MANAMA (Reuters) - Nico Rosberg may have handed Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton a psychological edge by laying bare his emotions after last weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix but he has no regrets.
“Maybe, because I’m standing here and have to answer all these questions,” the German laughed after a long pause when asked whether he had ‘shot himself in the foot’ with his outburst against the Formula One world champion.
“But other than that, no,” he added at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Thursday.
“I would do it again because I felt the need to state the facts... there was a need to discuss things after that race. Everybody said that. That’s it, I wouldn’t do anything different.”
Rosberg had accused Hamilton, who won the race from pole position, of compromising his afternoon by not going fast enough at the front and potentially backing the second-placed German into the clutches of the chasing Ferraris.
He also suggested Hamilton, who ultimately set the fastest lap and went 17 points clear of Rosberg after three races, acted selfishly in putting his interests ahead of the team’s desire for a one-two finish.
The Briton, who has beaten Rosberg in nine of the last 10 races and won eight of them, responded stingingly by telling reporters that Rosberg had not tried hard enough to beat him.
The title rivals fought an intense and thrilling duel in Bahrain last year, with Hamilton winning after Rosberg started on pole.
Both said on Thursday they had moved on from the Shanghai spat and would do their talking on the track at Sakhir.
“It’s a thing of the past and I’m in Bahrain now and I’m here just to attack in a race car again. That’s the best answer I can give, on the race track. I’m looking forward to it and that opportunity,” said Rosberg.
He acknowledged, however, that the team might have to act in its best interests by issuing orders if the situation was repeated.
”It’s always the same and it will not change... it’s an agreement we have that when the team’s one-two is under threat from another team then some management will be used to ensure that (one-two) said Rosberg.
“It becomes a team effort because we want to finish one-two and score the most possible points. So the more annoying a Ferrari like Sebastian (Vettel)’s in China becomes, the more likely those measures will be used.”
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis