John Floyd
Motorsport columnist
2 minute read
4 Jun 2014
8:00 am

Mercedes duo resume battle

John Floyd

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada, will host the seventh round of the 2014 Formula One season this weekend.

Mercedes-AMG's British driver Lewis Hamilton drives at the Circuit de Catalunya, in Montmelo on the outskirts of Barcelona on May 11, 2014 during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO/ LLUIS GENE

Some aficionados are suggesting that many of the teams will arrive with further upgrades to bring them closer to the all-conquering Mercedes team.

The circuit is situated on the Île Notre-Dame, a man-made island in the St Lawrence River.

It has witnessed many a driver come to grief against the infamous Quebec wall of fame as they exit the last chicane on to the start/finish straight.

Lewis Hamilton, during his McLaren years, took the chequered flag three times on the 4.361 km track. In fact, in the last six Canadian Grand Prix, McLaren have been victorious four times, Jenson Button adding to the total in 2011. It’s unlikely that the Woking team will take victory again this Sunday, but it could be another win for Hamilton this time for Mercedes. Or will his team-mate, Nico Rosberg upset the applecart once again?

After Monaco the media has continued to spotlight the apparently strained relationship between the two Mercedes drivers. The stewards cleared Rosberg of any possible shenanigans during qualifying, which ensured the German’s pole position, but Hamilton was not satisfied. His refusal to shake hands and congratulate Rosberg led to him being taken to task by Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix non-executive chairman, Niki Lauda, who told him that his behaviour was not acceptable.

In recent interviews he still queries the stewards’ decision saying: “We’ve been through the data and seen what needed to be seen, I wish you guys could see it.” Unfortunately, we cannot. So it really does not offer the media any more evidence to prove his claim.

Perhaps this is all the so-called mind games that Hamilton is apparently renowned for using on his team-mates. Jenson Button has said that Hamilton used mind games to gain the upper hand when they were both at McLaren. He stated: “I am sure there will, if there aren’t already, be mind games going on.”

In his column on the BBC Sport website, Hamilton wrote: “Competition is what I live for. That’s why I never play mind games. Of course sometimes you say things without realising the implications, but I want to win on the track through pure ability. I certainly don’t want to handicap a rival before a race. I want him to be at his best. Then, when I beat him, that’s bigger than any psychological ploy.”

If that is so, then let’s see more of the undoubted ability that you have and less of saying things without realising the implications. A second driver’s championship will be all the sweeter when the opposition is beaten fair and square, not through contentious issues via social networking or mainstream media but through pure talent.