Nico Rosberg poses as journalist to open spat with Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton & Rosberg

Lewis Hamilton’s sometimes tense relationship with his Mercedes team-mate, Nico Rosberg, took a bizarre and slightly farcical turn on Saturday when the German driver posed as a journalist during the post-qualifying press conference at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Hamilton had landed a 40th pole position of his career in Kuala Lumpur despite suggestions that Rosberg had deliberately blocked him on his final run of the rain-affected session. Rosberg had already abandoned his lap, but did not move aside as Hamilton came past, forcing him off the racing line. It turned out not to matter as Hamilton had already done enough for pole on a previous lap.

Hamilton played down the incident but Rosberg, from the back of the press conference, decided on an eccentric intervention. “Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG Petronas,” he began. “There are a lot of comments on Twitter saying Nico blocked you, is that true he blocked you on your second timed lap?”

Hamilton appeared amused and replied: “I think you should probably ask him, I think he’ll have a good opinion on that.” As the assembled journalists laughed, an apparently stung Rosberg shook his head and, despite the evidence, twice said: “That’s not funny.”

Rosberg went on to deny he had forced Hamilton to abandon a flying lap, despite the Englishman having set a best in the first sector, claiming: “He backed off way before coming up on me.”

Powered by article was written by Edward Gibbes, for The Observer on Saturday 28th March 2015 22.26 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010