World champion Lewis Hamilton has revealed that his relationship with non-executive chairman Niki Lauda was strained before he joined Mercedes.

The back-to-back champion joined the team from McLaren in 2013 and has dominated the sport in the last two years.

However, reports have suggested that Nico Rosberg is the more popular Mercedes driver.

Hamilton told AUTOSPORT: "When I started out Niki wasn't a big fan of mine, as far as I was aware, not always the most complimentary towards me,

"He didn't know me, and we hadn't really met and spoken.

"It wasn't until we started talking mid-2012 that our relationship started, from scratch.

"You know how competitive and how diligent he was when he was racing, and I think he saw a lot of himself in me.

"We like the same things, we're very similar in many ways, so our relationship started from then.

"Since then he has been one of my strongest supporters within this team and organisation, which is hugely, hugely appreciated."

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