Lewis Hamilton claims to have no issue with new Mercedes partner Valtteri Bottas and asserts that his recent comments regarding data sharing in Formula One were not to be construed as an attack on his team.
In a Facebook interview with Silver Arrows sponsor UBS on Friday (17 February), the three-time world champion reiterated his opposition to individual performance data being shared between teammates.
"I go out, do my laps, do all my homework, [and] the other guy can see everything," Hamilton said. "I have asked my team. I don't want to see my teammate's.
"I don't feel it's fair that he brings his A-game and I should be able to study his A-game on a computer."
Hamilton made particular reference to the potential for copying braking points and racing lines to help get through a corner quickly, adding: "That's what I loved about go-karting; you weren't able to do that and that was where just your raw talent is able to shine."
Some people may have interpreted that as a criticism of Mercedes, although Hamilton has since taken to social media to insist that is not the case.
"I wish to clarify, I have not hit out at my team at all," he wrote on Twitter. "My point on data sharing is solely my feelings about the sport in general. It has been my feeling since the day I started F1 and still is 10 years later. There is zero problems in my team, zero problems with Bottas. Whatever happens, TeamLH we got this."
It is currently launch week in F1 and dominant Mercedes, constructors' champions in each of the last three seasons, plan to unveil their new W08 car at Silverstone on Thursday (23 February). The team announced earlier this morning that head of motorsport Toto Wolff and non-executive chairman Niki Lauda have both agreed new contracts that will run until 2020.
Elsewhere in the paddock, Williams have announced that they will be retaining the services of Paul di Resta as a reserve driver for the 2017 season. The Scot, who previously raced for three years with Force India, will back-up the returning Felipe Massa and Canadian rookie Lance Stroll.
After two bouts of winter testing in Barcelona commencing next week, the latest F1 campaign gets underway with the curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix on 26 March.