Lewis Hamilton prefers “team against team” over intra-team battles

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Amid his championship battle with Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton says he finds battling another team “more enjoyable” than battling a team-mate.

In 2021 Mercedes is facing the most serious challenge from another team since their battle with Ferrari in 2018. Hamilton says he finds this battle more enjoyable than intra-team battles of years past.

“It’s much more enjoyable,” the Briton said.

“When you’re having an internal battle, because this sport is different to other sports. If you’re looking at football, everyone is looking towards the same goal.

“This sport is a kind of confused because you have two championships. The team championship, which two drivers are hired to score points for the team to win the championship. That’s the priority.

“And then individually then you have the two drivers that selfishly want to win the [drivers’] championship.

“So you got this battle of tension and when you’re working against the guy opposite you, it’s much different [than] working with that person and fighting another team. And that is what I think makes better racing.

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“That makes the championship more exciting when it’s team against team rather than internal,” concluded the seven-time champion.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, however, finds both scenarios “equally enjoyable”.

“Well, both have interesting aspects,” the Austrian said.

“The intra-team battle, which we had for quite a while, is obviously easier to handle because the drivers are part of the team, they are in the same car.

“While fighting with another team, you don’t really know where the performance advantages and disadvantages are and you can see that swinging.

“That’s difficult because you are dealing with imperfect information, many variables that you don’t know, but both are equally enjoyable for me,” concluded Wolff.

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