Nico Rosberg was greeted by a chorus of boos, and chants of 'Hamilton, Hamilton' as he took to the podium after finishing second in the Belgian Grand Prix.
The reaction stemmed from a lap two clash with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton that left the Briton with a puncture and ruined his chance of scoring points as he had to complete two-thirds of the lap on three wheels and suffered further mechanical complications as he made his way back to the pits.
Rosberg suffered the loss of a front wing endplate in the clash, which came at Les Combes after Hamilton had snatched the lead at the start, but was able to replace the entire nose of his W05 at an early pit-stop and retained the performance to close on leader Daniel Ricciardo at the end. Although time ran out for the German, second place extended his championship lead to 29 points with seven races remaining.
“I got a good run on Lewis and tried to go round the outside,” Rosberg said, “We just touched in the end unfortunately, and that hurt both our races. From a team point of view, of course, that's very disappointing, but that's the way it is.”
Asked whether blame could be apportioned for the incident, Rosberg took the diplomatic line of saying he wanted to see the accident from outside the car.
“It wouldn't be good of me to comment now,” he insisted, “I need to see it on TV, and then I can comment afterwards.”
Eschewing the opportunity to apologies to either his team or team-mate, Rosberg admitted that another Mercedes 1-2 had been on the cards if the clash could have been avoided, before leaving to face the music back at Mercedes HQ.
“We had very good race speed, as you could see at the end there, but unfortunately it didn't work out for us today,” he concluded.