Apr 13, 2015

    Hamilton-Rosberg feud erupts again


    LEWIS Hamilton roared to victory at the Chinese Grand Prix but was then hit by a furious blast from Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg as their long-running feud reignited yesterday.

    In a race which finished under the safety car, the Briton made it two wins out of three races this year, with Rosberg second and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel third.

    Rosberg, who reacted angrily to his near-miss in Saturday's qualifying by snapping at mechanics, at one point demanded that Hamilton speed up as Vettel closed in behind him.

    "I wasn't controlling his race, I was controlling my own race," said Hamilton, when asked about team orders to pick up his pace. "I had no real threat from Nico the whole race."

    A furious Rosberg shot back: "It's interesting to hear from you, Lewis, that you were just thinking about yourself.

    "Driving slower than was really necessary at the beginning of stints opened up the opportunity for Sebastian to try to jump me. It compromised my race."

    Hamilton extended his record number of wins in China to four, but victory was overshadowed by his latest spat with Rosberg.

    Vettel, who stunned dominant Mercedes to win in the heat of Malaysia two weeks ago, took third behind Rosberg with the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen fourth.

    Hamilton was cruising almost five seconds ahead of Rosberg until Max Verstappen's Toro Rosso stopped on the pit straight two laps from the end, bringing out the safety car.

    "The safety car at the end wasn't helpful for anyone because it's an anti-climax," said Hamilton, whose only trouble of a near-flawless weekend was an overheating cockpit.

    Starting from pole, he darted aggressively into Turn 1 and he picked up the pace over the second half of the race.

    Twenty laps in, Rosberg tetchily told his team: "Tell Lewis to speed up."

    Hamilton, who had been protecting his tyres, obliged and quickly established a comfortable gap over the German.

    Vettel failed to produce another upset as Mercedes resumed normal service.

    "We tried everything we could today," said the four-time world champion. "We were able to put some pressure on them, especially in the beginning of the race.

    "Towards the end, they were just too quick."

    Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas finished fifth and sixth respectively.