Hamilton: Rosberg isn’t as hungry to win as I am

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Lewis Hamilton has accused Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg of not being as hungry as he is in the fight for this year’s world championship.

The British driver is embroiled in a battle with Rosberg for the drivers’ title this season after Mercedes made huge gains over the winter and currently enjoy an advantage that even defending champion Sebastian Vettel is envious of.

Despite their supposed friendship, Hamilton has been playing a few mind games of late. He was adamant in Spain that Rosberg was quicker and should have won the race, even though Lewis had won the race from pole position and only been challenged in the final few laps.

In an interview with the official Formula 1 website, Hamilton questioned Rosberg’s hunger given his privileged upbringing as the son of 1982 F1 world champion, Keke Rosberg.

“Let me tell you this: I come from a not-great place in Stevenage and lived on a couch in my dad’s apartment. Nico grew up in Monaco with jets and hotels and boats and all these kind of things – so the hunger is different,” he explained.

“I want to be the hungriest guy in the cockpit from all 22 of us. Even if every driver has to believe that he’s the hungriest – because 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.”

Hamilton took the lead of the world championship at the last race in Spain, and is three points ahead of Rosberg after five rounds. Having won the last four grands prix, though, the Briton certainly has the momentum, and it he could make it five-in-a-row on Sunday.

Quite whether bringing their upbringings into the interview was fair is debatable, but Lewis should perhaps prefer to focus on the fact that he has been in three serious title battles before in F1. Nico, on the other hand, is very new to this. Ultimately, he needs to do his talking on the track. Where better to do so than at Monaco this weekend?

You can watch the Monaco Grand Prix live on NBC this Sunday, which is part of our bumper weekend of motorsport.

Theriault clinches ARCA title before finale at Kansas

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) There is no long, convoluted story about how Austin Theriault came to Ken Schrader Racing, forging a team that so dominated the ARCA Series that it captured the title simply by showing up for the finale.

“We both wanted something to do,” the folksy Schrader said with a smile and shrug before Friday night’s race at Kansas Speedway. “He didn’t have a car to drive and I didn’t have a driver.”

So, they solved each other’s problem.

Theriault hopped into the seat and proceeded to win seven times over the first 19 races, building such a lead on his nearest challenger that he sewed up the title at Kentucky. And that made for a rather enjoyable weekend at Kansas, where all the pressure was off their team.

Along the way, Theriault became the first driver to win at a superspeedway, short track, dirt track and road event in the same season, and he swept the superspeedway and short-track challenges.

If there was something to win, he won it.

“I hoped we’d have a shot at it and it’s proved out this year that we’ve really exceeded anybody’s expectations,” Theriault said. “We had some things to work on early. We kind of dusted off a bit, went back to work. We had some time between Daytona and the mile-and-a-halfs that came up later in the season, and we realized where we were strong and where we had to work.

“But in the end it came back to pure dedication, I think,” he explained. “The amount of time it took behind the scenes to make this happen.”

The 23-year-old driver from Fort Kent, Maine, knows something about dedication. He appeared to be on racing’s fast track, scoring a Truck Series ride a few years ago for Brad Keselowski, when a terrifying crash at Las Vegas left him with a broken back and sitting on the sidelines.

The best ride he could find last year was in the K&N Pro Series.

It was at a trade show in Indianapolis last December that Theriault ran into Schrader, who was busy putting together a team for this season. They had dinner a couple nights later and, Schrader said, it was his wife Ann who came away impressed by the yes-sir, no-sir driver.

“My wife doesn’t go to all the races,” Schrader said. “After we talked she said, `I like that guy. How good is he?’ She doesn’t know. I knew he was racing well in Keselowski’s truck, had an unfortunate wreck, had to sit out a bit. I told her, `That’s somebody who could make us very happy next year.”‘

Theriault delivered on that promise.

They weren’t the only ones happy Friday, either. Zane Smith earned his second pole of the season, beating teammate Sheldon Creed to earn the top spot for the Kansas ARCA 150, while 20-year-old Natalie Decker announced a full-time ride with Venturini Motorsports next season.

“This is obviously a big step in my career,” said Decker, who made six starts as a rookie this season. “I’m confident and ready for this next move. After tonight my focus shifts to next season. We’ll be ready to go at Daytona.”