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Massa: Monaco 'mind games' good for Nico

2014-05-27 08:52

MERC’S DRIVER FEUD: Mercedes will have to watch its feuding drivers following a fantastic win by Nico Rosberg (centre) at the 2014 Monaco GP ahead of Lewis Hamilton (left) and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo in third. Image: AP/Luca Bruno

MONTE CARLO, Monaco – The 2014 Monaco GP  was a victory for Nico Rosberg not only on the track but also in the mind, said Felipe Massa, who in 2008 lost the battle to Lewis Hamilton when the then McLaren driver won the Formula 1 title.

Massa said: "He's a guy who needs to be perfect on the psychological side otherwise there is the chance of him making mistakes. He lost in 2007 because he lost the car in China, also in Brazil. It was his mistakes."
So Massa thinks Hamilton's reaction to the events at the 2014 Monaco GP, where he missed pole due to Rosberg's controversial mistake, was a big victory for Rosberg.


Massa said: "If Rosberg did that on purpose then that is not something that is part of my mentality but without a doubt it is something that could hurt Hamilton on the psychological side and end up being good for Rosberg."

However Hamilton's previous F1 team mate Jenson Button doubts Rosberg will get the mental upper-hand that easily. He recalls beating the sister McLaren in the past, prompting Hamilton to be "quite outspoken and emotional" immediately afterwards.

Button said: "And the next race he would destroy me. He would arrive at the next race very quiet and then go and blitz it. He will do the same in Canada. The mind games people play on him will not work."

Qualifying aside, there were plenty of 'mind games' in play in Monaco. Hamilton made his foul mood with Rosberg clear by complaining about the noise outside his quarters by his team mate kicking a football with his trainer Daniel.

Hamilton initially refused to appear for the post-race Mercedes victory photo until (reportedly) it was made clear to him that his snub was also against the waiting Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche.

He also did not attend the 2014 Monaco pre-practice  briefing, telling reporters he "overslept".

Rosberg is also guilty, reportedly not inviting Hamilton to his forthcoming wedding, and after the 2014 Spanish GP  reacting furiously when it emerged that Hamilton had won by using a forbidden engine setting.


Team boss Toto Wolff said: "On the Sunday in Barcelona we had some emotions from the other side; Nico felt aggrieved by what had happened, which was understandable,"

It is understood that Hamilton and Rosberg have been told, and will be told again, that if their rivalry spins out of control Mercedes might have to "resort to team orders".

The big 'no-no' is a crash.

Team chairman Niki Lauda: "And the one who is to blame will have big trouble from the top management of Mercedes. We must be careful that it doesn't get out of control."

In the wake of the Monaco trouble, the drivers insist they are under control. Hamilton said: "I am sure when we turn up in the next place (Canada) we will be as professional as ever."
Rosberg added: "There is a psychological battle now but there always has been since we were 13. His attitude over the weekend did not surprise me. It is hard to be amazed by someone you've known for that long.

"We had some very difficult times in karting and things always calmed down and we moved forward."

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