BAHRAIN CHALLENGE SET: Lewis Hamilton challenges team mate Nico Rosberg to catch up at the 2015 Bahrain GP. Image: AFP / Paul Crock
Lewis Hamilton urged Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg to get into the "racing" spirit and try to take him on at the 2015 Bahrain GP on April 19.
Rosberg, 17 points behind in the Drivers' championship, ended the 2015 Chinese GP complaining about his fellow Mercedes driver's tactics as he controlled the pace from the front.
Rosberg argued that he didn't want to try to overtake Hamilton at the time, but instead wanted a bigger gap between himself and the chasing Sebastian Vettel to conserve his tyres.
'I WANT TO RACE'
Indeed, Mercedes engineers urged the leading Hamilton to speed up so that Rosberg could increase his gap to Vettel, and are now contemplating issuing team orders to prevent the same tactics in the future.
Hamilton insisted: "I grew up watching the sport. You want to see overtaking, you want to see a battle. I want the guy to be up my ass if he's got the pace to be up my ass, and if you can't defend it, you lose it.
"I want to race, man. This is motor racing. Racing. Nico didn't try (to overtake). Mercedes said maybe he was just comfortable second and I said, 'Well that's the difference between us'."
At the very least, the internal spat at Mercedes will be music to the ears of the chasing Ferrari team, who acknowledge that on pure pace, it is not quite ready to take Mercedes on at every race.
Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene said: "If I am going to say we are going to win in Bahrain and we are going to give them a tough time, you see! Everybody laughs.
"We just want to say that we will try to stop you from laughing."
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