With Valtteri Bottas winning in Russia, many are waiting to see if the Mercedes relationship will ignite, however, Niki Lauda reckons there will be “no extra aggravation.”
Two weeks after all the talk was of him being pushed into number two status at Mercedes, Bottas bounced back to win his first Formula 1 grand prix.
The Finn raced to the chequered flag at the Sochi Autodrom, holding off Sebastian Vettel, to close the gap to Lewis Hamilton to just 10 points.
With both Mercedes now showing they’ll be in the fight for race wins, and maybe the World title, the question is will their amicable relationship fall apart.
Lauda reckons no.
The Mercedes’ non-executive chairman Lauda explained: “They have not been hot so far, and they have been nice because the Finn is not talking much.
“There is no extra aggravation which we had last year.
“Lewis is a professional and the other one, too, so I don’t see any problems because Valtteri won this race.
“They respect each other and this is the most important thing.”
As for Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff, he believes the team will not see a repeat of the Hamilton versus Nico Rosberg tension as there is respect between his current drivers.
“The relationship between the two of them is very intact,” Wolff added.
“Lewis was one of the first ones to congratulate Valtteri on his first race victory and that shows the respect that they have towards one another.
“Both of them are fierce competitors and want to win races and fight for the championship, but I don’t think it will affect the relationship and the dynamics within the team like it did in the last years between Nico and Lewis. It is a completely different relationship.”