As the Formula 1 series rolls into Monaco for the “crown jewel” race on its calendar, the talk again is if Mercedes can win in the principality. The likelihood is good but Red Bull does seem—as we predicted two weeks ago—to be more competitive to the Silver Arrows this weekend so far.
Still, the signs are that Mercedes could win this race as well leaving us with a season in which we will be frothing at the mouth while watching the title be decided by two teammates from practically the very first race of the season. No inter-team battles against Ferrari, Red Bull or McLaren…just a teammate battle for 19 races.
While that sounds rather pedestrian, Mercedes have offered to “spice up the show” by letting their teammates race each other without team orders and this ought to bring some excitement back for the fans. Will that work? It may if Lewis Hamilton keeps talking smack about his teammate. In fact, we could see a Red Bull or Ferrari win if Nico Rosberg really gets miffed and the two come together on track.
Hamilton last week suggested that he is pressing hard to not just beat his teammate but to be well clear of him as he seeks perfection in his own driving. Fair enough, that makes sense. Today, however, the teammate trash talk was amped up a bit when Lewis told the press:
“Let me tell you this: I come from a not-great place in Stevenage and lived on a couch in my dad’s apartment – and Nico grew up in Monaco with jets and hotels and boats and all these kind of things,” said Hamilton.
“So the hunger is different,” Lewis said.
“I want to be the hungriest guy in the cockpit from all 22 of us (drivers)… if I were to come here believing that Nico is hungrier than me then I might as well go home. So I’ve got to be the hungriest – to win the world championship you need to be the hungriest.”
Offering stories of privilege as an example of how he’s hungrier than Rosberg is an affront to not only Rosberg but every driver who has not slept on their father’s couch. The last time I checked, Lewis has a private jet and stays in the nicest hotels and boats (his father’s made out pretty well too). His life is not one of meagerness.
Nico slogged through every grueling karting weekend and junior series race just as Lewis did and using Nico’s upbringing as an example that Roseberg is less hungry is base behavior. Nico also didn’t have the gracious benefit of having his entire career paid for and cultivated by Ron Dennis and McLaren.
Nico won this race last year and is fully capable of having hunger for victory regardless of his schooling, father’s success and the way he was raised. Who knows, maybe the Mercedes PR machine is working overtime to gin up some controversy in the hopes of “making a show of it” after all.