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Kart boss: 'Nico does Lewis' dirty work'

2014-06-02 09:13

STILL THE SAME: Former karting boss of Mercedes' F1 duo says Nico Rosberg (right) has always worked harder than team mate Lewis Hamilton. Image: AP/ Claude Paris

It might be 14 years on but little has changed between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, according to their former karting boss.

In 2000 the now Formula 1 drivers were team mates at mbm.com, the kart team sponsored by Mercedes-Benz and McLaren and run by Dino Chiesa, who told Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday: "On his fast lap Lewis was always a little faster than Nico. He knew it well and he knows it today.

"But Rosberg has always worked harder - has always done the dirty work - the set-up, working with the mechanics and the engineers. Lewis has never worked as hard as Nico behind the scenes."


Chiesa had been asked about the past in the context of the pair's fall-out as they battle for the F1 championship as Mercedes team mates.

Chiesa said: "One of them has the talent, the other is fast but is more of a thinker. And then Lewis cuts a piece of Nico's cake and sells it as his own."

The duo's former boss said Briton Hamilton and German Rosberg also got up to their "psychological games" in karts all those years ago. "But of course on a different scale," he revealed. "At the time I was the team manager but I was also like a counsellor or a father. I remember some angry phone calls from the hotel reception.

"Sometimes they had destroyed the room," he laughed. "It would start with a thrown cushion, then a blanket, then the mattress was out on the street. It was all fun except that I always paid the bill at the end."

Chiesa said Monaco 2014, however, was slightly different. "Lewis behaved a bit like a young, angry Italian," he surmised. "Nothing is ever his fault. He always thinks others are out to hurt him but you have to understand this is a German team with a German driver who has been there for three years already.

"It feels to Lewis as if the team is a bit more friendly to Nico. It's normal."

Chiesa said he still talks regularly to Rosberg, but not to Hamilton. "It is difficult to get to him," he said. "His management is not very helpful. It may be good for a Hollywood star but not for an F1 driver - these people give the impression of him being a superstar.


"A motor sport race is not a show, it's hard work. So I think it's right that Niki Lauda brought him back down to earth," said Chiesa, perhaps referring to Hamilton's smaller entourage and apparently clearer focus in 2014.

Meanwhile, former F1 driver Alex Zanardi has tipped Hamilton to beat Rosberg to the title in 2014. He said: "I only want to say one thing about their rivalry," the Italian was quoted as saying by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Nico is a very strong driver but Lewis is a champion."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Candian GP this weekend.

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