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Wednesday July 9, 2014 MYT 4:07:42 AM
Wednesday July 9, 2014 MYT 4:08:29 AM
Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany celebrates his pole position ahead of the British Grand Prix at the Silverstone Race Circuit, central England, July 5, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble
LONDON (Reuters) - Nico Rosberg declared himself "100 percent German" on Tuesday after Lewis Hamilton jokingly questioned his Mercedes team mate's nationality ahead of next week's German Grand Prix.
Both Formula One drivers live in Monaco, but Britain's Hamilton has become a resident only comparatively recently while Germany-born Rosberg has called it home for as long as he can remember.
"To be honest Nico has never actually been in Germany, so it's not really his home race," Hamilton laughingly told reporters on Sunday after winning his home British race at Silverstone.
Rosberg, whose Finnish father Keke won the championship in 1982, refused to make an issue of the comments when asked about them on the first day of testing at the English circuit on Tuesday.
"What do you want me to say? Everybody can judge however they want," he said, adding that he was clearly not as German as Hamilton was English: "Not really no, because I didn't grow up in Germany...But I consider myself 100 percent German."
Rosberg heads for Hockenheim next week with a four-point lead over Hamilton after a gearbox problem forced the German to retire at Silverstone while leading.
"The British crowd has been brilliant this week and, even though they were cheering for Lewis, they showed a lot of respect for me and it was great to see the fantastic atmosphere they brought over the whole weekend," he said.
"I'm now looking forward to taking our dominant Silver Arrow to Germany and racing at Hockenheim."
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)
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