Lewis Hamilton has hit back at his former rival Nico Rosberg for accusing the Brit of losing some of his speed.
Rosberg made the dig on his video blog after qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, where Hamilton was out qualified by Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas, The Sun reports.
Rosberg and Hamilton have famously been rivals since they were teenagers even before they made the jump to Formula 1.
Their series of spiteful clashes while racing as teammates for Mercedes ended abruptly at the end of 2016 when the German finally beat his teammate to win the Formula 1 World Championship and then announced his retirement.
Rosberg appeared to suggest that Hamilton, 34, has now been replaced by Verstappen as the best driver in the world.
“The best age for racing drivers is 30, 31, 32 — and that’s because your ability as you’re getting older slightly decreases, but experience counts [for] so much in this sport,” he said of Hamilton on the blog.
“So experience will outdo the small decrease in your natural ability as a human as you get a bit older.”
Lewis Hamilton’s numbers speak for themselves.Source:Getty Images
Hamilton responded in brutal fashion, by suggesting his old adversary was simply jealous of his immense success.
He also let his driving do the talking, recovering from his qualifying headache to win the Hungarian GP in flying fashion to open up a 62-point lead at the top of the championship.
When quizzed about Rosberg’s remarks, Hamilton — who has won eight of the opening 12 races — laughed off his former Mercedes teammate.
“Honestly I’ve never seen the blog, I don’t know who follows it, but it has no bearing on anything that I do with my life,” he said.
“I don’t care, everyone has their own opinion. Whether he’s right or wrong, I don’t really care.
“All you have to do is look at the tally of my results over the years, and they kind of speak for themselves.
“So naturally there will be people that have not had the success that I’ve had, and might want to talk it down, but that’s OK.”
Hamilton followed those comments up by posting a message on his Instagram account that appeared to be another direct shot at Rosberg.
Lewis Hamilton posted this message on InstagramSource:Instagram
“There will always be people who in order to try to keep their failing careers alive, try to use and tarnish the names of others who are successful,” he wrote.
“Those people are truly sad and lost, you can feel pity for them but don’t let it even bother you. I for one choose not to care, just wanted you to know you should always surround yourself with people who inspire you and lift you up. Ignore the negativity in others and focus on YOU being great.”
Rosberg-Hamilton was box office gold.Source:Getty Images
Meanwhile, now in his 13th season in F1, Hamilton says that he has learned how to cope with criticism.
He added: “I read a really good book, I think it’s called the Four Agreements.
“There’s an element in there where it says don’t take anything personally, so when someone says something about you, it’s not actually about you, it’s how they feel about themselves.
“I’m 34 years old but I feel like I’m driving better than ever. Hopefully you can see that I’ve not lost any speed.
“Qualifying is not always going to go great, you just have to move on. Races are not always going to go great.
“But you know what, you move straight on, let it go, there’s nothing you can do about the past, all you can do is try to shape the future.”
— This story originally appeared on thesun.co.uk and has been republished with permission
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