The fall out post Hungarian Grand prix has seen the top two drivers of the moment battle it out not only on track but also behind the scenes.
Rosberg claimed an easy pole position during the Hungarian GP qualifying session after seeing his only rival and team mate combuste into a flaming retirement. Rosberg rued the fact that Hamilton was forced out preferring to show the F1 world that he has the fundamental speed to beat Hamilton on the track.
The engine fire that ignited the back of Hamilton’s car was extensive and it forced his mechanics into an overnight rebuild which meant a pit lane start for Lewis.
But in the end wet weather conditions early on and safety car periods cancelled out Rosberg’s superior pace on a circuit as difficult to overtake on as Monaco. Hamilton was quick to take advantage finishing third after starting last, Rosberg ended the race in fourth.
But the embers of discontent are smoldering, the two team mates and fierce rivals at Mercedes are beginning to fan the flames and beat the drums of war after Hamilton disobeyed team orders.
The two were on different tyre strategies but were racing for position when Hamilton was ordered by his race engineer to let Rosberg by. Hamilton refused knowing it would hand a massive advantage to Rosberg. And so it was that Hamilton finished ahead reducing the points gap from 14 to 11 points.
Post race the 2008 World Champion expressed his shock when the team asked him to move aside, Hamilton told the Press Association “It was not about questioning authority, and I don’t think I was being ruthless,”
“I was not even being bloody minded. I was doing my job and got to the top. “I am hired to race and bring in points for the team. I am also hired to be me and race my heart out.
“I did not start at the front of the pack. I started from the pit lane, so in my mind I could not afford to lose anything else. I have already given away too much.
“At the end of the year I could be looking back saying ‘if only the car did not catch on fire’, or ‘if only the brakes didn’t fail’, ‘if only I hadn’t made a mistake in qualifying’, ‘if only the engine had not stopped in the race’…all these things.
“So it was just a case of not giving a single point away. I tried my hardest to be ahead and I don’t feel as though I was being obligated to help.”
Mercedes GP boss, Toto Wolff, believes that if Hamilton had complied with team orders then Rosberg could have won the race, for his part Rosberg preferred to keep matters behind the thin but closed walls of the team motor home.
F1 is now on a four week summer break, with 8 races remaining one thing seems clear, two tectonic plates are slowly converging from what seems to be a divided Hamilton vs Rosberg camp.