Lauda to keep lid on driver 'feud'

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IOL mot pic jun4 F1 Rosberg Hamilton REUTERS The body language is clear in this picture of Mercedes team-mates Lewis Hamilton, left, and Nico Rosberg, taken just after the controversial qualifying session at Monaco. Picture: Max Rossi.

London, England - Niki Lauda says Lewis Hamilton has now accepted his Monaco Grand Prix defeat by Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, but has warned the situation remains ‘tricky’.

Bad blood between the pair was stirred up on the streets of the principality, with neither man acknowledging the other on the podium following a race won by Rosberg, with Hamilton second.

That followed an incident in qualifying where an apparent mistake by Rosberg led to yellow flags that thwarted Hamilton’s bid to claim pole position.

Hamilton then tweeted on Friday he and Rosberg had spoken, claiming they were now “cool” and “still friends”.

Mercedes non-executive chairman Lauda maintains the matter has been laid to rest, but knows it could easily flare up again given the head-to-head battle between the duo for this year’s Formula One world title.

“Lewis has now accepted Nico won in Monaco and he was second, which is really no shame.”

The three-times champion said: “We will get together again in Montreal for this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix and discuss everything. After that the fight will go on for the world championship, with both in equal cars.

“But with two alphas currently sitting in the best car it is tricky, although given our superiority that in turn makes the races interesting.

“But we will let our drivers race against each other without restriction because whilst tension is quite normal, it can also escalate. Then I get involved as a mentor.”

Lauda is expecting Hamilton to strike back in Montreal, adding: “Nico was faster in Monte Carlo, but now Lewis will do everything he can to fight back. It is a strain on our nerves, but for the fans and the sport there is nothing better.”

Daily Mail

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