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Harsh but within the rules, insists Rosberg

NEWS STORY
10/05/2012

As the fall-out over Nico Rosberg's two 'misdemeanours' in Bahrain continues, opinion amongst the drivers is divided.

In the wake of the Bahrain event, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso made it quite clear what they thought of the German's tactics, though the race stewards saw it a little differently opting to take no further action.

As the F1 circus reassembled in Spain today, and ahead of what is expected to be a tense drivers' briefing on Friday, Rosberg was in no mood for contrition, insisting that his tactics at Sakhir were harsh but fair.

"Two of the drivers raised their concerns about it so we need to discuss it," the Mercedes driver told reporters. "If there was a danger which I didn't cause on purpose then we need to implement rules so that it doesn't arise again.

"Of course if there had been barriers like Monaco it would have been a different story," he continued. "Then again, the guys behind would have backed off a lot earlier. In that situation I judged it to be harsh but fair so it was harsh but within the rules. And I didn't judge that I was putting my competitors in danger."

The issue was raised in the official FIA press conference, where Sebastian Vettel said: "I think the rule is clear. I think there were two incidents with Nico in Bahrain, one with Fernando and I think Fernando made his point clear afterwards. And with Lewis, and I think Lewis got past, so I think you can talk for hours now, but if you saw the situation in Bahrain, it's exceptional, because you have a kind of asphalt run-off. Yes, it's pretty dirty but we always try to go on the limit, the one who is overtaking, the one who is defending. Surely sometimes you need to respect that the guy is there and you need to leave the space. I think if it would have been grass, it would have been a different story. You wouldn't go there in the first place. In Fernando's case I think he would have made the same point."

Fernando Alonso, who earlier this week lamented the lack of respect between drivers, was not impressed, pointing to the fact that whilst battling Vettel at Monza last year left room for his opponent, leading to the German quipping: "He just thought my car was slimmer."

There was support for Rosberg also from teammate Michael Schumacher, a man who has had his own fair share of 'moments' over the years.

"It's always a question of who is criticising, why he's criticising," said the seven-time champion. "We have a governing body, the FIA, that will do an analysis as they have done after Bahrain and they clearly stated everything is fine.

"So if everything is fine, everybody has to deal with it and accept it and that's about it," he continued. "If it is not within the rules the FIA would have taken action. They didn't and I didn't see anything wrong either.

"I think everybody knows my style," he added. "My style is to use every little edge and whatever it takes, whatever is needed, the rules are clear and you just use it. You are not there to be giving presents and to make other people happy."

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