MONZA – Retired world champion Nico Rosberg has moved to defuse a Formula One spat after his former Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton suggested the German had become "irrelevant".
Rosberg, who hung up his helmet days after winning the 2016 title, told followers of his YouTube blog that he would "try and change my tone a little bit" when he discussed his former rivals.
Hamilton, heading for his sixth title this season, made his comments after Red Bull's Max Verstappen hit back at criticism from Rosberg, who is now a Sky Sports television pundit and YouTube blogger.
The Dutch 21-year-old suggested Rosberg was just being controversial to attract viewers, and said the son of 1982 champion Keke should have stayed in Formula One if he needed the money.
He also compared him to 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, known for forthright and often controversial opinions about the sport.