Five reasons Lewis Hamilton is on the point of making British F1 history | Giles Richards

Britain’s three-times champion needs only a fifth-place finish in Mexico on Sunday to secure a record-breaking title

From teenage friends to title rivals, by the end of last season Lewis Hamilton’s relationship with Nico Rosberg had turned into a maelstrom that affected his team. The fight for the title had become increasingly fractious, and with it damaged the dynamic at Mercedes. It has completely changed this year and for the better after Rosberg’s retirement following his drivers’ title success. At Hamilton’s own instigation he held talks with the executive director, Toto Wolff, at the end of 2016 after Rosberg departed, when the pair cleared the air and laid down the basis for starting afresh this year. It has worked wonders, and the addition of Valtteri Bottas as his team?mate has proved only positive. The atmosphere, both Wolff and Hamilton agree, has greatly improved and with it the British driver’s ability to focus on winning the title. “My relationship with the whole team is stronger than it has ever been,” Hamilton has pointed out, and he has been able to build on that without the distraction or wasted effort of the intra?team rivalry that coloured last season. Its import has been huge. When asked if he could have achieved the successful dynamic at Mercedes with Rosberg still present, Hamilton’s reply was an honest and blunt “no”.

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