Nico Rosberg has vowed to move on after his post-race run-in with teammate Lewis Hamilton in China.
Addressing his fans in a video posted on social media from the Shanghai airport, the German said “constructive criticism” had been exchanged in team meetings “and we’re moving on to Bahrain”.
“Now it’s a thing of the past,” said Rosberg, who was highly critical of championship leader and Shanghai winner Hamilton’s race tactics on Sunday.
The 29-year-old, who has been outshone by world champion Hamilton so far in 2015, may have been placated by the promise of action from the pitwall should Hamilton not up his pace to fend off rivals’ advances in future.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said he is loathe to issue ‘team orders’, but confirmed that Hamilton had in fact been asked by radio to speed up so that Rosberg’s race was not compromised by the charging Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel.
“It could have come to a point where we would have been very firm on the radio saying ‘This is what needs to be done’,” the Austrian said.
“Lewis didn’t do anything wrong,” said Wolff, “but we realised that Nico was in the risk of falling into third place or even worse. So there were a lot of thoughts on the pitwall.
“We were close to having (to make) such an unpopular call.”
According to former F1 driver Patrick Tambay, the lasting outcome of the Shanghai saga may have been etched on Hamilton’s smirk on Sunday as Rosberg laid out his complaint.
Tambay told France’s RMC Sport: “Hamilton proved today that he is the boss in his team.” (GMM)