If I were Lewis Hamilton, I would be pissed with Niki Lauda. After all the bromance shared in the last few seasons, including a vodka-induced selfie video, Lauda has given Hamilton at least two reasons to be annoyed with him.
For those who haven’t seen it already, I had proposed ‘vodka shots on the Formula 1 podium’ a few months ago.
First, the opening lap clash between Hamilton and Rosberg – Lauda’s remarks that Hamilton was ‘stupid’ could’ve influenced the FIA into penalizing the reigning World Champion. Luckily for the driver (and his fans), the FIA termed the clash as a ‘racing incident’ with no penalties or reprimands being awarded to either driver. Given that the 2016 Formula 1 Season has been luckless and winless for Hamilton, an FIA penalty (could’ve been a grid penalty in Monaco) would’ve worked against his title defense even more so. (Read: Lewis Hamilton, Can He? Will He?)
Second and the most important reason – Lauda terming Max Verstappen as the ‘talent of the century’! It was preposterous of Lauda to label the teenage sensation with that moniker. After all, it was only after the two Mercedes drivers crashed and Red Bull Racing botched Ricciardo’s tyre strategy did Verstappen win (yes, most people missed VES overtaking VET at Turn 3 on the opening lap!). Either way, what’s the bonhomie worth if Lauda is going to go praising someone else – that too after just a single race win! (Read: What Formula 1 Can Learn From Rush)