Last weekend’s race drama lingers ahead of Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday
MEXICO CITY: Nico Rosberg wants to clear the air with newly-crowned triple world champion Lewis Hamilton when the Mercedes team gathers at the ‘high altitude’ Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez ahead of this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.
Four days after the spectacular and tumultuous United States Grand Prix in Texas, where the pair clashed on lap one before Hamilton secured a bold, title-clinching triumph, the 30-year-old German wants an explanation of their wheel-banging duel.
He made this clear in the aftermath of Sunday’s drama, when his disappointment was clear to the world and he accused the 30-year-old Briton of going a ‘step too far’ with his aggression.
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Hamilton rejected Rosberg’s claims, saying he had won the inside line for the corner with a superior start off the grid, but the German disagreed.
“I think it’s pretty clear,” said Rosberg. “I’m ahead mid-corner and I have a right to a piece of track and he’s driving me off the road and banging into me.
“There was contact, it seemed quite heavy contact on the steering wheel because we banged wheels, so that’s not on — it’s one big step too far, which is not good. It needs to be discussed. And I’m not sure about anything going forward.”
But Rosberg, who struggled to hide his feelings after the race, conceded: “It wasn’t the key to the race because the main thing was my mistake.
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“I got it wrong,” he said, of his late unforced error that gifted victory and the title to Hamilton. “And it’s really tough to lose the race like I did. It was a tough day”.
While the Mercedes drivers discuss their racing rivalry, their engineers — in common with most teams — will focus on preparation for the first race at altitude in the modern ‘turbo era’.
The Mexico track is at an altitude of 2,200m and will test the cooling efficiency and reliability of the turbo engines to their limits.
Mercedes management, meanwhile, will try to keep the team happy by avoiding a split in the garage and face more questions about supplying power units to Red Bull.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2015.
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