Nico Rosberg plays down rift with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton

The German leapfrogged Hamilton to the top of the Formula One drivers’ standings with victory in Monaco on Sunday, but the triumph was somewhat marred by a rift between the pair.

Rosberg went off on to an escape road at the Mirabeau corner during his final lap in the last qualifying session on Saturday.

The 28-year-old was on provisional pole ahead of Hamilton at that point, and the Brit, whose first sector had been marginally faster, was duly forced to heed yellow flags and slow down.

Hamilton felt that the lap he was on would have been good enough to snatch pole, and Mercedes boss Niki Lauda revealed that the former McLaren man had accused Rosberg of going off the track intentionally behind the scenes.

However, Rosberg has insisted that the dispute will soon be forgotten.

“In our sport we can only have success as a team,” he said. “Nothing can happen alone. I make an effort for teamwork and for the atmosphere in the team.

“It is a bit more difficult internally at the moment. But it has happened in the past as well in our sport.

“We discuss the issues and we have already discussed them and it will again be better and it will be forgotten.”

Rosberg leads Hamilton by four points ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, which takes place in Montreal on June 8.

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