Mercedes have moved quickly to try and put an end to the ongoing feud between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg after the duo clashed in a post-race press conference following Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix.
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Rosberg accused Hamilton of deliberately holding him up with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in hot pursuit.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff defended Hamilton’s driving and was keen to try and put an end speculation of a growing divide between the two teammates.
“I think he didn’t do it on purpose,” Wolff told Sky Sports.
“And we’ve cleared that now, there wasn’t any intention from Lewis to slow Nico down in order to make him finish third or worse. One hundred per cent.
“It was a good debrief because it was a positive debrief. There wasn’t any animosity. Everyone in good spirits.”
It’s not the first time the childhood friends have clashed.
Hamilton accused Rosberg of deliberately crashing during qualifying at Monaco last year to put an end to the Brit’s flying lap.
Tensions then reached boiling point when Rosberg crashed into the back of Hamilton during the Belgian Grand Prix, with the incident resulting in Hamilton suffering a puncture while Rosberg went on to finish on the podium.
Hamilton went on to win the 2014 championship, and Rosberg now seems to be cracking under the pressure.
Mercedes F1 advisor Niki Lauda was less typically forthright in his views of the incident, saying it was the result of both drivers being “egocentric bastards”.
“I don’t care if there is a quarrel, as long as Vettel is third,” Lauda told the Telegraph.
“There is only one week until the next race so the talk and b******* will stop quickly when they start driving again on Friday in Bahrain.
“True, (Lewis) will drive selfish. These guys are egocentric bastards and it is the only way to win the championship. Nico is the same if s*** hits the fan.
“Lewis was better this weekend. Lewis bites. He has the talent to bite. But Nico is nasty if he sees the chance.
“Don’t worry. There is no friendship out there. When you race you have to fight. That’s it.”