Andy Bloomfield: Mercedes rivalry is good news for Formula One

Mercedes rivals Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton in action at Monaco
Mercedes rivals Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton in action at Monaco

As a youngster I often settled in front of the TV on a Sunday entranced by battles between the likes of Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna.

Over the last few years though I have been less interested in Formula One, there seeming to be a distinct lack of the type of characters found within the sport during the late 1970s and 1980s.

At the weekend a fall-out occured at the Monaco Grand Prix between Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, who clashed over an incident during qualification which saw the latter claim pole position.

Team boss Niki Lauda said Hamilton had accused Rosberg, the son of 1982 champion Keke, of going off track deliberately to ruin his pole chances.

Lauda, who also had a few run-ins with James Hunt and Prost in his time as a driver, added that Rosberg had denied doing this and he was also cleared of any wrongdoing by the stewards.

Rosberg went on to win the Grand Prix, but the fact that this rivalry is now bubbling over can only be a good thing for the sport as both drivers go for the drivers’ championship.

There had been accusations that the sport was becoming stale due to the dominance of Sebastian Vettel, but if the Hamilton-Rosberg battle hots up again at Montreal in the next race then motorsport fans could be in for a treat.

A big fuss has been made about the fact that Hamilton and Rosberg did not congratulate on the podium after the race.

If the two drivers are competing for the world title you would expect this competitiveness to spill over, I think it is great when sportsmen are so wrapped up in a personal battle that they let their emotions show.

In the 1980s I loved watching the likes of John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors do battle on the tennis court, there was never a dull moment with either player.

Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Novak Djojkovic and Andy Murray may well be some of the best players the world has ever seen, but do they show their emotions in the same way as McEnroe (below) did when pushing Bjorn Borg or Connors to the limit?