As Mercedes team-mate wins controversial Monaco Grand Prix
- Rosberg leads the drivers’ championship after winning in Monte Carlo
- Hamilton finished second but then dismissed his friendship with Rosberg
- The British driver trails Rosberg by four points after a controversial race
Lewis Hamilton’s relationship with Nico Rosberg appeared to hit rock bottom on Sunday after the British driver denied being friends with his team-mate.
A seething Hamilton was speaking after Rosberg regained the lead of the World Championship following his lights-to-flag victory in Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Hamilton and Rosberg have both insisted their friendship, which goes back to their childhood as team-mates in karting, would survive the fierce test of a championship battle.
Eye troubles: Lewis Hamilton says he is not friends with Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg
Start to finish: Nico Rosberg won the Monaco Grand Prix, with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton behind
Agonising: It was a long day for Hamilton, who was still upset over what happened in qualifying
But speaking after today’s race, Hamilton, who fought off a late challenge from Daniel Ricciardo to finish second and thus securing a fifth consecutive one-two finish for Mercedes, said: ‘We are not friends. We are colleagues.’
Hamilton was furious after Rosberg’s mistake during qualifying forced him to abandon his final attempt to snatch pole from his team-mate.
Before the race, Mercedes chief Niki Lauda admitted Hamilton was unhappy in the team’s morning briefing, and the Briton’s mood rapidly deteriorated on Sunday after he felt he should have pitted one lap earlier than Rosberg before battling the closing stages of the race with dirt in his eye.
Start to finish: Rosberg controversially started on pole, and couldn’t be caught by Hamilton
Sore loser? Hamilton was seething after seeing Rosberg regain the lead of the World Championship
‘I had great pace and felt very strong but it’s a very difficult place to overtake,’ Hamilton, who appeared to avoid Rosberg in a tense podium ceremony, added.
Hamilton also revealed that he and Rosberg had not even been in the post-qualifying debriefing together on Saturday.
‘Nico did his big debrief before I got there, which is not what we normally do,’ Hamilton said.
‘Fortunately the engineers wrote down what Nico said.’
Hamilton’s dour mood was in stark contrast to that of Rosberg who ended his team-mate’s four-race winning streak by securing his second victory in Monaco in as many years.
‘We’ve always been friends, we always will be friends,’ Rosberg said. ‘But friends is a big word. What exactly is friends? We have a good relationship and work well together.’
Hamilton added: ‘It’s a fierce battle between me and Nico and will continue that way. I’m going to keep my head up and keep pushing.’
Source: Daily Mail