During this year’s Spanish Grand Prix, both Mercedes AMG Petronas drivers were forced to abandon the race after Rosberg forced Hamilton onto the grass, which led to the F1 champion losing control and hitting his teammate.
After that incident, Mercedes hunkered down in order to analyze what had happened, as split decisions reigned throughout Formula 1 as to whose fault it really was.
While you might imagine that both drivers had learned a valuable lesson regarding how aggressive they should (or shouldn’t be) with each other, last weekend’s Austrian GP featured a fairly similar incident – in the sense that Rosberg claimed he was just defending his line and that he was surprised Hamilton decided to act the way he did.
“We were battling, and I was struggling a bit with my brakes and tires degrading, and that gave Lewis a chance,” explained the German driver. “Nevertheless I was confident I could defend accordingly – I had the inside line. I went a bit deep into the corner but that’s okay, I dictate, but I was very surprised Lewis turned in. I’m frustrated about losing the win like that – I was out front, felt great and was going to win the race.”
Lewis didn’t feel the need to blow the incident out of proportion, saying that what happened wasn’t actually that controversial.
“Nico made a mistake into T1, clipped the inside kerb and went wide and I got a good run. He blocked the inside, so I went to the only place I could on the outside, the racing line,” said Lewis. “He was in my blind spot so I went very wide, left him room, and as I start to turn he collided with me. My guys said he had something wrong with the brakes maybe.”
Even if Mercedes won’t necessarily pass blame on to any of the two drivers, the FIA stewards deemed Rosberg responsible for the collision.
The official statement reads as follows: “Having taken note of the extensive evidence given by both drivers and the video and telemetry data, it was apparent that Car 44 (Hamilton) was in front of Car 6 (Rosberg) – i.e. more than fully alongside – and that the driver of Car 44 could have clearly made the turn (T2) on the track, if not for the resultant collision. Car 6 did not allow Car 44 racing room and hence the driver of Car 6 was responsible for the collision.”
Despite the accident, Nico Rosberg remains atop the Drivers standings, 11 points clear of his teammate.