After the fractious years of 2014 & 2015, 2016 was looking a lot more harmonious for Hamilton and Rosberg, then the Spanish Grand Prix happened.
If their relationship had not reached an impasse before then, it certainly would after both drivers collided and took each other out the race.
The once self proclaimed friends look like mortal enemies now and that benefits everyone else apart from themselves and Mercedes.
The accident in Spain was unfortunate but it does show the consequences of what happens when you don’t work as a team. Rosberg and Hamilton have been lucky before that sometimes their selfishness hasn’t cost the team more points.
Mercedes dropped a potentially massive 43 points in Spain, points they cannot afford to lose considering the resurgence of Red Bull in recent races.
Now we turn our attention to the Monaco Grand Prix a race which both drivers will be desperate to win. They have a car which can easily win them the race but unfortunately you cannot have two winners of the Monaco Grand Prix.
That will require one driver to be a team player, gracefully take the second place at the most prestigious circuit on the calendar. Neither driver likes losing to the other but after the events of Spain, they cannot afford to have another race ending collision.
Looking at it from a selfish point of view the resurgence of Red Bull is good for the drivers championship. Lewis is already behind in the championship and he needs other drivers to take points of his team-mate. In doing that, it has a detrimental effect on the constructors championship, the championship which Mercedes care about the most.
Both drivers are employed by the team to win the constructors championship first. The drivers championship still holds importance but not as much as the constructors.
Mercedes rivals are closer this year therefore the team cannot have the luxury of having a bad weekend, to re-gain a healthy lead in the drivers and constructors championships, both drivers need to start to toe the party line.
Not winning the constructors championship this year would be seen as a massive failure for a team that has a dominant car!
Finishing 1-2 in the next few races would go a long way in repairing the damage of Spain but for them to do that, it does require them to start thinking about the team and working as a team in races instead of thinking about themselves.
They have shown in races like Bahrain 2014, that they can race hard, race fair and bring both cars home. Now it is time for them to start doing exactly that once again.
Photo Credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas
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