Nico Rosberg blasts Mercedes team-mate after shunt on first corner at US Grand Prix… and also throws cap back at title-winning Brit, ignores handshake and refuses to join in champagne spraying
- Lewis Hamilton clinched third world championship at US Grand Prix – equalling Sir Jackie Stewart’s British record
- Nico Rosberg unhappy with Lewis Hamilton following first corner, he says team-mate was far too aggressive
- German eventually finished second, and chucked a cap back at Hamilton in the driver’s room in Austin
- Rosberg also didn’t pop his champagne on the podium and ignored a handshake from Hamilton
While Lewis Hamilton found it impossible to keep his emotions in check after sealing an incredible third world title in Austin on Sunday, Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg was almost on a different level. And not in a good way.
Rosberg started on pole at the US Grand Prix and led the race for the majority of the, surprisingly dry, afternoon in Texas, only to throw it all away with an unforced error with just eight laps remaining.
The German, 30, was visibly frustrated after the race, first throwing a cap back at Hamilton in the driver’s room before refusing to shake his hand, and then didn’t take part in the champagne spraying on the podium.
Lewis Hamilton tossed a Pirelli cap at Nico Rosberg in the driver’s room ahead of leaving to stand on the podium at the US Grand Prix
Rosberg petulantly chucked the cap back at Hamilton following the race in Austin but said it was ‘nothing – just our typical games’
Hamilton rests his hand on Rosberg’s shoulder after sealing his third world championship with the race win at the US Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel, who finished third, joined in with the customary champagne spraying while Nico Rosberg refused to take part
With three races remaining
1) Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 327
2) Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 251
3) Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 247
All this while his countryman Sebastian Vettel could be heard congratulating Hamilton on his third world championship. The 30-year-old has equalled Sir Jackie Stewart’s haul and was crying on the team radio after the race.
‘It’s the greatest moment of my life,’ he said. ‘Thank you guys so much, for everything you do. I’m so grateful. To my family, I love you all, thank you.’
As for Rosberg, he was less than happy with Hamilton’s behaviour. The duo grew up karting together but since becoming Mercedes team-mates they have not quite seen eye to eye.
That rivalry was on show again on the very first corner. Rosberg knew he had to realistically win the race to stand any chance of taking the championship hunt into the Mexican Grand Prix next weekend, but was nudged off the track by Hamilton, who got off to a better start in Texas.
It was almost identical to the manoeuvre Hamilton pulled off in Suzuka, and if the duo weren’t team-mates Rosberg would have surely complained.
‘Lewis was too aggressive today, he took it too far.’ Rosberg said in the post-race press conference
‘It was extremely aggressive. We hit each other – well – Lewis came into me, and that’s not good. But I can’t say any more than that.’
Rosberg says his Mercedes team-mate was too aggressive on Sunday, after his nudge on the first corner sent him wide
The two cars were neck and neck early on in the race after locking out the front row at the US Grand Prix
LEWIS HAMILTON BECOMES THREE-TIME WORLD CHAMPION
MOST CHAMPIONSHIP WINS
Hamilton becomes the 10th driver to win a hat-trick of championships:
7 Michael Schumacher (Ger)
5 Juan Manuel Fangio (Arg)
4 Alain Prost (Fra), Sebastian Vettel (Ger)
3 Jack Brabham (Aus), Jackie Stewart (GB), Niki Lauda (Aut), Nelson Piquet (Bra), Ayrton Senna (Bra), LEWIS HAMILTON (GB)
Hamilton becomes the first British drive to win back-to-back championships:
5 Michael Schumacher (Ger, 2000-04)
4 Juan Manuel Fangio (Arg, 1954-57), Sebastian Vettel (Ger, 2010-13)
2 Alberto Ascari (Ita, 1952-53), Jack Brabham (Aus, 1959-60), Alain Prost (Fra, 1985-86), Ayrton Senna (Bra, 1990-91), Schumacher (1994-95), Mika Hakkinen (Fin, 1998-99), Fernando Alonso (Spa, 2005-06), LEWIS HAMILTON (GB, 2014-15)
MOST RACE WINS
91 — Michael Schumacher
51 — Alain Prost
43 — LEWIS HAMILTON
42 — Sebastian Vettel
41 — Ayrton Senna
MOST CHAMPIONSHIPS BY COUNTRY
16 GREAT BRITAIN (3 — Hamilton, Stewart; 2 — G Hill, Jim Clark; 1 — Hawthorn, Surtees, Hunt, Mansell, D Hill, Button)
(Hamilton equals Sir Jackie Stewart’s record of three championships (won last title in 1973).
11 Germany (7 — Schumacher; 4 — Vettel)
8 Brazil (3 — Piquet, Senna; 2 — Fittipaldi)
After the race, which saw Rosberg struggle with wheelspin – an issue he says he’s never experienced before – on lap 48, the top three made their way to the driver’s room.
Hamilton didn’t know what to do with himself, taking off his helmet and kneeling down, resting his forehead on a table. Rosberg was sitting in the corner of the room, speechless.
And when Lewis tossed his team-mate a Pirelli cap for the podium ‘celebration’ Rosberg did not look amused, chucking it right back at him. It was frosty and petulant, to say the least.
Out in front of the fans, Rosberg ignored Hamilton’s handshake and then didn’t pop his champagne. After losing out in a tight title fight last season, the defeat this year was clearly too much to take.
Hamilton couldn’t keep his emotions in check and rested his forehead on a table after the race, and was tearful
Hamilton jumps for joy (above) in front of the fans, and looks happy with a Great Britain flag (below) in the post-race press conference
Asked about the hat toss on Sky Sports, he replied: ‘Nothing, it’s just our typical games.’
Twitter users were critical of Rosberg.
HurricaneHic147 said: ‘I’ve seen some bad losers but have a word with yourself Rosberg #baby #f1 #x3worldchampion Well done Lewis’
@BenHallahan wrote: ‘Nico Rosberg looks sick, throws hat back at Lewis, ignores handshake. Seb is all class. End of the day, British World Champ!
And @RussWheelz posted: ‘Rosberg shown his true colours several years on trot now. Shame! Be a man and shake his hand and mean it
Hamilton crosses the line to win the world championship and equal Sir Jackie Stewart’s British record
Source: Daily Mail