Speaking at today's official press conference, Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean sought to play down their recent clashes, insisting that the comings together at Barcelona, Silverstone and just last week at Hockenheim, are about bad luck, and do not represent a lack of respect for one another or the team.
"It's happened a few times this year," said Magnussen. "It happened at Silverstone and it had a consequence for both of us. We had punctures. I think that was pretty unlucky to have two cars puncturing for such a small contact.
"There was no bad intention from either of us in that moment," he added, "it was just we came together and then punctured.
"Later in the race, you see other cars flying into each, flying over the track and nothing happened. So we've got to look at that as well, to say that it's just bad luck, really... that's pretty much it.
"We love each other," grinned Grosjean. "That's why we get on, have a bit of a kiss on track.
"No," he quickly continued, "I think, as Kevin said, there's been a bit of bad luck in Silverstone. I think the relationship, people could think that it doesn't look good but actually the relationship with Kevin is really good. We phone each other once a week or so.
"We sat down and said, 'what can we do better', just to make sure that's not happening again. Obviously we've got the same car, so it's happening that we are side-by-side on track more often than with the Mercedes, for example.
"Yeah, there are things we can probably do better. I think the most important is that we always try to do our best for the team, and give our best and maybe just the cursor wasn't well positioned on some of the occasions we had, and we just going to make sure we get better from there.
"Honestly, the relationship is very good and we actually like – well, I like working with Kevin, maybe he doesn't – but I think he likes it also. We work well together and we get on nicely.
"Absolutely," said Magnussen, "I think in the heat of the moment, we're blaming each other on the radio and stuff like that – but what people don't see is that we get together between the races and talk it through and try to be constructive and move on in a constructive way.
"Apart from those incidents on track, I feel that we have a pretty good working relationship. And actually, Romain is a cool guy, and we actually have a good time when we go to work. So, it's being blown out of proportion a little bit. I know you guys love a bit of a conflict and stuff like that, but it isn't as bad as it looks."
Asked about the tendency to immediately blame the other, Magnussen said: "In the heat of the moment, you know, you're always feel that you're in the right, and then you analyse things after you see it's probably more level and not as big a deal as it felt like on track.
"At the end of the day I don't think it's such a big deal, you know. We will try to do everything we can to not have these issues again. I think, as I said before, it became a very big issue when we both punctured in Silverstone. Apart from that, the end of the story is that we do respect each other and we want to do the best for the team and there have been laid out some guidelines for us now that we're going to respect and then just carry on."
"On the football pitch you don't have any microphone listening to what... even inside a football team between the team players they can say things, they're not happy with each other, and you're not saying that 'oh that team is having any issue', because I think in Formula 1 it's great that everything is broadcast but also it makes a story out of nothing.
"As I say, our relationship is good. When you're driving at 300kph obviously you're not going to say 'Oh, please, I think I was right, and he was in his wrong and would you mind giving me the position back'. You're just going to say: 'F**k of, just give me the position'.
"Unless you want us you want us to be very, very boring, then I'll remove the microphone from the helmet, then I think it's always going to happen. Still it's false but that doesn't really matter, does it?"
Asked about team boss, Guenther Steiner's claim that in future when the drivers look set to battle one another for position, the team will issue firm order as to how the scenario should play out, Grosjean said: "We're here to do the best for the team and if that's the solution, the short-term fix, then why not?
"As I say we're not here to fight for first or second in the world championship, I don't really give a damn if I finish 14th or 16th at the end. We don't have a fast car at the minute and the focus is on getting that car to work well."
"At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter what we think," added Magnussen, who said the other than working well at the track the two drivers phone each other every week, "we respect what's being said and required from the team and I can understand the team's point of view.
"We have had a pretty bad experience at Silverstone and clearly they want to avoid that happening again and we're just going to deal with it the way that we're required and make the best for the team, as Romain said."
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