SIMMERING tension between Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg erupted again after the British driver cruised to victory in the Chinese Grand Prix yesterday.
Rosberg accused Hamilton of pitching him into a tussle for second place with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by deliberately and unnecessarily slowing down when leading in Shanghai. Hamilton hit back, insisting he had only been seeking to protect the condition of his own car, and aiming a pointed put-down at his German colleague in the process.
“I wasn’t controlling his race, I was controlling my own. My goal was to look after my car. I had no real threat from Nico throughout the whole race,” said Hamilton, who extended his lead to 13 points. “I didn’t do anything intentionally to slow any of the cars up, I was just focused on myself. If Nico wanted to get by he could have tried, but he didn’t.”
Rosberg, who asked the Mercedes pit team to ask Hamilton to speed up during the race, said the title-holder’s tactics pushed him “unnecessarily close” to Vettel, who ended third. He said: “It’s interesting to hear from you Lewis you were just thinking about yourself with the pace in front when that was compromising my race.”
Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth for Ferrari, ahead of Williams duo Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.