Mercedes Formula 1 driver Nico Rosberg’s rivalry with teammate Lewis Hamilton is in the spotlight again after the German was accused of deliberately smashing into his championship rival’s car at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday.
“We just had a meeting about it and he basically said he did it on purpose,” Hamilton said. “He said he could have avoided it, but he didn’t want to. He basically said, ‘I did it to prove a point’.”
Hamilton added he was “gobsmacked” by Rosberg’s comments.
Mercedes said backed Hamilton’s version of events. Team boss Toto Wolff slammed Rosberg for the second-lap overtaking attempt against his teammate.
“Absolutely unacceptable. Lap number two of a long race and a crash between two teammates,” he told BBC Sport.
Some tweeters offered unequivocal support for Rosberg:
@Thrusta1 @Mansell05 Being blown way out of proportion. Rosberg wasn’t ever going to give room. Between anyone else it’s a non-story.
— Mat Coch (@matcoch) August 25, 2014
Hamilton fans were still expressing their shock this morning:
@MercAMGF1Fans the WDC is tainted the season ruined, Mercedes is the laughing stock of F1. Rosberg has offended all british F1 fans
— Sabine (@ArtSaSch) August 25, 2014
And some were just enjoying a new chapter in a sport full of storied rivalries:
Senna-Prost. Schumacher-Hill. Hamilton-Rosberg. To name just three tasty rivalries. A proper bit of needle makes F1 great. Love it.
— Grand Prix Diary (@GrandPrixDiary) August 24, 2014