• Monaco GP - Race

No more 'little fouls' between drivers - Mercedes

ESPN Staff
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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has reassured his drivers that their championship battle will be a fair fight after a controversial weekend in Monaco saw tensions flare between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

A mistake by Rosberg in qualifying that resulted in yellow flags and ruined Hamilton's bid for pole sparked the rift between the two and also exposed underlying tensions since the start of the season. The pair are at odds over the qualifying incident and did not speak on the podium after finishing one-two, with Hamilton saying he just wants a clean fight.

"I think that goes the same for both sides of the garage. We want a fair fight," Hamilton said after the race.

Asked if he had cleared the air with Rosberg, he added: "We've sat down and cleared whatever air was needed to be cleared. We've been through the data and seen what needed to be seen. I wish you guys could see it. Otherwise, we're good. It was a difficult weekend but what doesn't break you will make you stronger. I can only get stronger for this weekend, I think."

However, Wolff revealed that the tension dates back to the epic battle between the two in Bahrain where Rosberg was using engine modes that Hamilton was not and then Hamilton did the same when the pair were racing in Spain in two weeks ago. Wolff played down the significance of the two incidents, but said it had added to the tension in Monaco and would not be allowed in the future.

"In the last couple of races we had some little fouls left and right, and in the team we made sure this is not happening again," Wolff said. "The most obvious bit is you can play around with the engine modes, so this is not happening ever again.

"Each driver has his own reality and I guess Lewis thought that Nico did it [ran wide at Mirabeau] on purpose yesterday, and Nico said he didn't. He said he was 0.1s down after Turn 3 and the only way of making it up was to push extremely hard, which he did under braking and he ran wide and he apologised to Lewis. Each thinks he's right, but sometimes you have to remind them there is not only black and white but there could be grey as well."

He added: "We tell the drivers they can do whatever they want, as long as it's not underhand."

After his race win, Rosberg played down the rift.

"It's fine," he said. "We've had discussions and the benefit we have is that we've known each other for so long. We always sit down and discuss it and then move on and that's what we're doing this weekend also."

Hamilton said he intended to learn from the experience over recent races.

"I don't know. I'm not entirely sure. It's just competition, that's what we have this weekend. One weekend is one way and one weekend is another and this weekend went a direction I wasn't expecting but it's a good experience. I'm aware of it now and I'll make sure I'm aware of it for the future."