الأربعاء , يونيو 17 2020

Hamilton says Rosberg did not block

Lewis Hamilton denied he felt Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg deliberately blocked him during qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Hamilton aborted a lap after coming up behind Rosberg, who appeared to delay moving out of the way. The world champion

took pole position

anyway.

He said he aborted the lap because “there were quite a few cars ahead and I knew they would get in the way”.

Asked whether he felt Rosberg had blocked him, Hamilton said: “No.”

Rosberg said Hamilton had decided to abort the lap before he came upon his team-mate.

“He baled out well before coming up on me,” he said.

Rosberg and Hamilton

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were locked in an intense battle for the title last year

The German added: “How do we make that a fact, that he baled out before he came across me? That’s the interesting one because me just saying it isn’t going to bear much weight. I don’t have an answer for that right now, to make that fact. I will have to think about something.”


Lewis Hamilton

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Hamilton on pole in Malaysia

The incident adds spice to the second race of the season, which starts at 08:00 BST on Sunday with Hamilton leading Rosberg by seven points in the championship following their one-two in the opening grand prix in Australia two weeks ago.

Rosberg, who admitted that he would have a tough job to beat Hamilton if he did not pass the front-row starting Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel off the line, was clearly sensitive to the accusation he might have blocked Hamilton.

He had jokingly asked the Englishman a question about the incident at the end of Hamilton’s post-qualifying news conference.

“Do you think Nico blocked you?” Rosberg said, role-playing being a journalist.

Hamilton replied: “I think you should probably ask him. He’s definitely got some opinions about it.”

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff left the track before doing his own scheduled news conference so was not available for comment.

The incident happened on Hamilton’s first lap of his final run in the top 10 qualifying shoot-out, ahead of the race (coverage on BBC One from 07:00 BST) at Sepang.


Hamilton takes pole in Malaysia

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Hamilton pole lap

Hamilton, who is going for his eighth win in the last nine races going back to the Italian Grand Prix last season, had already set what turned out to be the pole time with his first run, which was more than a second faster than Rosberg.

Ahead on track, Rosberg came across a Williams at Turn One and aborted his own lap.

Running behind him, Hamilton reached Turn Four having set the fastest first sector time of qualifying so far and then closed in on Rosberg as he approached the fast swerves of Turn Five and Six.

The incident raised questions because of the controversial history between the two team-mates.

Hamilton felt Rosberg had deliberately scuppered his hopes of

taking pole in Monaco

last year by running off track, causing yellow caution flags that meant Hamilton had to back off. Rosberg insists it was an honest mistake.

The two then

collided at the Belgian Grand Prix

three months later when disputing the lead. Mercedes blamed Rosberg for the incident and took internal disciplinary action, including docking him some wages.

Malaysian GP qualifying results

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