Nico Rosberg provides update on his relationship with Lewis Hamilton, insists he doesn’t regret Mercedes tensions

Nico Rosberg and Sir Lewis Hamilton were team-mates for four years at the Mercedes F1 Team.

Former F1 driver Nico Rosberg remains the last team-mate to finish above Sir Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers’ Standings, with it taking everything the German had to complete the somewhat impossible mission.

Rosberg achieved the task in 2016, winning the World Championship that year before retiring immediately after.

Beating the seven-time World Champion took everything out of the former F1 driver, who is now seen as an occasional pundit on Sky Sports F1.

Rosberg and Hamilton’s story, though, is actually a sad one, with the pair’s friendship being ruined by chasing the ultimate goal.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg as Mercedes team-mates.v1

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The duo virtually grew up together in karting, before racing against each other throughout their rise to F1.

Both drivers have spoken in the past about travelling to each Grand Prix together, whilst karting as youngsters.

Initially, at Mercedes, the two drivers seemingly embraced their duels, including, the famous 2014 duel in the desert.

An excellent battle took place between the two at the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix, one of the first races of the hybrid era.

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However, as the Mercedes grew stronger, and Hamilton began to dominate both the championship and battles against his team-mate, their friendship turned into a fierce rivalry.

Rosberg believed this happened “immediately”, when the pair realised they had a car which could fight for the title.

“It happened immediately when we were fighting for the World Championship. Not before,” he told Eurosport.

“But that’s always the case: when you’re fighting for success in every race and for titles, it doesn’t work anymore.”

The 37-year-old doesn’t believe there was a certain race which sparked their titanic battle, with the German believing that you have to “test limits” to win.

“No, it’s been a build-up from one race to the next,” Rosberg answered.

“If you want to decide the World Championship for yourself, you can’t play ‘peace, joy, pancake’. You have to test limits and go into grey areas to win.

“Especially when two drivers are at such a high level, and then it often gets tight.”

The most controversial moment between the two happened at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, where the pair both ended up crashing out, having collided together on the opening-lap.

With so much on the line, neither driver yielded any space, with Hamilton being forced onto the grass before spinning into his team-mate.

Despite the significance of the event, Rosberg “doesn’t regret anything”, especially now that the former friends have managed to fix their relationship to a degree.

“I don’t regret anything,” said Rosberg.  

“It was a sensational time and a mega fight. I’m very proud of that.

“In the meantime, we’ve returned to [a] neutral [relationship], which is okay.”

Since retiring, Rosberg has become a team owner in the relatively new all-electric off-road series, Extreme E, with his side claiming the championship in its inaugural season last year.

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Incredibly, Rosberg’s team narrowly beat Hamilton’s team to the title, with the British driver also owning a team in the series.

Rosberg admitted that he had no idea that his former team-mate was also planning on making his own team, with the German believing it’s “totally cool”.

“We didn’t know about each other’s plans beforehand; we built up our racing teams in parallel,” Rosberg added.

“We also announced our teams within a couple of weeks [of each other], which was totally cool, [and] it’s great that we’re reviving this duel.”