If doing 70 laps of the Hungaroring within 2-seconds of one another wasn’t tense enough, the post-race press conference provided yet another layer of awkwardness between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
The pair sat next to each-other in the post-race press conference as questions were hurled in from the floor. They were asked about Rosberg’s controversial pole lap and the lack of action from the stewards, who announced that Rosberg had lifted sufficiently through the double-yellow flag zone.
Hamilton made his point first, Rosberg’s face going through several shades of purple with each passing word.
“The whole 23 years of racing, if it’s a double-yellow flag, you be prepared to stop and Nico was doing the same speed at the apex as I was doing on the previous timed lap.
It’s a concern. Going into the next race, we could be going for pole position through double-yellow flags and now we know we only have to do a small lift and lose one tenth of a second, go purple through the sector, and we’ll be fine.”
– Lewis Hamilton
Rosberg was clearly miffed by the exactitude of Hamilton’s statement, which did nothing to cover his team-mate from further public scrutiny. In response, Rosberg patted Hamilton on the shoulder and said,
“Thank you for that statement…
What you have to do under double-yellows is significantly reduce your speed. I went 20 km/h slower, 20km/h is a different world in a Formula 1 car. I lifted off 30 metres before my braking point.
Definitely I significantly reduced my speed and for the stewards that was completely acceptable, it was very, very clear what I did.”
– Nico Rosberg
Hamilton knew the deal with sector-2 in those conditions in Hungary, so is stirring the spoon here a little bit. Rosberg went purple because the track was constantly improving and drying. A 2006 Skoda Superb would have gone purple in that sector. If sector-2 was only as long as turn-8 and 9, then Hamilton would have a point.
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 24, 2016
It’s a tough one to swallow because Hamilton was more than unlucky in qualifying, but in a press conference immediately following a Grand Prix victory, Hamilton’s intention appeared to be salt-rubbing the wounds of Rosberg. He could have been bigger and left it at “I overcame Nico’s pole after the bad luck yesterday”, but winning clearly isn’t enough for Lewis, reducing his team-mate to an embarrassed pulp seems more important.
Here’s the heated exchange:
F1 2016 Hungarian GP – Post Race Press ConferenceF1 2016 Hungarian GP – Post Race Press Conferencehttps://t.co/i7eKJ9tEsG
— still dreaming (@33annette33) July 24, 2016