A defiant Lewis Hamilton insists there is no need to stage clear-the-air talks with Mercedes following his first-corner clash with Nico Rosberg at the United States Grand Prix.
Hamilton, Formula One’s newly-crowned triple world champion, was accused of going “too far” by Rosberg and his team boss Toto Wolff after he banged wheels with his team-mate on the exit of turn one in Sunday’s thrilling race.
Wolff subsequently vowed to speak to Hamilton to discuss the incident in which the British driver emerged in the lead and Rosberg lose four places.
But, reflecting on Wolff’s remarks, Hamilton said: “There is no need. Everyone has a right to an opinion but it doesn’t matter. I won the race. I feel pretty good about it.”
Rosberg would go on to regain the lead of Sunday’s topsy-turvy race, but he handed the championship to Hamilton on a plate after he made an unforced error with just seven laps remaining.
Rather than reflect on his own error, the German appeared all-consumed in waging war with Hamilton. At one stage Rosberg threw a cap back at his team-mate after the Briton flung it over to him to wear for the podium celebrations.
Hamilton explained: “I picked up the three caps and mine was at the back with the number one on the side. I just threw it over to him. I literally said ‘here you go, mate’ and then it came back at me.
“I can understand in many respects how it is. It’s the worst thing to be my team-mate. On top of everything, he was disappointed with himself and his mistake.
“When you are disappointed with yourself and disappointed with the result is sometimes just unbearable. So I don’t take anything from it.
“I’ve seen Nico in lots of different lights over the years. The cap came past me and I’m like ‘no problem’. I’m completely oblivious to it but I understand.”
Hamilton and Rosberg infamously collided at last year’s Belgian Grand Prix, but there have been few flare-ups since. Indeed Sunday’s cap-hurling incident was one of few flashpoints this season in a rivalry which has simmered out due to Hamilton’s dominance. Rosberg later put his ill-feeling towards Hamilton to one side as he joined the all-conquering Brit and his Mercedes team to celebrate at a downtown bar in Austin. He even took to the stage to sing Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer.
For Hamilton, he wants to see out the season in style by winning the final three races to match Sebastian Vettel’s record of 13 victories in one year. Then, the party starts.
“Up until last year I didn’t really drink a lot,” said the Briton who toasted his championship triumph in Abu Dhabi by drinking watermelon juice. “It’s changed a lot this year. You’d be really proud if you knew how much I’d consumed. I have been enjoying this year like it was my last. It really has been unbelievable. We’ve still got some time to go so I plan the next couple of months to be party time.
“My mum’s 60th is coming up, I’ve got friends’ events coming up, more races to win, I have got the team after-year party – jeez, man, I’ve got to get some good sleep because there’s going to be a lot of partying as far as I’m concerned.”