Lewis Hamilton says that his strained relationship with Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg has become ‘surprisingly’ good recently, and it all happened around the communal pool they share in Monte-Carlo.

Rosberg gained an upper hand over Hamilton at the end of last season and kept the momentum going in 2016, winning four races in succession. But the pair collided in spectacular fashion in Spain before the defending world champion took the checkered flag in Monaco and Canada.

Rosberg remains in command in the championship standings however, having dominated the most recent round in Baku.

Although the pair admitted that they had talked about the Barcelona incident in private, from the outside the relationship still appeared distant, with a fair amount of ‘history’ governing the relation between both men.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday newspaper however, Hamilton conceded that the relationship with his arch rival had greatly improved recently.

“It’s really, really good with Nico at the moment, surprisingly,” said Hamilton.

Last week, as Hamilton had been taking advantage of a day off in Monte-Carlo where he resides, his team mate suddenly joined him by their building’s swimming pool.

“I guess he saw me from his apartment and came down and sat on the diving board, and when I finished a few laps, we sat and talked for 20 minutes or half an hour, in a relaxed state.

“Whether we’re unhappy about something or not, we discuss it face to face. If I have a problem, I knock on his door and ask if I can speak to him privately. We never address it publicly or in front of the team.

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“We are going to have our ups and downs and there are going to be times where we hate each other and when we like each other but ultimately when we have all retired and got kids and stuff, the respect is always going to be there.”

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