Hamilton wary of buoyant Rosberg

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has been forced to change his helmet design

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has been forced to change his helmet design

First published in National Sport News © by

Lewis Hamilton is wary of the effect the euphoria currently being experienced by Nico Rosberg could have on his Formula One world title rival's bid for a home race triumph in Germany this weekend.

Rosberg departed the British Grand Prix on his first serious low of the campaign as he suffered his maiden retirement this season after finishing the opening eight races either as winner or runner-up.

With Hamilton claiming victory on his own home soil at Silverstone, the gap between the duo was also slashed to just four points in the German's favour.

But following that blow for Rosberg, in the space of a few days he then got married, watched Germany win the World Cup and signed a new long-term contract with Mercedes.

In terms of attempting to wrest back the initiative from Hamilton, Rosberg could not have asked for more, and will now be buoyed by the backing of thousands of ecstatic Germans at Hockenheim.

"For every driver when he goes into his home race he gets a boost, and I think Nico will have that extra boost this weekend," said Hamilton.

"Not least because Germany have just won the World Cup and the whole country is on a serious high.

"Hopefully that will also have a positive effect on the whole team, as Mercedes-Benz."

Rosberg, who concedes he has had a "very positive week", is naturally hoping to tap into the positive vibe that has swept his country in light of the World Cup triumph.

"The effort of the team as a whole, how they all played together was really great to see and that's what helped them win the tournament," said Rosberg.

"That's what we at Mercedes are trying to do as well, to really work well, everybody together, to make the most of it.

"We're also on the right track in that respect because to dominate the sport as we are doing indicates we work pretty well together as a team.

"Of course there's room for improvement, but we're going in the right direction."

The only low note for Rosberg over the past few days has been FIFA putting a block on his planned helmet design for this weekend.

Following Germany's fourth World Cup triumph via their 1-0 victory over Argentina at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, a thrilled Rosberg immediately sought to reflect his team's achievement.

On Tuesday Rosberg tweeted a picture of the helmet he had planned to wear at Hockenheim, resplendent with the colours of the German flag.

Primarily, it was adorned with four stars to indicate the number of times they have been crowned champions, whilst on top was an image of the World Cup.

FIFA, however, caught wind of the situation and contacted Rosberg's manager Georg Nolte to inform him his driver would have to remove the image due to an infringement of its intellectual property rights.

Defending its decision to ban the design, a FIFA spokesperson said: "FIFA is obliged to take action against any unauthorised reproduction of its intellectual property in a commercial context.

"If FIFA would not follow up on any potential infringements of its intellectual property, it would risk losing its legal right and title to such works, thereby endangering the foundation of its commercial programme which is driven primarily by the access to and usage of our brand marks, including the FIFA World Cup trophy.

"An example of the strength of FIFA's intellectual property assets is reflected by recent research in seven key global markets where the FIFA World Cup trophy recorded an average recognition level of 83 per cent.

"These levels are significantly higher than any other sporting trophies.

"As a result, we cannot allow a commercially branded helmet to feature the FIFA World Cup trophy as this would jeopardise the rights of our commercial affiliates.

"We appreciate Nico Rosberg's desire to congratulate the German team and have therefore been in discussions with the Rosberg team to attempt to find a solution, whereby he is still able to show his support for Germany without using FIFA intellectual property in a commercial context."

Rosberg conceded to being caught by surprise by FIFA's regulations, saying: "The World Cup as a trademark - these are the kind of things you have to think of. It's amazing.

"I was surprised but of course I fully understand. It was a pity because the helmet looked really cool with the trophy on top.

"I've replaced it now with a big star and no-one can take that away. The star is ours!"

Comments (1)

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3:16pm Thu 17 Jul 14

speedy231278 says...

He should ignore them. What are FIFA going to do, take legal action against another sporting hero from the World Cup winning side's home country? That would really go down well, wouldn't it?
He should ignore them. What are FIFA going to do, take legal action against another sporting hero from the World Cup winning side's home country? That would really go down well, wouldn't it? speedy231278
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