Nico Rosberg has acknowledged he may have kicked an own goal by hitting out at his teammate Lewis Hamilton after the Chinese grand prix.
The accusations about Hamilton’s tactical trickery caused a global media stir and opened the door for the reigning world champion to claim the psychological edge and the moral high ground.
“I just do my talking on the track. That’s how I’ve been since I was eight years old,” said Hamilton.
Indeed, Rosberg’s claim that Hamilton drove deliberately slowly in the lead was ridiculed in some quarters, but the German has found a couple of allies.
“I can understand why Nico was uncomfortable,” Sebastian Vettel said on Thursday.
And another German, Nico Hulkenberg, was quoted by DPA news agency: “Honestly, I see no problem that someone expresses his opinion, especially right after a race when emotions are running high anyway.
“But then you’re always going to get people responding.
“There is also the argument that he should have overtaken, but that’s not so easy with these modern formula one cars,” Hulkenberg added.
However, Rosberg is now having to paddle backwards out of the controversy, insisting what he said and what happened in Shanghai was “not such a big deal”.
“We have had more difficult times in our duel,” he added, referring to Hamilton.
Rosberg says he stands by his comments, which he insists were based only on “facts”.
But does he wish he had saved the discussion only for the internal team briefing?
“Maybe, because I’m standing here and answering all these questions,” Rosberg told a swarm of journalists in Bahrain.
“I would not do anything different, apart from discussing it with you,” he added. (GMM)