Lewis Hamilton has stressed the importance of a good working relationship with your teammate as the Formula One world casts its opinion on Ferrari’s decision to sign Kimi Raikkonen for 2014.
Raikkonen will work alongside Fernando Alonso at the team, with Hamilton having partnered the Spaniard during his debut season at McLaren in 2007. Hamilton’s pace came as a surprise to many, particularly Alonso who believed that the team was favoring the British driver. As a result, Alonso left after just one season and returned to Renault. Speaking from experience, Hamilton believes that it is key to get on with your teammate.
“I think always in whatever team you’re in – whether it’s football or basketball – you’ve got to have that good communication and you’ve got to help create good ambience in the team, and that’s largely to do with people like Ross but also the two drivers make quite a big impact on that,” Hamilton said in response to NBC Sports’ question about inter-team relations. “It’s good that me and Nico get along well, I think the energy we send out to the team and the atmosphere that we help create really levels the team and gives them that positive energy.”
Hamilton admitted that there is always a desire to beat your teammate, but he affirmed that the collective effort at Mercedes must always come first.
“We’ve got two great drivers. They get on well, they know their stuff, and they’re on it. We don’t have that battle internally from my side of the garage to his. Obviously deep down inside everyone want to beat the other, but we don’t make it a personal thing. At the end of the day, we want to win for the team.”
Hamilton is chasing his second victory in Singapore this weekend, having won the race back in 2009 for McLaren.