Lewis Hamilton Mercedes feud went too far admits Nico Rosberg – We made it difficult

Nico Rosberg tells of his willingness to befriend Lewis Hamilton

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Nico Rosberg has admitted his feud with Lewis Hamilton in the 2016 Formula One season “went too far” as the pair battled for the Drivers’ Championship – with the German stating that the pair had to sign legal documents to settle their differences before taking to the track.

Rosberg, now 36, fought tooth and nail with Hamilton for the title six years ago, winning the Drivers’ Championship by a narrow five-point margin courtesy of a second-placed finish in the final race in Abu Dhabi. Had he been two seconds slower, he would have missed out on a World Championship.

And the German has detailed the “fight” he had with Hamilton throughout the campaign, with the Sky Sports F1 pundit believing the pair’s rivarly was “too extreme”. He said to Sky F1:  “We made it extremely difficult.

“It went to the point that we had a code of conduct, a paper, what we were allowed to do in a wheel-to-wheel battle, even penalties with a lot of zeros on them attached to that because there was no other way. It just got too heated and too extreme.” The 2016 world champion retired just five days after his championship win, citing the fact that he wanted to spend more time with his young family.

It left Valtteri Bottas as his replacement, although the Finn failed to overly impress in his time at Mercedes, winning just nine Grands Prix in five seasons. However, with George Russell replacing him this season, Rosberg believes there is more of a challenge for Hamilton given that Russell has time to develop.

“I think Toto has learned so much from the fight Lewis and I had and managing us,” Rosberg continued. “That’s helping him a lot now in managing George [Russell} coming into the team because it’s very difficult.

“You don’t want to cut his wings completely but you want to tell him ‘don’t crash into Lewis’, so it’s a very fine line. But I think Toto is getting that right brilliantly at the moment.”

Hamilton currently sits seventh in the Drivers’ Championship standings, having picked up a measly 28 points all season. He is 58 points behind leader and Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc.

His poor start to the season culminated in him finishing just 13th in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola last week.

And with Mercedes failing to impress at all this season by already being 47 points behind in the Constructors’ Championship, doubts are being raised as to whether Hamilton will win another race.

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