Rosberg touched Hamilton on lap two and punctured his rear left tyre. The Brit fell to the back of the field and the damage done to his car meant that he failed to score any points. Rosberg meanwhile, came second in the race that was won by Daniel Ricciardo.
Speaking to the written press, Hamilton said: “We just had a meeting about it and he basically said he did it on purpose. He said he could have avoided it but he didn’t want to. He basically said, ‘I did it to prove a point’. He just came in there and said it was my fault”.
Hamilton says he is gobsmacked at Rosberg’s behaviour. Mercedes didn’t confirm what was said in the team meeting, but did say that Hamilton’s comments were “broadly accurate” of what was said.
Team boss Toto Wolff and non-executive chairman Niki Lauda were furious with Rosberg. Wolff said it was “absolutely unacceptable”, while Lauda blamed the championship leader.
Such public condemnation of their driver is sure to create further tension on Rosberg’s side of the garage and could see a huge shift in public affection for Hamilton. Rosberg was booed when he collected his trophy.
Rosberg hasn’t addressed Hamilton’s comments yet, but he is sure to defend himself. It is a startling revelation, considering the majority of F1 pundits described the clash as a “racing incident”.
Relations in the Mercedes camp are unlikely to heel again, especially as the two are locked in an intense championship fight. The remaining seven races are going to be fascinating to watch.