Tag Archives: sportsweek

Sports minister Hugh Robertson says racism bans need to be tougher

Football must get tough on racism, says sports minister Robertson

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UPDATED:

12:38 GMT, 23 December 2012

Sports minister Hugh Robertson has admitted the recurrence of racist incidents in English football is a concern and has called on the game to work harder to create opportunities for black managers.

Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Chelsea defender John Terry were both handed bans for racist abuse in the last 12 months.

'I think most of us would be worried by the recurrence of the issues around racism in football,' Robertson told Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme.

Too soft: John Terry's four game ban was not enough, according to Hugh Robertson MP

Too soft: John Terry's four game ban was not enough, according to Hugh Robertson MP

Asked if the Football Association, who suspended Terry for four games, should have been harder on the England captain, Robertson added: 'Yes, I think in retrospect the answer to that is yes.

'They are in a difficult position because they have to follow the law and there are legal challenges on all sides, but I don't think anybody looking back on this year would think it's been a particularly happy chapter.

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Ugly scenes: Danny Rose was racially abused while playing for England U21s in Serbia

Time to get tough: Sports minister Hugh Robertson says football must keep on top of racism issues

Time to get tough: Sports minister Hugh Robertson says football must keep on top of racism issues

'It's one of those things racism that you've really got to keep on top of it the whole time.

'I've seen quite a few black players who've asked to come and see me to talk through the problems. They very clearly feel there aren't enough black coaches, there aren't enough black managers, there's a glass ceiling on top them.

'That's why developments like St George's Park are going to be so important to bring through a new generation of black coaches and black managers to try and tackle this.

'Just look at the FA council, and ask yourself how many ex black players and how many women there are on that body, it's not a great advertisement.'

James Anderson praises Alastair Cook"s leadership skills

Anderson praises captain Cook for leading by example with the bat to put England on brink of series win

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UPDATED:

11:21 GMT, 9 December 2012

Relaxing after the win: Jimmy Anderson raises a glass after the win

Relaxing after the win: Jimmy Anderson raises a glass after the win

England paceman James Anderson praised the leadership skills of captain Alastair Cook after leading the side to a seven-wicket win over India in the third Test in Kolkata.

Cook's 190 in the first innings helped set the tourists on their way at Eden Gardens before the bowlers took over to dismiss India for 247 on their second turn at the crease.

That left England with a victory target of 41 runs and, despite a last-minute wobble, Ian Bell and Nick Compton settled nerves to move the team 2-1 ahead in the series with one match to play.

It followed an impressive performance in the second Test in Mumbai last week, and Anderson admits they could not have done it without captain Cook.

'The first Test we saw how it was going to be tough for us,' he told BBC Five Live's Sportsweek.

'We bounced back last week but to come here and put in an equally good performance was something special.

'Cook has been brilliant. The amount of runs he's got in the last three games have been incredible and he's crucial to the team. His first-innings score was a huge factor in us winning the game.

In form: Anderson had a good Test with the ball

In form: Anderson had a good Test with the ball

'He's the sort of guy who likes to lead from the front, lead by example, and he just wants to go out there and show what he can do and hopes everyone follows him. And we're certainly doing that.'

Anderson finished with six wickets in the match, but thinks spinners Graeme Swann (three wickets) and Monty Panesar (five) also deserve credit for the part they played.
'(Swann and Panesar) have been fantastic in the last two games,” said Anderson.

'Monty especially, having not played much international cricket over the last 12 months.
'He's settled back in brilliantly and got us crucial wickets at crucial times, and he's done that throughout the game.

In it together: Anderson says Cook has been a good leader on the tour

In it together: Anderson says Cook has been a good leader on the tour

'With Swanny, we know what we're going to get with him. As in this game, getting the crucial wicket of (Virender) Sehwag which started off that run for us in that session yesterday.'

Anderson is already turning his attention to the fourth Test in Nagpur next week, where England have the chance to secure a 3-1 series win.

But the paceman sounded a note of caution, saying: “We've got a lot of improving to do.

'We're really pleased with the last two wins, but going into the fourth Test we want to win the series outright and put in a really good performance to finish with.

'We really want to focus on the last game and if we can win that and win the series outright we can celebrate after that.'

England are team to be avoided in World Cup – Clive Woodward

Big guns fear England! No one wants to land World Cup hosts, says Woodward

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 2 December 2012

Sir Clive Woodward believes England’s demolition of New Zealand makes them the team to avoid in Monday’s draw for the 2015 World Cup.

New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and France are the top seeds — and hosts England, who are among the second seeds, could find themselves up against the All Blacks when the draw is made at Tate Modern in London.

‘It makes the draw fascinating, given that England have just demolished New Zealand,’ said Woodward.

History: England celebrate their stunning victory over New Zealand

History: England celebrate their stunning victory over New Zealand

‘The top four sides will not want to be playing against England. That result will make the southern hemisphere teams sit up and say for once, “We want to keep away from England”.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek, Woodward, who was England’s World Cup winning coach in 2003, added: ‘It was a great, great victory for the English team. The 38-21 scoreline absolutely reflected the performance and it was a great, great day to be at Twickenham.

‘They have some great players in there — Joe Launchbury, Tom Wood, Chris Robshaw — who were world class. This was a real David and Goliath effort.

Flying: Chris Ashton scored a try during England's win at Twickenham

Flying: Chris Ashton scored a try during England's win at Twickenham

‘They came out and threw the kitchen sink and New Zealand got completely rattled. Every phase of the game they won.’

Because Wales have slipped to ninth in the world following seven successive defeats, they will be drawn against two teams higher than them in the rankings, and could face New Zealand and England in a ‘group of death’.

But centre Jonathan Davies recalled
Wales’s performance at the last World Cup when they lost by a point to
France in the semi-finals and said: ‘Because of what we did then, I
think people will be fearing us, not the other way round.

Despair: Wales lost their fourth and final autumn international to Australia

Despair: Wales lost their fourth and final autumn international to Australia

‘It’s not an ideal situation, but we had a tough draw last year, too. I’m sure the boys are pretty confident that whoever we are drawn against we can beat.’

Wales wing Alex Cuthbert was similarly confident. ‘I’d look forward to it, whoever we draw,’ said Cuthbert. ‘Two top teams in the pool You want to beat the best in the world. We’ll be looking forward to it.’

Alex McCleish wants Joe Jordan to be next Scotland coach

McLeish backs 'fantastic' Jordan to pip Strachan to Scotland post after Levein departure

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UPDATED:

15:38 GMT, 11 November 2012

Alex McLeish thinks Joe Jordan would be an excellent appointment as the next Scotland manager.

The Scottish Football Association is on the look-out for a new manager for the national side after sacking Craig Levein on Monday.

Bookmakers have installed Gordon Strachan as the favourite to succeed Levein, but there have been calls for Jordan to be considered for the position.

Not you: Alex McCleish would prefer Joe Jordan to Gordon Strachan (centre)

Not you: Alex McCleish would prefer Joe Jordan to Gordon Strachan (centre)

Jordan enjoyed a glittering playing career with AC Milan, Leeds and Manchester United, but he has not managed a team on a permanent basis since 1997 when he was in charge at Bristol City.

Jordan has spent most of his recent years as Harry Redknapp's number two at Portsmouth and Tottenham, but McLeish thinks the 60-year-old would have no problem making the step up to international management.

'Joe Jordan is a fantastic candidate,' McLeish told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme.

'He is tactically tremendous because of working with Harry all these years and with the different systems they have played.

'I don't think Joe would be caught short in terms of tactical nous at that level.'

McLeish, who also thinks former Celtic manager Strachan would do a good job if appointed, managed Scotland for 10 months with relative success before quitting to join Birmingham, who were then in the Barclays Premier League.

There was an initial clamour for the 53-year-old to take the job again after Levein's dismissal, but he insists he would prefer to take charge of a top-flight English side instead after his recent disappointing spells in charge of Birmingham and their neighbours Aston Villa.

Candidate: Jordan would do a 'fantastic' job, claims McCleish

Candidate: Jordan would do a 'fantastic' job, claims McCleish

'It's not that I wouldn't like the job. If I was offered the Scotland job… it's a very difficult job to turn down, but I feel I have unfinished business in England and I like the day-to-day stuff,” the former Rangers manager said.

McLeish believes Levein, who won just three of his 12 games in charge of the national side, should perhaps have got more out of what he regards as a decent team.

'I believe they should have done better,' McLeish said.

'I do think the current crop are a decent bunch. James Morrison started in the Premier League for West Brom and scored a great goal yesterday.

'Some of the guys haven't reached their level yet at international level.

'They haven't produced that extra couple of per cent that exists in every player on the planet.'

Mark Hughes deserves more time, says Rodney Marsh

Fernandes must give winless Hughes more time, says former QPR striker Marsh

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UPDATED:

13:23 GMT, 11 November 2012

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes should wait until Christmas before deciding whether to sack Mark Hughes, according to the club's former striker Rodney Marsh.

The London club returned to the foot of the Barclays Premier League yesterday after they suffered their seventh defeat of a so-far winless season at Stoke.

Speculation continues to mount over the future of Rangers boss Hughes despite public statements of support from Fernandes, who is also the club owner.

Winless: Rodney Marsh believes Mark Hughes should be given enough time to turn things around at Queens Park Rangers

Winless: Rodney Marsh believes Mark Hughes should be given enough time to turn things around at Queens Park Rangers

Marsh, who played over 200 games for QPR, admits the team's start to the season has been poor, but he insists sacking the manager would be wrong.

'I believe you should give the manager until Christmas,' Marsh told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme.

'If you look at any successful team it is always based on continuity and consistency.

'Just look at Arsenal and Manchester United and what they have done with Arsene Wenger and (Sir) Alex Ferguson.

'Yes, they have gone 11 games without a win, but I hate it when owners keep on sacking their managers after a run of bad results.

'Mark Hughes has been under the cosh for the last four games.

'It was only six games into the season when they were saying “Hughes out”.

More pressure: Charlie Adam sealed another defeat for QPR on Saturday

More pressure: Charlie Adam sealed another defeat for QPR on Saturday

Missed chances: Adel Taarabt relected on a squandered effort

Missed chances: Adel Taarabt relected on a squandered effort

'That can't be good for anybody within the football club. I believe in continuity and consistency.'

Although Marsh is confident Hughes can drag the club out of the bottom three, he believes Fernandes made a mistake in sacking his predecessor Neil Warnock.

'I wouldn't have sacked Neil Warnock in the first place,' he said.

'He got them to the Premier League. He was doing a decent job.'

Have some patience: Rodney Marsh thinks Hughes should be given until Christmas at least

Have some patience: Rodney Marsh thinks Hughes should be given until Christmas at least

Fernandes took to Twitter last night to insist QPR are improving under Hughes, but he stopped short of giving his manager a full vote of confidence on the micro-blogging site, as has been the case in recent weeks.

The Malaysian also said next week's game against fellow strugglers Southampton was a 'must-win' encounter, and Marsh agrees.

'Both teams are having nightmare seasons,' Marsh added.

'They are in desperate trouble. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that the team who loses that match will get relegated.'

Tony Adams: Arsenal out of title race already after losing Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri

Arsenal great Adams claims former club are out of title race already after losing Van Persie, Nasri and Fabregas

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UPDATED:

16:41 GMT, 4 November 2012

Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams insists the club's failure to hold on to their best players has left them with no chance of winning the Barclays Premier League title.

The Gunners suffered a 2-1 defeat away to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday, a result which left them nine points behind the table-topping Red Devils.

United's first goal was scored by Robin van Persie, who left Arsenal in the summer after announcing he would not sign a new deal with the north London club.

Gone: Robin van Persie was the latest star player to leave Arsenal, as he left for Manchester United this summer

Gone: Robin van Persie was the latest star player to leave Arsenal, as he left for Manchester United this summer

Me too: Samir Nasri (right) also left for Manchester when he joined champions City last season

Me too: Samir Nasri (right) also left for Manchester when he joined champions City last season

His departure followed those of Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy, and Adams told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme: 'I never got anywhere near the last year of my contract.

'You don't let them go into their last year and run their contract down.

'It's about winning, and how do you
win You have the best players, and if you keep selling your best
players you're not going to win.

Remember this Tony Adams (right) and Arsene Wenger (left) lifted the Premiership trophy in 1998, the Frenchman's first full season in charge at Arsenal

Remember this Tony Adams (right) and Arsene Wenger (left) lifted the Premiership trophy in 1998, the Frenchman's first full season in charge at Arsenal

'If you sell your best players you're not going to challenge for titles. You need to keep your best players and in recent years we've let them go a bit easy.'

Adams believes Champions League qualification via a top-four finish is the absolute best that Arsene Wenger's men can hope for.

'If Wenger gets them into the top four he's done brilliantly,' he added.

Both Nasri and Clichy joined Roberto Mancini's Manchester City and lifted the Premier League title last season.

Cesc Fabregas won the Copa Del Rey with Barcelona in his debut season, as the Catalan club missed out on La Liga to Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid.

Damning: Adams says losing the likes of Cesc Fabregas (right) has taken its toll on Arsene Wenger's side

Damning: Adams says losing the likes of Cesc Fabregas (right) has taken its toll on Arsene Wenger's side

Following suit: Like Nasri, Gael Clichy (left) also left Arsenal for Manchester City

Following suit: Like Nasri, Gael Clichy (left) also left Arsenal for Manchester City

Ricky Hatton reveals how close he came to suicide

Hatton: I came so close to suicide that my girlfriend prised a knife from my hand

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UPDATED:

12:30 GMT, 28 October 2012

Ricky Hatton has revealed just how close he came to committing suicide following during his three-year retirement from boxing.

The 34-year-old said his girlfriend often had to prise a knife from his hand as depression took its toll on his life.

Hatton, who has had had well-publicised battles with drink, drugs and depression after his loss to Manny Pacquiao in his last fight since May 2009, will return to the ring against Ukraine's Vyacheslav Senchenko next month.

Back again: Ricky Hatton will return to the ring on November 24 in Manchester

Back again: Ricky Hatton will return to the ring on November 24 in Manchester

He told Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme: 'I was near to a nervous breakdown, depression, suicidal. Most mornings my girlfriend would have to come downstairs and take a knife out of my hand. I had a knife at my wrists, I was in a really bad way, just hysterically crying for no reason.

'I've always liked a little bit of a drink, but my drinking had gone way off the Richter scale, I was having blackouts.

'And even if I was stone cold sober I was trying to kill myself. The real lowest point was when my little girl came along, who is one-year-old now. [Hatton's son] Campbell had the misfortune to see his dad in such a bad way, I am not going to do it any more to my kids and I'm not going to put my family though it any more.'

Hatton claims his life now is 'really rosy', but admitted in his eyes he was returning to the ring 'ashamed' and as a 'failure'.

Old days: Hatton enjoyed a drink or two

Old days: Hatton enjoyed a drink or two

'I feel sad because I feel ashamed of
myself,' he said. 'It doesn't matter how many people say, “Ricky,
everyone has problems and you got beaten my (Floyd) Mayweather (Jr) and
Pacquiao who are the two best fighters of our generation, you did the
country proud”.

'That's very kind of people to say, but they don't have to deal with this little fella who sits on my shoulder every day telling me that I'm a failure and I've let my family and my fans down and British sport, British boxing down.

'I feel a failure and it doesn't matter how many people say, “Don't be too hard on yourself”, that's how I feel and that's how I'm coming back. I feel I've got to redeem myself.

'It's more than a boxing match for me. For me everything I've done in my career, all the world titles and great wins have all been for nothing. That's how I feel.

'I feel I have to come back and redeem myself as a man to my fans, my family, my friends, loved ones, just the whole of British sport to be honest. Because it doesn't mater how many people say it to me, I feel like I've let everyone own. I've got to put the demon and those ghosts to rest.'

Hatton said he had thought about how he would handle a defeat against Senchenko on November 24, saying: 'I would rather get flattened again so I could look at myself in the mirror and say, “You know what Ricky, you gave it your best shot”. Whether I win, lose or draw, I've already won from where I came in.”

'I want people to look at me as a
four-time world champion, man of the people and not look at me as this
joke I feel I've become.'

Knocked out: Hatton was last in action when losing to Manny Pacquiao

Knocked out: Hatton was last in action when losing to Manny Pacquiao

Hatton said his current weight of 11 stone two pounds was 'music to his ears” one month out from a fight at which he must be 10st 7lbs.

He revealed during retirement he ballooned to 14st 10lbs.

'For 5ft 6in in height that's nothing short of heart attack material,' he said.

Hatton also claimed he would surprise the doubters in the ring.

'The way I'm performing in the gym I think everyone is going to be shocked at the Ricky Hatton that comes back,' he said.

Lance Armstrong could take lie detector test

'Serial cheat' Armstrong could take lie detector test to prove innocence

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UPDATED:

21:06 GMT, 14 October 2012

Lance Armstrong’s lawyer revealed the cyclist may take a lie detector test in an attempt to prove he is innocent of doping allegations.

But Tim Herman admitted few people would believe the results even if they showed Armstrong was telling the truth.

The American has been labelled a ‘serial cheat’ and a bully by the United States Anti-Doping Agency who added that he led ‘the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen’.

Option: Lance Armstrong may take a lie detector test

Option: Lance Armstrong may take a lie detector test

The USADA have also stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles and banned him from cycling for life.

Herman said he would be keen for the 26 witnesses who testified against Armstrong to the USADA to take lie detector tests, too.

He told Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek: ‘A lie detector test properly administered, I’m a proponent of that, frankly. I wouldn’t challenge the results of a lie detector test with good equipment, properly administered by a qualified technician.’

Cheat: Armstrong's reputation is in tatters

Cheat: Armstrong's reputation is in tatters

Asked if Armstrong, 41, would take a lie detector test, Herman said: ‘We might do that, you never know.’

When asked what reason there could be for not submitting to a test, Herman added: ‘Because he’s moved on. His name is never going to be clear with anyone beyond what it is today.’

USADA last week released their ‘reasoned decision’ behind their sanctions against him in a 1,000-page report.

Herman said: ‘I don’t think this report altered anyone’s view, most people had staked out their position a long time ago about Lance. There are fans and there are haters.’

Confession: Matt White stepped down

Confession: Matt White stepped down

Asked if he was saying all 26 witnesses, 11 of whom were former team-mates of Armstrong and who revealed their own doping past by testifying, were lying, Herman said: ‘No, I’m not. But several of them are.’

Cycling Australia’s board will meet this week to decide action against Armstrong’s former team mate Matt White, after he confessed to doping and stepped down as sports director of the Orica-GreenEDGE team.

Jacques Rogge says Olympics could return to London within 20 years

IOC president Rogge says Olympics could return to London… within the next 20 years!

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UPDATED:

10:51 GMT, 14 October 2012

The president of the International Olympic Committee says he would have no problem with London hosting the Games again within the next 20 years.

This summer's Games in the capital were a resounding success and Jacques Rogge believes there would be no objection to the city doing so again soon.

Asked if London could stage the Olympics again within 20 years, he told Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme: 'I think definitely that would be a possibility. Whether there is a will to do that is another matter, but definitely yes, that would be possible.

Hungry for more: IOC president Jacques Rogge believes there would be little opposition to London hosting another Olympic Games within 20 years

Hungry for more: IOC president Jacques Rogge believes there would be little opposition to London hosting another Olympic Games within 20 years

'The IOC would welcome always good bids, irrespective of the place they originate from.

'There will always be a competition between various candidate cities. This is a contest and definitely it remains to be seen whether London would show an interest to bid again and if that is the case London will have to face other cities.

'I would welcome good bids emanating from as many countries as possible and this includes the United Kingdom.'

Rogge also backed the British authorities to make a success of the Olympic Stadium, the future of which is still to be decided.

Rogge said: 'My view is that what we really need is that it can be used by communities and not be left as a white elephant and I'm quite sure that my British friends will find a solution for sustainable legacy.'

Back you come: Rogge (centre right) said that as long as the track is well maintained, the Olympic Park would be a perfect repeat venue

Back you come: Rogge (centre right) said that as long as the track is well maintained, the Olympic Park would be a perfect repeat venue

Asked if he would be happy for West Ham to move into the Stratford stadium, he said: 'As long as the track can be kept, that is the most important thing in terms of legacy for the athletics, But if a football team would come in the stadium, this would guarantee sustainable development.'

Rogge also dismissed any concerns that the 2014 World Cup in Brazil could affect preparations for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

'On the contrary, I think the FIFA World Cup will be a support for the Olympic Games.

'They will be able to test readiness. the volunteers that are working for the FIFA World Cup will also work for the Olympic Games so definitely it will benefit from the FIFA World Cup.'

Golf will feature in the Olympics for the first time in Rio and Rogge believes it will be one of the most popular sports at the Games.

He added: 'I think it is really very important for the Games to have the participation of Tiger Woods. We have the best athletes in the world, we have Usain Bolt and we need to have Tiger Woods too.

'He could definitely consider the Games as another major.'

More of the same: Usain Bolt (centre) and Co ensured that the 2012 Games were a resounding success in the capital

More of the same: Usain Bolt (centre) and Co ensured that the 2012 Games were a resounding success in the capital

Lewis Hamilton moved to Mercedes for new challenge – Niki Lauda

Hamilton's Mercedes switch was not motivated by money, insists Lauda

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UPDATED:

11:26 GMT, 30 September 2012

Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda has revealed the role he played in luring Lewis Hamilton to make the switch from McLaren, reiterating the move was all about providing the British driver with a new challenge.

Mercedes announced on Thursday morning that Hamilton would be joining them on a three-year deal from the start of the 2013 Formula One season, ending a 14-year association with McLaren.

Hamilton will replace Michael Schumacher at the German team, with Mexican Sergio Perez – currently with Sauber – stepping in for the Briton at McLaren.

Thumbs up: Lewis Hamilton will leave McLaren to join Mercedes for next season

Thumbs up: Lewis Hamilton will leave McLaren to join Mercedes for next season

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh warned Hamilton that leaving for Mercedes will prove to be a mistake, but three-time former world champion Lauda – who held talks with a pragmatic and apparently emotionless Hamilton last week – said the 27-year-old was eager to start a new chapter.

'I spoke to him a couple of times, but I didn't have to convince him much,' the 63-year-old told BBC Radio Five's Sportsweek programme. 'He had a clear plan and I didn't have to convince him of anything.

'I can honestly say I was impressed with his approach to things – very pragmatic, no emotions whatsoever. The real discussion was, 'why should I leave a competitive car where my life is easier in the future'

Teaming up: Hamilton (right) will race with Nico Rosberg at Mercedes

Teaming up: Hamilton (right) will race with Nico Rosberg at Mercedes

'My argument was, 'if you're looking for a new challenge then frankly the Mercedes team is one'. Thinking the other way round, if Michael Schumacher could not get the Mercedes team – for three years running – up front and you next year are doing much better, this makes a huge impact on your personality and people will rate you much higher than you are rated now.'

He continued: 'The money discussion I was not really involved in. The money was not really the case. The offer was very close to the one of McLaren. In the end it was that he looks for a new challenge.

'I understand him because if you drive six years for same the team and for the same people you get used to each other. It works for him because he won one championship and he is winning races, but nevertheless a new challenge with new people… you learn different things and different approaches – it's something that for a competitive guy like Lewis was very interesting.'

Big move: Sergio Perez will replace Hamilton at McLaren next season

Big move: Sergio Perez will replace Hamilton at McLaren next season

Lauda has no doubt about the 27-year-old's speed and quality, but insisted there was no No 1 driver in the Mercedes team.

'I think he is, (even) in a bad car, the best driver in the world because he's unbelievably quick,' Lauda said. 'He makes no compromise. So if Hamilton would join the team next year, which he is, I can tell you he will make a big move forward on speed.'

He added: 'There's no No 1 and No 2. There's enough money for Mercedes that they can prepare two cars exactly the same way.

'And what I really look forward to is that Hamilton will push Nico Rosberg to go quicker and Nico will push Hamilton to go quicker – and this is really all you need in a team.'