Formula 1 - Rosberg says clash won't sour rivalry

Nico Rosberg is adamant that his collision with Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate and world championship rival Lewis Hamilton will not wreck their relationship for the rest of the 2014 season.

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Formula 1 - Rosberg says clash won't sour rivalry
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Nico Rosberg (Reuters)

Rosberg brought his lead in the title race back up to 29 points by finishing second at Spa while Hamilton retired with damage related to contact between them on lap two.

The German had been trying to pass his team-mate for the race lead on the outside at Les Combes when they touched, leaving Hamilton with a puncture.

He said that the clash was "a racing incident", contrary to Hamilton's claims that it was deliberate.

Asked if the incident meant the end of any hope of Mercedes team harmony, Rosberg replied: "I am confident that we can keep it. It is always going to be an intense battle, that was clear from the outset and there will always be difficult moments.

"But after Hungary we had a discussion again, we will discuss this again today, review it and then move on."

[IN-DEPTH: Hamilton - Rosberg said he hit me on purpose]

He denied that he had been driving more aggressively because he was unhappy at the outcome of the team's discussions after the Hungarian GP team orders row.

"We had a very good discussion after Hungary, it was reviewed and clarified, and then we adapted our agreement to move forward and that was really behind us," rosberg insisted.

"To be honest I was very relaxed this weekend and looking forward to it with this awesome car.

"My frame of mind was not thinking of the championship, just wanting to win this race with the Silver Arrows."

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Lewis Hamilton (L) and and Mercedes-AMG's German driver Nico Rosberg collide at the Spa-Francorchamps ciruit in …

Rosberg insisted he could not talk in detail about the Spa collision "in the heat of the moment", but admitted it had been very costly for Mercedes.

"I am very disappointed from a team perspective because we could have done a lot better than finishing in second place as our car was really, really special this weekend," he said.

Informed that team chiefs Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda had already been critical of him in television interviews, Rosberg replied: "I haven't heard it myself from the people you mention but I will respect their opinion.

"All I know I was faster and I gave it a go, the inside was locked so I gave it a go around the outside."

His appearance on the podium was greeted by boos from a section of the crowd at Spa, which Rosberg said he understood.

"I respect the opinion of British spectators and they were not happy - so that doesn't feel good. That is very clear," he said.

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