Lewis Hamilton: My relationship with Nico is 'sweet'

    Story highlights

    • F1 world champion says he and Rosberg joke about their rivalry
    • Hamilton admits to "bumps in the road" but "the respect is there"
    • Briton clinched third F1 world title at the the United States GP

    (CNN)His sometimes volatile working relationship with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg continues to make headlines -- but Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton insists that everything is "sweet" between the pair.

    Hamilton, whose team boss Toto Wolff had warned that one of the two drivers could go if relations did not improve, said "only positives" lay ahead "for Mercedes and us."
      Speaking earlier this month, Wolff said: "The guy in the other car cannot be your friend.
      "But we need to be careful that it doesn't spill over on both sides of the garage. We have seen at teams in the past that there is a competition that has been created that is not good for the dynamics within the team, and this is what I try to re-emphasize. I will have a close look at it."
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      But the 30-year-old Hamilton said Mercedes had "a great, functioning team" and stressed the two drivers "would grow in our respect for each other."
      "I sat with Nico last night," he said. "You can imagine in any organization that, if there is a weak point in the team, it's got to be worked on or got rid of or replaced.
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      "But we're not in that position -- we've got a great functioning team, we all pull together and Nico and I have finished first and second for the last two years. We've done everything that we've needed to do."
      Hamilton said he believed media reports had not helped perceptions of his working relationship with Rosberg.
      "Of course there have been a few bumps along the road, but generally it has been sweet and it will continue that way," he said.
      "We'll continue to learn from each other and grow in terms of our respect for each other.
      "The future is bright, and there's only positives ahead on the road for Mercedes and us."
      He said he, Rosberg and Mercedes had "had a great year," adding: "I think a lot of the media have tried to make a lot of nothing -- as they usually do.
      "Nico and I will, as we do generally at the end of the year, sit together and talk. The respect is there.
      "We have fun, and we laugh and joke about the competition that we have out on the track.
      "We will go into the winter, enjoy the winter and come back next year and want to be beating each other again. That's what, since we were 13, we have always wanted to do -- and so we'll do it."
      Last month, Rosberg finished the 2015 season on a high note by claiming his third straight F1 victory as he relegated a frustrated Hamilton to second place in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
      In October, Hamilton wrapped up the title at the United States Grand Prix in Texas -- but he had to play second fiddle to German rival Rosberg over the remaining three rounds.