Lewis: 'I can handle anyone'

2013-05-07 08:43

Seven years into his F1 career and Lewis Hamilton believes he is now mature enough to handle any team mate.

Before switching to Mercedes for 2013, the former McLaren driver expressed interest in joining Red Bull, whose Sebastian Vettel has won the World championship three times. But back in 2007 Briton Hamilton fell out spectacularly with his then team mate Fernando Alonso.


Red Bull team adviser Helmut Marko, now grappling with the disintegrating relationship between Vettel and Mark Webber, said it's simply a problem when two "alpha dogs" clash but Hamilton, referring to himself and Spaniard Alonso, said:

"Now I'm older, I'm sure we would have a different relationship. There would still be intense moments because we are both quick, so we would be very close to each other, but we've both matured a lot.

“I think I'm much better at nurturing relationships with team mates now. I even think I could drive with Sebastian. I just wouldn't turn the engine down."

Hamilton, no longer under the control of McLaren supremo Ron Dennis or his father Anthony, has learned to cope with criticism. A good example: recent months when Sir Jackie Stewart initially slammed Hamilton's move to Mercedes and then tipped the 28-year-old as a title favourite for 2013.

Hamilton said: "I've definitely developed a thicker skin. At the start (of a career) it's easier to get stung but I'm more consistent now because my mental strength has improved. So, when Jackie Stewart talks about me, I just laugh it off."

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