Lewis Hamilton looks for “excuses” when he does not win grands prix, Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg said over the course of the Brazilian grand prix weekend.
On Sunday, Rosberg won his second consecutive race from pole, but Hamilton argued that he “had the pace” to challenge if the team had given him another strategy, or if overtaking was possible at Interlagos.
Rosberg rejects the theory. “Up front I had the pace advantage over Lewis so of course he’s not going to come by me because in the end of the race I was six seconds in front,” he said.
Another theory is that Rosberg’s surge in form – too late for a title challenge – coincided with Pirelli’s strict new guidelines about tyre usage some races ago.
“No, I don’t think so,” the German insisted on Sunday. “I think I’ve just raised my game.”
Hamilton, however, is not so sure. “From Singapore onwards there’s been a change to the car,” he said. “Whether or not that’s made a difference, I don’t know really.”
And yet another theory is that Hamilton has simply eased his focus at the tail end of 2015, having already wrapped up the title and admitting to partying so hard last week he crashed his $2m Pagani Zonda in Monaco.
Again, Rosberg isn’t guying it. “He’s a smart guy,” said the German. “So he will find good arguments when he needs them.”
Earlier, after Hamilton suggested in Mexico that Rosberg’s win was safeguarded by Mercedes, Rosberg suggested the Briton was “looking for some excuses”.
Niki Lauda agrees that Rosberg is simply better at the moment. “Very strong performance from Nico, as in Mexico,” the Mercedes team chairman and F1 legend is quoted by Speed Week. “At the moment he is simply the better man. He already proved before that he is as fast as Lewis, but right now he is completely free in his head.”