Lewis Hamilton has admitted his rivalry with title rival Nico Robserg became so intense that they wanted to “kill” each other.
Hamilton, fastest in both practice sessions here at Silverstone on Friday, heads into the British Grand Prix 11 points adrift of his Mercedes team-mate.
But the margin of deficit threatened to be much greater with Rosberg leading Hamilton in the closing stages of the Austrian Grand Prix before their last-lap crash.
It sparked yet another flashpoint in a relationship which has boiled over on more than one occasion in the three years which they have battled for the title.
Indeed the Spielberg collision was the fifth coming together between the pair, and the third in five races. In May, they crashed out on the first lap at the Spanish Grand Prix. Last month they banged wheels at turn one in Canada.
But Hamilton said: “Honestly up until the last race, even with Barcelona, it is the best place I have been with Nico because we talk about things.
“We don’t walk away. We get in a room, and even if we don’t like it we say what our issue is and we deal with it.
“We’ve never had that before. Before he wanted to kill me and I wanted to kill him.
“That’s why I say we now are in the best place. It’s not that we are best friends. We will have our ups and downs, and the last race was definitely our down. But it’s just important as men we take responsibilities for our actions.”
Hamilton is bidding to complete a hat-trick of British Grand Prix victories, but the build-up to his home race has been soured after details of his reaction to crashing out of in qualifying for last month’s European Grand Prix emerged.
A furious Hamilton took his frustration out in the Mercedes’ hospitality suite by throwing a number of items around his dressing room.
The incident first emerged in an interview given to Servus TV by Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda. ‘’Lewis told me I couldn’t come in because he was going to destroy everything,” he said.
Hamilton’s Mercedes team subsequently sent out a statement on behalf of Lauda which read: “Niki regrets any misunderstanding caused by comments that have been blown wildly out of proportion.”