Former F1 driver Nelson Piquet Jr has said he believes the Mercedes F1 Team wants Lewis Hamilton to “dominate” as opposed to him having a team-mate who can challenge him in equal machinery.
He noted that, unlike Valtteri Bottas, Nico Rosberg was able to give Hamilton a run for his money at Mercedes – and he believes there are a handful of other drivers who could also challenge the seven-time World Champion.
“We saw this dominance of Hamilton with a good car at the front, with a team-mate not giving him trouble. When he had a team-mate giving him trouble, it wasn’t like that, with Nico Rosberg for example.
“But surely, if he had, all the time, [alongside him] a driver of the same calibre as himself, a [Fernando] Alonso, a Max, a [Daniel] Ricciardo, a [Charles] Leclerc, we would not be seeing this dominance.
“But this is not what Mercedes wants… It is much better for Mercedes to have the driver dominating, winning this way, than to have a fight within the team,” Piquet Jr added.
Continuing, he said that Lewis Hamilton doesn’t want a team-mate who is capable of fighting him and stressed the importance of being in the right place at the right time in Formula One.
“I say again: it really is important to be in the right place at the right time, in the right team, which is the one that wants to support him and wants him to be walking alone in front.”