Civil war persists at Mercedes in aftermath of Spa clash

Rosberg versus Hamilton at Spa

Rosberg versus Hamilton at Spa

Days after their carbon-fibre crunching collision on lap two of the Belgian Grand Prix, at Spa-Francorchamps, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are still exchanging taunts.

After Hamilton said Rosberg had admitted in a post-race briefing that Sunday’s crash was on purpose, the championship leader had replied only that he has a very different tale to tell about the incident.

Now, according to Sport Bild, the 29-year-old has remarked sarcastically about what he thought of Hamilton’s post race comments, “Very kind words from him, I think. He is a very nice guy.”

Rosberg has said he regrets what happened, but added, “I think it was a normal racing incident. Of course, between teammates it must not happen.”

Hamilton, however, has been disparaging of his former friend and long time racing rival. Actually, he denies the pair were ever really friends, telling Sportwoche he actually has no recollection of where he first met Rosberg.

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have been rivals since their karting days

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have been rivals since their karting days

“That’s not really something you remember,” said Hamilton, “Yes, [the friendship is] exaggerated. We’re friends, blah blah blah.”

Now, a world championship is at stake, and the Briton said, “We are not here to play. But since Monaco this year it has been clear to me that Nico is doing anything to beat me.”

In contrast, Hamilton says he will not resort to similar tactics and promised, “Whatever the case I will always put the team first and I won’t take anything into my own hands.”

Elsewhere in Formula 1, there is delight that Rosberg vs Hamilton is injecting spice into a championship battle that might otherwise be consumed by Mercedes‘ utter dominance.

Mark Webber, not unaccustomed to a tough teammate battle, thinks the Mercedes fight is good for Formula 1. But he joins those who were surprised by Rosberg’s behaviour at Spa.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg once were mates

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg once were mates

“It was a bit strange and not characteristic of Rosberg’s driving,” the Australian told Servus TV.

But at the end of the day, Webber thinks Mercedes will pull through its driver crisis with both championship crowns, with countryman Daniel Ricciardo “only having a chance if Mercedes completely implodes”.

Webber’s old friend Fernando Alonso agrees, insisting he sees nothing particularly unusual about the Rosberg versus Hamilton war.

“If a team leaves the drivers to fight and they don’t touch, it’s fantastic,” Alonso is quoted by Totalrace. “If they do touch, the team is no good anymore.”

“It’s difficult for them [Mercedes] but they are leading the championship by a big margin and dominating everything, so they must be doing something good,” he added.

Rosberg tops the Formula 1 drivers’ standings after 12 races, and has 220 points to his credit, 29 more than Hamilton, although the Briton has five victories to the German’s four so far this year. The DNF in Belgium was Hamilton’s third no points score race of his campaign. (GMM)