Lewis Hamilton has said that he and teammate Nico Rosberg are still friends following a tenuous two-week period that ended in a clean win for the Briton in the Italian Grand Prix today.
Hamilton recovered from a bad start to defeat Rosberg on Sunday at Monza, capitalizing on two mistakes from the German driver that saw him drop behind his teammate. When he moved into the lead, Hamilton pushed ahead and wasn’t troubled for the race win thanks to a peerless display.
Many thought that the battle between the two Mercedes teammates would end badly following their clash at the Belgian Grand Prix two weeks ago, but in the end it was a very clean fight.
“A big congratulations to the team,” Hamilton said after the race. “They said that they wanted a one-two and they got it today.
“It was a difficult race. For whatever reason, the start, there was a bug in the sequence. On the formation lap, it didn’t work. Very, very strange. I tried to pull away as fast as possible but the RPM was all over the place. Fortunately I managed to not lose too many places.”
Hamilton was advised by the team to drop back from Rosberg to avoid losing time in his tow, but the Briton opted to push on and it proved to be the right call.
“They said that I should stay back, but knowing from experiences, I knew that wasn’t the way forwards, so I chose another route,” he said.
On the podium, Hamilton was asked by former F1 driver Jean Alesi whether he and Rosberg were still friends.
“Of course,” Lewis said. “We’re teammates. We always will be.”
Rosberg was still graced with boos on the podium, just as he was at Spa. However, he still leads the drivers’ championship by 22 points ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.