Defending Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton says that his relationship with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg is “really good” at the moment.
Hamilton and Rosberg became teammates in 2013, but have experienced a number of fall-outs during their time together while battling for race wins and world championships.
Most famously, the two came to blows on the first lap of the Belgian Grand Prix in 2014, while other incidents followed in China and Austin last year.
The two clashed on-track in Spain when they crashed into each other on the first lap of the race, but neither was willing to lay blame for the incident, suggesting a change in the dynamic between them.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday in the UK, Hamilton said that he was surprised by how good his relationship with Rosberg was at the moment.
“It’s actually really good with Nico at the moment. Really, really good, surprisingly,” Hamilton said.
“I would definitely not have expected it to be where it is. I guess it is probably with age. He’s a family man. He’s got a kid. He has probably grown in that process and I have grown and come of age.
“The respect that we have always talked about is bigger than it has ever been. So now we generally just discuss things. Whether we’re unhappy about something or not, we discuss it face to face.
“If I have a problem, I knock on his door and ask if I can speak to him privately. We never address it publically or in front of the team – so far, at least. We say straight up: ‘Hey man, I wasn’t cool with that’, and he does that to me as often as I do to him.
“The other day, I was swimming in my pool — the building we live in in Monaco, there is a shared communal pool — and I guess he saw me from his apartment and came down and sat on the diving board and when I finished a few laps, we sat and talked for 20 minutes or half an hour, in a relaxed state.
“We are going to have our ups and downs and there are going to be times where we hate each other and when we like each other.
“But ultimately, when we have all retired and got kids and stuff, the respect is always going to be there.”