Lewis Hamilton was so furious about losing pole position to Nico Rosberg at the European Grand Prix that he "destroyed" his private room at the Mercedes offices, team chief Niki Lauda has revealed.
Lifting the lid on what Lauda said was a "lie" when Hamilton claimed he was getting on better than ever with his teammate, the Mercedes non-executive chairman has given a fascinating insights into the tensions going on behind the scenes.
In an interview for Red Bull channel Servus TV, which was recorded last Friday but only broadcast last night, Lauda confirmed that speculation Hamilton had been left in a rage after his qualifying error in Baku was correct.
Pushed by veteran journalist Roger Benoit on the programme about reports Hamilton had destroyed his room after Rosberg took pole position, Lauda said: “He did it because he had crashed. He’ll have to pay for that [the destroyed room]. You can count on that.
“He told me I couldn’t come in because he was going to destroy everything. This is how it was.”
Lied in interview
Although the tensions between Hamilton and Rosberg erupted in the Austrian race, even at the time the interview was done it was clear to Lauda that things were far from as perfect as had been suggested.
In an interview with the Mail on Sunday ahead of the Austrian GP, Hamilton had claimed that things with Rosberg were better than they had ever been.
“It’s actually really good with Nico at the moment,’ said Hamilton. “Really, really good. Surprisingly.
“I would definitely not have expected it to be where it is. I guess it is probably with age.
"He’s a family man. He’s got a kid. He has probably grown in that process and I have grown and come of age. The respect that we have always talked about is bigger than it has ever been.”
But Lauda has said that Hamilton's claims are well wide of the mark, and the situation between the pair is nowhere near as rosy.
“Lewis lied about that, simple as that,” explained Lauda. “He just said something. He wanted to be the softener in order to have his peace last weekend.
"He does what he can. The fight gets hotter the longer Nico is in front.”
Translation by Stefan Ehlen