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Rosberg: Let's move on from Abu Dhabi debate

Rosberg insists he respects Hamilton and wants to end debate about Briton's tactics in Abu Dhabi

Nico Rosberg says it is time to drop the discussion about Lewis Hamilton's tactics in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and insists he respects his Mercedes teammate.

German driver Rosberg crossed the line in second place at the Yas Marina circuit to finish five points clear of Hamilton in the season's standings, securing his first Formula 1 world title.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff indicated that the team could open disciplinary proceedings against Hamilton, after he ignored team orders to pick up the pace during the closing stages of the race.

Hamilton was determined to try everything to take the title away from his teammate, who needed only a top-three finish, and backed Rosberg into the clutches of the chasing pack.

But, whatever the Mercedes hierarchy made of the incident, Rosberg believes it should be left in the past.

He said: "In terms of his tactics in the last race, you can understand the team's perspective that they weren't too happy with that.

"But, at the same time, it's easy to understand his perspective. It's about the world championship so you can understand that he wanted to try whatever it was possible to do.

"He did a really good job of it, he did it perfectly because I had no chance to try to overtake him."

Asked if he would have done the same in Hamilton's position, Rosberg told BBC Radio 5 Live: "That's too hypothetical, so there's no point in going into that.

"We can just drop the whole discussion. There's no point discussing this topic any more. It's done and it's in the past."

The rivalry between the teammates defined the season, with Hamilton winning 10 races and Rosberg nine.

Their relationship was put to the test, and Rosberg said he remains respectful of Hamilton, having been close to the British driver since they were teenagers.

"Lewis is an amazing driver, he's one of the best of all-time. It's always tough to beat him," said Rosberg, who arrived in Kuala Lumpur yesterday for a Petronas event.

"We have the base respect because we were really good friends back in the day. That's always remained, that respect, so that for sure helps even though it's difficult because we're within the same team fighting each other. It's a very intense environment and not easy."

Meanwhile, Red Bull chief Christian Horner has accused Mercedes team chief Wolff of naivety for attempting to control the outcome of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and, with it, the drivers' world championship.

He said that it was always obvious that outgoing champion Hamilton would have to "back up" Rosberg to foil the German's title bid.

EXPECTED

Horner said he "would not have expected him to do anything different".

Horner said: "With where they were at, it was just down to those two guys.

"So it was only ever going to be that kind of battle between the two of them.

"Congratulations to Nico... He has driven a great season this year. He is a very worthy world champion, but it was naive to think that there would be any different approach to this race with what was at stake."

Asked how he felt the race was handled by Mercedes, Horner added: "We know that Toto likes to control most things in the paddock, including other teams' drivers... so you could not expect any different.

"They are racing for a world championship, the drivers' world championship.

"There are only two guys in it and they are both in the same car...

"For Lewis, winning the race was never going to be enough for him and he drove a tactical race. He didn't do anything dirty.

"He drove a tactical race. He didn't do anything against the rules and I think it would be unfair to criticise Lewis for the way he drove."

Hamilton's gamesmanship was questioned by his employers after he twice rejected team instructions to speed up as Rosberg came under threat from Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

Wolff said: "It's very simple: Anarchy does not work in any team and in any company.

"A precedent has been set. Undermining a structure in public means you are putting yourself before the team." - Wire Services.

Formula 1