Lewis Hamilton has played down suggestions he was blocked by team-mate Nico Rosberg on a fast lap during qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix, even if he admits 'traffic' forced him to abort his effort.

The Englishman was on provisional pole position as he started his second attempt at improving his time on intermediate rubber, but though he was quickest through the first sector, he backed off on the run up to turn seven when he came across his slower moving team-mate Rosberg.

Going on to retain pole position, Hamilton shrugged off the impression that Rosberg may have blocked him, saying he the traffic ahead would see him turn attention to a second lap on the tyres.

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"I did improve on my first sector, it was quickest, but then I just bailed out. I had traffic. I came up on quite a few cars ahead. The sector was looking quite good but the cars were going to get in the way so I decided to take a second lap."

A seemingly riled Rosberg, meanwhile, also played down the assertion he intentionally backed off to prevent Hamilton from improving his time.

"It is not even a relevant discussion because we were both on slow down laps at that point in time and that was very, very clear," he said.

"How do we make that a fact that he bailed out before he came across me? That is the interesting one because me just saying it isn't going to bear much weight. So, we need to think about that one, which I don't have an answer for right now."

When Rosberg attempted to play for laughs by taking on the role of the 'journalist' and asking Hamilton whether he felt he was blocked, the defending champion's response arguably put his team-mate back in his place...

Rosberg: "Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG Petronas, there's a lot of comments on Twitter saying Nico blocked you, is that true he blocked you on your second timed lap?"

Hamilton: "I think you should probably ask him. I think he'll have a good opinion on that"

Hamilton will start from pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix, while Rosberg gets underway from third place on the grid.