Rosberg insists Hamilton went ‘too far’ in Austin

© XPB 

Nico Rosberg repeats that Lewis Hamilton went “one step too far” at the start of the United States Grand Prix, and dismisses the subsequent cap incident as simply games.

Having lined up on pole position at Circuit of the Americas, the German saw his Mercedes team-mate push him wide at the first corner to seize P1, with  Rosberg dropping several positions as a result.

He was nonetheless able to recover in mix-weather conditions, and even looked like a safe bet for victory when a late-race mistake allowed Hamilton to speed towards his third world title.

The tension between the two rivals was evident in the podium room, as Rosberg angrily threw back a Pirelli cap that Hamilton had just tossed on his lap for the upcoming ceremony.

“It's our usual games,” the championship runner up told the BBC for its end-of-season review. “He passes me the cap; I pass it back in my frustration.”

Asked to revisit what happened at Turn 1 in late October, Rosberg, who had firmly criticised Hamilton in the immediate aftermath of the skirmish, maintains his stance.

“It was one step too far, too much - in his approach to it; in what he was thinking when he decided to drive into me. That was not good.

“But it wasn't really the race decider because I did manage to fight back past Lewis, pass the Red Bulls, take the lead, go off into the distance, and then get pulled back by the safety car, because I had a 10-second lead.

“Then the second safety car destroyed my second lead of a couple of seconds and then I messed up myself, which was hugely annoying. Not good; I don't like doing that, especially in a way I had really never done before.”

Rosberg admitted he was in “a pretty dark place” after his second title defeat, but the German bounced back in style by capping his 2015 campaign with a clean sweep of pole positions and wins across the final three races.

Exclusive pictures of the Mercedes power unit

Mercedes tops list of 2016 F1 entry fees

Use the red tabs on either side of the screen to scroll through more Formula One news and features

Click here for a gallery of the McLaren MP4-X

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter