Verstappen’s championship lead from 33 to eight points.

Verstappen later revealed in his press conference before the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest that Hamilton and Mercedes had handled the situation disrespectfully.

"He did call me," said Verstappen. "I don't need to go into details about that, but we did have a chat."

Verstappen also added: "[It is] disrespectful if one guy is in the hospital and the other one is waving the flag around like nothing has happened while you push the guy into the wall with 51G.

"Not only that, just the whole reaction of the team besides that. That's not how you celebrate a win, especially a win how they got it.

"That's what I found really disrespectful and in a way it shows how they really are, it comes out after a pressure situation. But I wouldn't want to be seen like that."

Hamilton meanwhile, reiterated the belief that his team had done nothing wrong when asked what he thought of Verstappen’s comments in Hungary.

"I don't believe our behaviour was disrespectful," said the seven-time world champion.

"As I said, it's one thing knowing and then celebrating what happened, and it's one thing not knowing and celebrating.

"As I told you, I wasn't aware – but it's my home Grand Prix and we worked incredibly hard for god knows how long to get a result like that.

"And what a monumental moment it was for us to experience the whole home crowd being there for the first time since last year was missed. Emotions were running high, it wasn't like an intentional celebration, it was just the joy of seeing so many people and so many people celebrating being together.

"That's the natural emotion, I'm not going to hide my emotions. It was an amazing feeling to see so many people."

Read More

Read More

Source: Read Full Article