Was Nico Rosberg simply “in the zone” or did he deliver a monumental snub to Russian President Vladimir Putin?
After winning the Russian Grand Prix, Rosberg joined Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen in the holding room used before the podium ceremonies.
The German driver appeared to ignore Putin, who was there with his interpreter, shaking Raikkonen’s hand while completely blanking the president.
Rosberg removed some of his gear as he faced the couch with his back to Putin the whole time.
He eventually shook hands with Putin before engaging in some awkward dialogue.
The interpreter asked Rosberg on Putin’s behalf: “Do you like it here? Is everything alright?”
Rosberg replied: “Yeah, everything was good. It’s a great track, and they’ve done a great job – F1 is growing in this country.”
Putin responded by saying the growth was down to the efforts of the drivers to which Rosberg answered, “Oh, we try.”
The Russian president wasn’t finished quite yet, offering Rosberg a rather backhanded compliment.
“You and your colleagues, sincere thanks to you,” he said. “Different segments, different sections of this sport have started to develop in Russia and people take pleasure in watching you do your job, if you can call it a job.”
Rosberg appeared a little bemused and simply responded: “You have some great Russian drivers as well.”
The pair managed to remain professional during the ceremony, with Putin handing Rosberg his trophy after his fourth F1 victory of the season.
While Russian driver Daniil Kvyat was incurring the wrath of Sebastian Vettel for his demolition derby antics in Sochi, the dangers of motorsport came into focus at Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega.
On lap 160 Kurt Busch (No. 41) rear-ended Jamie Johnson (No. 48) into another car, causing a massive pile-up.
The crash caused damage to 17 cars, meaning a total of 28 cars have been involved in crashes at the incident-packed Talladega race.
Despite the shunts, 25 cars were able to rejoin the race on the lead lap for the restart.
There were many highlights of the day, including Dale Earnhardt Jr driving his car one-handed after his steering wheel came off:
— FOX SPORTS: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) May 1, 2016