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Angry Lewis Hamilton rules out Nico Rosberg friendship

Canberra Times logo Canberra Times 25/05/2014 Daniel Johnson
Winners are grinners: Nico Rosberg of Germany. © AP Winners are grinners: Nico Rosberg of Germany.

Lewis Hamilton gave his strongest indication yet that he believes Nico Rosberg intentionally ruined his final qualifying lap in Monaco, as the feud between the Mercedes team-mates escalated on Sunday night.

Hamilton has yet to accept Rosberg's apology for impeding his effort, while he said that they were "not friends", despite the German giving the opposite view.

Speaking last night, the Briton dropped more than one thinly veiled reference to what he evidently sees as Rosberg's transgression in qualifying on Saturday.

"I wish you could have seen the data, I'm sure you did see on TV," the 29-year-old Englishman said. "If you haven't seen what was on TV then you should go and watch it. I saw something late on last night, and all I could do was smile."

What was this data he saw, which formula one's stewards did not when they cleared Rosberg of wrongdoing? "I'm not going to tell you, I just wish you could see it. And you could see for yourself."

Mercedes will have a hard time handling the row between the pair which exploded over the Monaco Grand Prix weekend. Niki Lauda, the Mercedes F1 chairman, admitted that tensions were rising and that he would sit the drivers down before the next race in Canada to try to defuse the issue.

The three-time champion said: "I will go there in Montreal or before, and meet them or Lewis in this case and say what is the problem.

"They were arguing about it [that Rosberg brought out yellow flags deliberately]. But the stewards cleared him. He apologised, which is something I have to respect.

"There was a race incident in Barcelona, where Lewis did something, and he said sorry. They are both grown-up people and I'm sure Lewis can overcome this after one night's sleep."

Asked if Mercedes would continue to allow the pair to compete on such terms, Lauda said: "You can't stop it. One thing is clear that Lewis, from my point of view, has a one- or two-tenths advantage on Nico. He can get the laps in qualifying. And Nico is working hard - my type - with the mechanics and engineers.

"So we have one natural talent, very emotional. And we have another guy who is doing the same job in another way."

The Austrian added: "You have to be a b------ if you want to win in formula one anyway, no question."

The race, which was the fifth one-two finish in succession for the Mercedes team, gave Rosberg a four-point lead in the formula one drivers' championship.

Reportedly, Hamilton had to tell Rosberg to stop playing football outside his apartment recently - they live close by - but the pair have much bigger problems to worry about.

In the post-race press conference, the body language, the monosyllabic answers, and the facial expressions told how badly the pair have fallen out over the weekend.

Asked if he would sit down with Rosberg to thrash out a solution to their problems, Hamilton simply replied: "I don't have an answer for you there." The German, for his part, said: "It's fine. We've had discussions and the benefit we have is that we've known each other for so long. We always sit down and discuss it and then move on and that's what we're doing this weekend also."

Hamilton had been frustrated over the team radio that his team had not pitted him earlier after a crash for Sauber's Adrian Sutil.

The 2008 world champion even said that this would not have happened in his time at McLaren, but Hamilton confirmed later that he believed he had the full support of the team.

Hamilton said: "I did the best job I could today with what I had, and I feel like I did myself proud. I pushed, and gave him pressure. To be able to follow that closely on a track like this showed that I had the pace.

"Hopefully I think I showed my true pace, and I'll work harder next year when I come here."

He added: "We've a one-two for the team, so let's just focus on moving forward. and I plan to be stronger in the next race."

The Telegraph, London

Upset: Hamilton after finishing second. © Getty Images Upset: Hamilton after finishing second. The podium: Rosberg (c) with Lewis Hamilton (L) of Great Britain and Daniel Ricciardio of Australia. © Getty Images The podium: Rosberg (c) with Lewis Hamilton (L) of Great Britain and Daniel Ricciardio of Australia.

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