Lewis: Why the agrro? Nico never got close


Three races into the new season and it looks like the Lewis Hamilton-Nico Rosberg truce is over with the tension flaring both during and after the Chinese Grand Prix.

After being stunned by Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari in Malaysia, Hamilton and Mercedes hit back in the strongest possible fashion as the reigning World Champion topped all the practice sessions, took pole position, fastest lap and capped it off with the victory.

However, there was a bit of tension between the Merc pair during the race and in the post-race press conference as Rosberg was heard complaining over the radio about Hamilton being too slow and bringing Vettel back into the picture.

Hamilton was given the hurry up by the team, but his reply was "not got a lot of life in my tyres".

The Brit, though, did respond after the final pit stops and had built a lead of nearly six seconds when the Safety Car was deployed with three laps to go after Max Verstappen broke down on the start-finish straight.

When asked in the press conference about the backing up incident, Hamilton replied: "I wasn't controlling his race, I was controlling my own race."

Rosberg replied: "It's just now interesting to hear from you Lewis that you were just thinking about yourself with the pace in front when necessarily that was compromising my race. Driving slower than was maybe necessary in the beginning of the stint meant that Sebastian was close to me and it opened up the opportunity for Sebastian to try an early pit stop to try and jump me and then I had to cover him.

"So first of all it was unnecessarily close with Sebastian as a result and also it cost me a lot of race time as a result because I had to cover him and then my tyres died at the end of the race because my stint was just so much longer. So I'm unhappy about that."

Asked for a reply, Hamilton said: "It's not my job to look after Nico's race, it's my job to manage the car and bring the car home as healthy and as fast as possible. That's what I did, I didn't do anything intentionally to slow any of the cars up, I was just focused on myself. If he wanted to get close and overtake he could have done. He was always about four or five seconds behind.

"He never got close so I don't know what his problem is. I did what they asked me to do. There shouldn't be too much aggro."

Rosberg gave a detailed explanation why he was so unhappy with his team-mate.

"He (Hamilton) compromised my race massively at the time because the best possible race for Lewis was to back me off into Vettel so that Vettel would try to undercut me with an early pit stop," the German said.

"Then I would have to cover him and then I would have such a long stint at the end of the race that I would be without a chance.

"That was very frustrating that Lewis was taking as easy as that on the tyres at the beginning of the stint. Interestingly, he said he was just thinking about himself and that says it all.

"What upsets me is that my race was massively compromised and we went through that scenario before the race."