New Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg says it is time to drop the whole discussion about Lewis Hamilton’s tactics in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and insists he respects his Mercedes teammate.
German driver Rosberg crossed the line in second place at the Yas Marina circuit to finish five points clear of Hamilton in the season’s standings, securing his first world title.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff indicated the team could open disciplinary proceedings against Hamilton, after he ignored team orders to pick up the pace during the closing stages of the race.
Hamilton was determined to try everything in an effort to take the title away from his teammate, who only needed a top-three finish, and backed Rosberg into the clutches of the chasing pack.
But whatever the Mercedes’ hierarchy made of the incident, Rosberg believed it should be left in the past.
“In terms of his tactics in the last race, you can understand the team’s perspective that they weren’t too happy with that.
“But at the same time, it’s easy to understand his perspective. It’s about the world championship so you can understand that he wanted to try whatever it was possible to do.
“He did a really good job of it; he did it perfectly because I had no chance to try to overtake him.”
Asked if he would have done the same in Hamilton’s position, Rosberg told BBC Radio 5 Live: “That’s too hypothetical, so there’s no point in going into that.
“We can just drop the whole discussion. There’s no point discussing this topic any more. It’s done and it’s in the past.”
The rivalry between the teammates defined the season, with Hamilton winning 10 races and Rosberg nine.
Their relationship was put to the test, and Rosberg said he remained respectful of Hamilton, having been close to the British driver since they were teenagers.
“Lewis is an amazing driver – he’s one of the best of all-time,” Rosberg said. “It’s always tough to beat him.
“We have the base respect because we were really good friends back in the day. That’s always remained, that respect, so that for sure helps even though it’s difficult because we’re within the same team fighting each other. It’s a very intense environment and not easy.”
Rosberg said he partied hard following his triumph.
“I can also confirm I’m a double world champion because we became party world champion on Sunday night as well. It was big. It was epic.”