sport

Rosberg harks back to rivalry

Nico Rosberg feels he and new Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton need to remember their old karting days if they are to drive the team forward.

Hamilton pipped Rosberg to the Formula A Championship in 2000 when the duo were racing together at Team MBM.com, the MBM standing for Mercedes-Benz McLaren.

Thirteen years on and the duo find themselves paired again, this time at Mercedes in Formula One after Hamilton opted to sign a three-year contract with the German manufacturing giant.

Mercedes, however, have just one win to their name since returning to F1 at the start of 2010, with no guarantee in signing Hamilton such a record will be improved upon.

After launching the car they hope will propel Mercedes closer to the front in the W04 at Jerez, Rosberg is hoping he and Hamilton can again forge close ties.

Speaking about his new partnership with Hamilton after spending the last three years alongside Michael Schumacher, Rosberg said: "It makes you think about everything.

"It's a fresh start really, a big change, which is always a good thing.

"We're going to push each other, and together we'll help push the team.

"I'm sure it's going to work very well. It worked really well in go-karting for two years, so there is no reason why it can't work well again in Formula One.

"And we must work well together because we still have some way to go to be the best team, which is where we want to be."

In their karting days, however, when both were in their mid-teens, it was a far less pressurised environment compared to F1.

Rosberg, however, sees no reason why the demands of F1 and being in the same team should now compromise their friendship.

"Back then we had a fantastic time, definitely. As team-mates travelling the world, it was really good," added Rosberg.

"At the same time he was tough competition on the track all the time. We were always up front battling for the podiums and wins.

"But I don't see why it can't be the same here in that off track we get on well, then have a big competition on track.

"We just need to find the right balance, which I'm sure is possible."