Mercedes says it 'embraces' the rivalry between its 'two number one drivers' Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, despite the latter airing his frustration at his team-mate for what he feels were unscrupulous tactics during the Chinese Grand Prix.

Evoking memories of last year's tense 2014 title fight, when Hamilton and Rosberg fell out on more than one occasion, Rosberg was critical of what he felt was a tactic by the defending champion to slow during the second stint, putting him under pressure from Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

It was an assertion that Hamilton would flatly dismiss, saying Rosberg was never close enough to claim he was being held up.

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"I wasn't even near him," the Englishman said. "I could see when going around 1 and 2, he was coming into 1, so I don't know how I compromised his race."

Indeed, following the race, Mercedes moved to head off any suggestion it is favouring Hamilton over Rosberg during a Twitter Q&A, reiterating it is happy to have rivalry between its two fiercely competitive drivers.

Following the race, Toto Wolff denied Hamilton intentionally slowed, while Niki Lauda says it takes 'egotistical bastards' to go all out for title glory.