FORMULA 1 MOTORSPORT NEWS

Lewis Hamilton wins third Formula 1 title, but Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg is crying foul

Formula 1 racing is never short on drama, but things got extra heated on Sunday after Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was crowned the champion for the third time in his career. Hamilton clinched the title at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, but his teammate Nico Rosberg claims his win wasn’t totally clean.

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“He was trying to drive me off the track,” Rosberg, who came in second, said (via beIN Sports).

Their collision came at the the first turn in the race.

“I was in front mid-corner, that’s the crucial thing,” the 30-year-old German said. “If I’m in front, then I have a right to the track there.”

Rosberg says Hamilton went “one step too far” with his aggressive style.

“He drove into me,” Rosberg said, which he claims unfairly made him slip into fifth at the start of the race.

Rosberg eventually got back into the lead, but a later mistake would allow Hamilton to overtake him again for the win and the title clinch.

Hamilton, who also won the 2008 and 2014 titles, denied on Monday that he did anything wrong. Instead, he said the collision “wasn’t intentional,” but caused by wet conditions on the road.

[Hamilton sprays Vladimir Putin with champagne after Moscow Grand Prix win]

“I’ve watched a replay, we were both on wets and the outside is always the grippier side, so Nico had the grippier line, but I was ahead so it was my line,” the 30-year-old Brit said (via Autosport.com). “We went in, I started to turn, but I understeered into him. He steered round and we touched.”

He continued: “I don’t feel like I was aggressive. … Of course, there are always those comments [from Rosberg] that come up, but I would never intentionally do something like that to my teammate.”

The tension between the two was clear after the race when television cameras caught Rosberg and Hamiton in the green room. After Hamilton tosses Rosberg a team hat to wear out to the podium, Rosberg tosses it right back.

This isn’t the first time the teammates and rivals have gotten into a spat. In August 2014, the tables were turned and Hamilton blamed Rosberg for a collision at the Belgium Grand Prix.

In that case, Rosberg admitted responsibility for the crash and was disciplined by his team.

It’s unclear whether Hamilton will be disciplined now, although Mercedes team director Toto Wolff said he plans to hold talks with both drivers to keep matters from escalating.

“It’s never easy for things to cool down,” Wolff said Monday (via the Guardian). “It wasn’t easy the first time around [ in Belgium], but we have some experience. I think Nico has reason to be upset for that particular incident. It was too hard and we need to pick it up and discuss it.”

He added: “I don’t want to take anything away from Lewis, as he deserves the title. But obviously we need to talk about it at a certain stage.”

The two are next scheduled to compete at the Gran Premio de Mexico next weekend in Mexico City.