• Mercedes

Rosberg challenge like Alonso in 2007 - Hamilton

ESPN Staff
May 12, 2014 « 'No controversy' over Hamilton's radio messages - Wolff | Teams' cost-cutting plans 'a joke' - Todt »
Lewis Hamilton got the better of Nico Rosberg again in Spain © Getty Images
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Despite recording his fourth win on the bounce in Spain Lewis Hamilton insists the challenge of beating Nico Rosberg so far this year has been as intense as his debut season alongside Fernando Alonso in 2007.

Hamilton and Alonso quickly fell out at McLaren with the latter, then the reigning double world champion, ruffled by the pace of his young team-mate. Hamilton's relationship with Rosberg goes back to their days of karting together and so far a public spat has been avoided, but the Brit insists he sees comparisons between this season and 2007.

"Yes, I think so," Hamilton said when asked if he could draw on experience of previous years in this year's title fight. "The most difficult race with a team-mate was with Fernando in 2007, but Nico's race with me in Bahrain was as equally tough as that. Then this race [Spain] was probably second to that.

"It's good that they allow us to race. Nico was very quick this weekend; I don't really have an answer for it except from that I was quite uncomfortable from Saturday onwards. I hoped the the race would be better but it wasn't."

Hamilton's victory in Spain put him top of the drivers' championship for the first time since the 2012 Canadian Grand Prix. It was memorable for the series of radio messages sent to his pit wall during the race, and Hamilton believes that should be a testament to how much pressure he felt from Rosberg.

"Whilst I'm driving I'm asking how much of a gap I need. In Bahrain I knew I needed a 10 second lead, so I got it and thought it would be comfortable, and then the safety car came out. In Spain you don't have as big an advantage on tyres and I was asking what gap I needed but I lost those gaps, through the pit stops generally. Nico's pit stop was 2.8 seconds and 3.0 seconds, mine was 3.8 and 4.5 or something like that, so that was significant.

"Those last laps he applied a lot of pressure and he was very close to taking it, and I don't like to be in that position! I would like to say 'oh it was no problem, I was in control,' but it wasn't [like that]."

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