Jenson Button backs Lewis Hamilton in Nico Rosberg row

McLaren's Jenson Button says he feels sympathy with Lewis Hamilton after his Belgian Grand Prix was ended on lap two by a collision with Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton, who said Rosberg admitted deliberately crashing into him, is 29 points behind his Mercedes team-mate with seven races left this season.

"I feel for Lewis," Button said. "It's a shame it's not a cleaner fight.

"Any driver would look at it now, and I am sure Nico will look at it and say, 'I don't know what was I thinking'."

The incident left Hamilton with a rear puncture that ultimately caused his retirement

Rosberg recovered from a damaged front wing to finish second behind Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

I don't know why Rosberg hit me - Hamilton

Button, who partnered fellow Briton Hamilton at McLaren for three seasons from 2010 to 2012, said of the overtaking manoeuvre: "There was no move. Strange. You should be able to judge situations like that a bit better."

Mercedes have a commanding 157-point lead in the constructors' championship, but 34-year-old Button said the relationship between Hamilton and Rosberg will overshadow the remainder of the drivers' championship.

"I've always said the person who wins the world championship this year is the person who does the best job on the circuit," said Button.

"But that does not quite seem the way it is at the moment.

"What has happened definitely adds spice to what is already a pretty spicy relationship.

"Is it good for the sport? It's negative because we didn't see a good battle between those two.

"But it does get everyone excited about the next GP in Italy, where none of the fans will be cheering for either of them and would love a coming together.

"It adds spice, but it's a shame in that true racers want to see them fighting."

Rosberg could face punishment from the FIA, the sport's governing body, while Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff said the team will decide on any action "when everybody is in a cooler, calmer frame of mind".