Hamilton to new team-mate: If you can’t stand the heat

Date published: December 4 2016

Next season Lewis Hamilton will face a new team-mate in Formula 1 and has warned the unnamed driver that if you “can’t stand the heat, don’t come.”

This Monday Mercedes will begin the search for Hamilton’s new 2017 team-mate following the shock retirement of Nico Rosberg.

The German announced on Friday that he has quit the sport after winning this year’s Drivers’ Championship at the end of a season in which he became only the second F1 team-mate to beat Hamilton.

Although Mercedes have not given any hint as who may be Hamilton’s new team-mate, Pascal Wehrlein is believed to be leading the running with Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel also in the running.

As for advice for his new team-mate, Hamilton jokingly told Autosport: “If you can’t stand the heat, don’t come.

“It’s a great environment. When you’re in the Mercedes family it’s a beautiful place to be.

“If you drive for Mercedes you generally are a part of Mercedes for life, unless you burn that bridge and go somewhere else.

“You look at Sir Stirling Moss, for example. He’s still very much a part of Mercedes.

“So I would just say for a driver that’s coming, there’s nothing to be afraid of in respect to being a part of this great team.

“I’m interested to see who would want to be my team-mate and I’d respect anyone who would want to.”

As for who he would like to partner, Hamilton says he has no preference, he only wants a team-mate who can work well within the team and help Mercedes in their quest to remain the best team in F1.

“Honestly I really don’t care but I guess I’d have to think that if they want to talk to me they can talk to me about it,” he said.

“It would have to be someone who would work well in the team.

“There will be stronger characters and less-strong characters who will be able to deal with the competition or not be able to deal with the competition.

“There will be a good one out there for sure. I’d be more than happy to help with that analysis.

“You need someone with good values to come in and represent the team in a positive way, a good work ethic, consistency so we can win the Constructors’ Championship.

“Daniel [Ricciardo] and [Max] Verstappen are very very consistent [for Red Bull] so in terms of challenging for Constructors’ titles, which is the team’s first goal, we need to make sure it’s equally as consistent as we were before.”