Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg’s tempestuous alliance came to a head during qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix last weekend, with the Brit feeling aggrieved at what he considered to be a deliberate sabotage of his final bid to prise pole-position away from his Mercedes cohort.
Rosberg went on to win the race, with Hamilton 2nd, meaning that the German regained top spot in the championship, having finished as runner-up to his team-mate on four consecutive occasions previously.
This isn’t the first occurrence of Nicole Scherzinger‘s bygone beau coming into conflict with an apparent ally, having locked horns with Spaniard Fernando Alonso when the two were on McLaren’s books during the 2007 F1 season.
There’s no doubt that the 28 year old’s pursuit of perfection often rubs those closest to him up the wrong way, nor that he possesses a volatile streak that is equal measures blessing and curse.
Conscious that he is the superior technician in the team, Hamilton is abundantly aware that, equipped with this season’s premier vehicle, a better opportunity will rarely, if ever, present itself to augment his single world-title haul, with 2008 providing an isolated triumph thus far.
Rosberg on the other hand is aiming for a first success and, whilst not as naturally blessed as Hamilton, is arguably the most psychologically stable competitor on the circuit.
With the German now four points clear of his sidekick, the remaining races promise to unfurl into an intense two-horse race to the title, with the uneasy union between the two Mercedes drivers only likely to get more fraught as the pressure intensifies.
One thing that is for certain is that while it’s a relief to see a team other than Red Bull dominate on the track, the same issues are still prevalent in motor sports’ premier competition, as one team has a set-up that is vastly superior to any other, guaranteeing that the only competition come courtesy of their own ranks.
On the plus side, this one promises to go down to the wire, unlike many of the glorified processions witnessed during Sebastian Vettel’s previous half a decade of supremacy.