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F1 champion believes HISTORIC Hamilton rivalry went 'too far'

F1 champion believes HISTORIC Hamilton rivalry went 'too far'

F1 champion believes HISTORIC Hamilton rivalry went 'too far'

F1 champion believes HISTORIC Hamilton rivalry went 'too far'

One of Formula 1's most intense rivalries 'went too far' according to Nico Rosberg in season three of the sport's Netflix hit series.

Drive to Survive release month is upon us – which means that here at GPFans, we’re looking back at some of the most dramatic storylines from the show’s history.

There have been five seasons of chaos, and we’re sure to get even more of it when the sixth instalment premieres on 23 February – the last day of Formula 1’s 2024 pre-season test in Bahrain.

Here is the latest article where our editorial team go harking back to pivotal moments on the amazing docuseries...

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Hamilton didn't always have it easy

Lewis Hamilton is Formula 1's most decorated driver ever

Back in 2020, Lewis Hamilton secured his record-equalling seventh world title, and the Silver Arrows were almost completely unchallenged in arguably their best season ever.

It was Valtteri Bottas’ fourth season with Mercedes since joining, having put up little in the way of resistance in the fight with Hamilton in years prior.

The Brit scored 124 more points and took nine more wins than his Finnish counterpart across the course of a 17-race calendar – one shortened due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The last team-mate he was truly challenged by was Nico Rosberg, the last man to beat him in equal machinery.

The two were close friends growing up, before things blossomed into an intense rivalry while team-mates at Mercedes.

It was third time lucky for Rosberg in F1’s turbo-hybrid era, as he finally beat Hamilton in 2016, before subsequently shocking the motorsport landscape with his retirement.

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Mercedes (just) managed to stay on top of chaos

From pushing each other off the track in key battles, to throwing caps in the cool-down room, there was never a dull moment at Mercedes in the four seasons that they were team-mates.

It’s something that Rosberg reflected on in season three of Drive to Survive in 2020, when discussing his time alongside Hamilton.

“It’s quite unique in sport that your team-mate is your biggest opponent. With Lewis, it just went too far. Psychology plays a big, big role in sports.

“It’s huge. Everybody has self-doubt as well. You need to amplify that; you can force him into mistakes.”

Whether or not the rivalry went too far in Hamilton’s eyes too, it was a treat for fans at a time when there wasn’t a lot of action on track.

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Classic rivalry saved fans from borefest

Mercedes were dominating so much that their competitors had little chance, and a lack of rivalry between their drivers might have seen the remaining fans switch off.

The Duel in the Desert, the 2016 finale, the turn one shove at the US Grand Prix in 2015 – their battles will and have gone down in F1 history.

It’s a great shame that the sport never got to witness a Rosberg title defence in 2017, but even he has admitted the mental toll of such a deep rivalry.

Psychology plays a huge role in sports and while Rosberg used it to his advantage to win in 2016, he now realises that he and his team-mate took things a little far at times.

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