Nico Rosberg says he has no intention of speaking again about the Shanghai incident with Lewis Hamilton.
The German, having accused his Mercedes teammate of compromising his race in China, said “criticism” was exchanged in the post-race briefings in China.
“I admit,” he told the major German daily Bild, “when I sat next to him in the press conference, I was pissed (off).
“In the morning we had talked about that exact scenario,” added Rosberg, referring to his complaint that the leading Hamilton was not giving him enough space from the charging third-placed runner, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
The spat rekindled memories of their tumultuous relationship of 2014, and Rosberg admitted that the pair is once again “in a difficult situation”.
“Between us, sometimes it’s better and sometimes it’s less good. But I see no reason to talk to him about it again.”
Hamilton had kept the argument fizzing this week by suggesting he is mentally stronger than Rosberg, and insisting he would never settle for second place.
Rosberg has now hit back, saying the driving behaviour of Hamilton in China this weekend will be “irrelevant”.
“We start from scratch again. Lewis can drive as he wants — it’s up to him. It is completely irrelevant to me,” he added.
Mika Hakkinen, the retired double world champion, said this week that he sees nothing unusual in the psychological battle playing out at Mercedes.
“These mind games are part of the show and always have been,” the Finn told Germany’s Die Welt newspaper.
But Hakkinen also backed Hamilton’s driving in Shanghai, explaining that each driver concentrates only on trying to win the race for himself.
“For me it’s simple,” he said. “He was in the lead so the leader sets the pace.”
As for whether Hamilton was deliberately driving slowly to ruin Rosberg’s race, Hakkinen added: “I can only speak from my experience as a two-time champion in saying that I never did anything like that intentionally.
“But when I was leading, I was not interested in the rest of the field except to do everything I needed to do to win. It may sound selfish, but it’s the truth.” (GMM)