Nico Rosberg claims that relations are fine between he and team-mate Lewis Hamilton
Comments in contrast to Briton's claims that "we are not friends"
By William Esler. Last Updated: 26/05/14 2:19pm
Mercedes' Nico Rosberg says he and teammate Lewis Hamilton are always friends.
Nico Rosberg has reiterated that relations are fine between himself and Lewis Hamilton despite the Briton's comments to the contrary.
The pair had been childhood friends since karting together and that bond survived through the junior formulae, eventually leading to them becoming neighbours in Monaco.
The friendship continued during their first season as team-mates at Mercedes, but with the added pressure of a World Championship fight in 2014, Hamilton told Sky Sports F1 on Sunday "we are not friends, we are colleagues".
However, speaking after the race, Rosberg suggested that things were "fine" between the pair.
"It's fine. We've had discussions and the benefit we have is that we've known each other for so long," the German said.
"We always sit down and discuss it and then move on and that's what we're doing this weekend also."
Hamilton, though, was clearly still aggravated by what he considered a deliberate mistake from Rosberg during qualifying to prevent him from taking pole position.
"I gave him a hug at the start of the weekend to keep the relationship in a good place then yesterday happened - so that won't be happening again anytime soon," he told Sky Sports News.
The 2008 World Champion's anger was intensified by what he felt were the wrong strategy calls during the race as Rosberg was given preference at the sole round of stops, preventing Hamilton from getting ahead in the pits.
The German maintains that this is how Mercedes operate, something that was clear in Bahrain and Spain when Hamilton was the lead car.
"It is always the guy in front who has the advantage on strategy, that is the way it is," he told Sky Sports News' Rachel Brookes.
"I didn't really think about it too much as I trust that the team does a great strategy for all of us and fairly so I don't really think about that too much."
When questioned if he had been asked by the team if Hamilton could pit first, Rosberg's response was clear: "No not at all."
The 28-year-old also denied questioning his team-mate's mental strength in the German press. Reports over the Monaco weekend had also suggested Hamilton had recently been angered by Rosberg playing 'keepie-uppie' with a football in their apartment block.
"Definitely not and I've known Lewis for many, many years and he's always been strong, among other things mentally, so I'm definitely not expecting him to crack any time soon, that's for sure," Rosberg said in the post-race Press Conference.
"It's going to be a tough battle which is going to be ongoing, but I would never say something like that anyway."