Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg's already frosty relationship took another rather awkward turn following Sunday's season-ending race in Abu Dhabi.
Rosberg claimed his third successive victory under the lights of the Yas Marina circuit, with Hamilton forced to settle for second.
Hamilton was not amused by the assistance – or lack thereof – that he had received from his engineers during the race, stating: “You have to rely on the engineers to give you the optimum strategy at that point. Honestly, I don’t really understand it, I came out 11 seconds behind and had a mountain to climb and then the tyres went off.”
Not surprisingly, Rosberg was enjoying the post-race atmosphere somewhat more.
“Austin was a tough weekend and since then I have just come back a lot stronger," he said. "Next year can come at any moment, it could start tomorrow, I don’t need any holidays, and it is great to end the season like this.”
The pair, who were childhood friends, no longer enjoy a good relationship, and Rosberg has at times this season made no secret that he has not been happy with Hamilton's actions.
While it's Rosberg who has so often looked grumpy while Hamilton revels in that winning feeling, the roles have reversed somewhat in recent weeks, and Hamilton has been left anything but happy.
But with the season over the pair can now bury the hatchet, right? Don't count on it.
David Coulthard was the man doing the podium interviews after the race, and the Scot asked Rosberg about his battle with Hamilton.
"Yeah, it’s always tough to race Lewis, he’s doing an awesome job and he’s one of the best out there, so an even better feeling to win, definitely against such opposition," said the German. "It’s a great battle internally all the time. That’s what I race for, such battles, and I look forwards to more next year.
Not quite ready to leave the Rosberg-Hamilton relationship alone just yet, Coulthard asked Rosberg whether he and Hamilton would be having dinner together after the race. We all know the answer is a resounding 'no', but Rosberg looked to deflect a delicate matter by joking: “Let’s skip that part, maybe we’ll catch up in the Amber Lounge later on." Good work, Nico.
But of course it would not end there. There was a hornet's nest to be kicked, and that's what journalists are generally good at doing. And as a result, this little exchange unfolded in the post-race press conference.
Question: I wonder which of the two of you goes into the winter feeling the happier?
Rosberg: I'm feeling very happy.
Question: Lewis, you're a three time World Champion, it's been a record-breaking year, which of the two of you goes into the winter feeling the happier?
Hamilton: I think being World Champion sounds a lot better than winning the race, so that's good.
It's getting a little cold in here…
Why stop there though? With the floor now open to questions, Lennart Bernke from the German publication Bild kicked things off with this gem: "Nico, Lewis, will you get each other a Christmas present?"
Again, a definite 'no' would be the answer. Rosberg tried to be a little diplomatic, but Hamilton wasn't having it.
Rosberg responded: Hmm, maybe a Christmas card.
Hamilton slammed the door shut with: I don't think we've ever done either so there's no reason to change.
Seasons greetings to them both.