Spa (Belgium) (AFP) - Lewis Hamilton revealed on Monday that he may not be able to trust his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in their future on-track duels for the drivers’ world title.
The 29-year-old Briton, who was forced to retire from Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix after suffering a puncture when Rosberg drove into him on the second lap, said he was uncertain how to approach the next race, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on September 7.
He had claimed that Rosberg admitted he had deliberately hit him ‘to make a point’ in their collision, but the German, who now leads the title race by 29 points, said it was only a racing incident.
“Well, when you're out there you have to trust the people to think with their heads and don't do things deliberately," said Hamilton."I don't really know how to approach the next race, but all I know is that I've got to push, I've got a long way to come back from it.
“What was great this weekend is the support that I've had from the fans.
“On the parade lap, when we went round, so many British flags were here, caps and team tops. I'm gutted that I wasn't able to get a result for them this weekend."
Hamilton and Rosberg have been involved in a series of incidents this season, but none raised the stakes as high, or so dramatically, as Rosberg’s decision to hold his line and allow his front wing to clip Hamilton’s left rear tyre.
Hamilton added: “I can't imagine what the team would do now. We came in to this weekend with a really positive mind-set -- I really was excited.
“We had eight races (to go) and we're close - there's only 11 points in it - and I thought it was going to be good for all of us. Good racing… I thought this was going to be a track that was going to be exciting.
"It's interesting because we had that meeting on Thursday and Nico expressed how angry he was (about the Hungarian Grand Prix where Hamilton ignored a team request to allow him to pass).
“I was thinking 'It's been three weeks and you've been lingering?!'
“He expressed how angry he was and he literally sat there and said how angry he was at Toto and Paddy.
“But I thought we should be good after that… And then this result? It's interesting..."
Hamilton was clearly pointing to the connection between Rosberg’s smouldering mood and his aggressive misjudgement in Sunday’s race when he could have lifted and steered his car out of danger.
Instead, Rosberg chose to keep his speed and his line and the team, as well as both drivers, paid the consequences.
Aggrieved and angry, the Mercedes bosses made clear they will reflect on the disgrace and chaos they experienced at seeing their two title contenders collide on only the second lap before making any decisions.