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Rosberg booed for Hamilton crash

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Rosberg booed for Hamilton crash
A sheepish Nico Rosberg takes the podium at the finish of the Belgian Grand Prix. Photo: DPA
09:03 CEST+02:00
UPDATE: Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg's rivalry with teammate Lewis Hamilton is in the spotlight again after the German was accused of deliberately smashing into his championship rival's car at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Hamilton claimed after the race on Sunday that Rosberg admitted he hit him deliberately.

"We just had a meeting about it and he basically said he did it on purpose," Hamilton said. "He said he could have avoided it, but he didn't want to. He basically said, 'I did it to prove a point'."

Hamilton added he was "gobsmacked" by Rosberg's comments.

Mercedes said backed Hamilton's version of events. Team boss Toto Wolff slammed Rosberg for the second-lap overtaking attempt against his teammate.

"Absolutely unacceptable. Lap number two of a long race and a crash between two teammates," he told BBC Sport. "We have often discussed the situation and it happened today. You don't try to overtake with the knife between your teeth in lap number two and damage both cars."

Rosberg, who was booed by fans on the podium,  told reporters at the post-race press conference that him and Hamilton had always been duelling against one another.

Writing on his Facebook page he said: "We had the pace to win today but the incident cost us a top result, so I'm really disappointed because for the team it was a bad day.

"As drivers, we are here to entertain and to show the fans a good time, so our duels are always on the limit. I regret that Lewis and myself touched, but I see it as a racing incident - just as the stewards did.

"I was quicker down the straight and went to the outside as the inside line was blocked. I gave it a go and, after we touched, I realized that my front wing was damaged and thought that was it. In the next second I saw that Lewis also had a problem, which was very unfortunate for him and for the team." 

The smash left the field open for Australian Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo to take first place, although Rosberg pushed hard to finally cross the line second.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg crash at Belgian Grand Prix. Photo: DPA

Hamilton, meanwhile, withdrew from the race five laps before the finish with little hope of catching the leaders.

Rosberg and Hamilton had already been in a smash during the Hungary Grand Prix before the summer break. Hamilton appeared frustrated by the lack of response from the team and the race authorities.

“It's like school... teachers will talk, but they don't do nothing, you just get a detention."

Some tweeters offered unequivocal support for Rosberg:

Hamilton fans were still expressing their shock this morning:

And some were just enjoying a new chapter in a sport full of storied rivalries:

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