Mercedes chiefs say Lewis Hamilton is up to psychological “tricks” as his title battle with Nico Rosberg reaches its finale in Abu Dhabi.
Needing a win and Rosberg to finish lower than third to win the title on Sunday, Hamilton began the weekend by referring again to how the team shook up his support crew before the start of the season.
“You’ll have to buy my book in ten years time and I’ll tell you exactly what happened,” said the Briton. “It will be an interested read.”
But both team boss Toto Wolff and chairman Niki Lauda have responded to that, Wolff declaring in Abu Dhabi: “Maybe I’ll write a book in ten years and we’ll put some things in there.”
And Lauda told Italy’s Corriere della Sera: “I think Lewis was joking.
“But I tell you, if Toto and I decided to do a book, it would be much longer than his!”
Hamilton, however, kept the anti-Rosberg mind games flowing when contemplating the notion that, late on Sunday night, F1 might be crowning a new champion.
“I should keep this private,” he said, “but in my heart, with how I have performed this season, I will feel that if he (Rosberg) is labelled world champion, it doesn’t necessarily mean that to me.”
But Wolff said he forgives all of the mind games.
“They can’t be in love with each other this weekend but they need to play all the tricks to put themselves in a situation to hopefully win the championship,” he said.
“Lewis needs that ‘me against the world’ thing,” he added.