Wolff: Talk of Hamilton-Rosberg rift “hot air”

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Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has called talk of a rift between drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg following the United States Grand Prix weekend “hot air”.

Hamilton clinched his third Formula 1 world championship in Austin on Sunday after Rosberg threw away the lead with eight laps remaining, giving the Briton the required points swing to sew up the title.

After the race, Hamilton threw the “2nd” Pirelli cap to Rosberg in the cool-down room, only for the German to throw it back at his teammate.

Rosberg was muted on the podium, and after the race expressed his annoyance with Hamilton’s aggressive overtake at the first corner that had caused him to drop to fifth on the first lap.

Following ‘Capgate’ and Rosberg’s comments, team boss Wolff has said that Mercedes will look to sit its drivers down and talk about the first corner incident, but rejected the idea of a rift between his drivers.

“The weekend in Austin was a very positive one for Formula 1,” Wolff said. “On Saturday, we saw the paddock unite to put on a show for those fantastic fans who braved the weather to the very end.

“Sunday then produced arguably one of the most spectacular races of the modern era – not the easiest to manage on the pit wall, but incredible to watch as a spectator.

“A lot was said after the race about the relationship between our drivers and most of it was hot air. One of our boys won a world title on Sunday, and one lost it.

“If a few emotions boil over in that scenario, it’s completely understandable and human. Like always, we will do the analysis of what happened on track as a team – but we will do it behind closed doors.”