GP Austria: Earthquake in Mercedes after the “mindless” collision between Hamilton and Rosberg


Mercedes has succeeded in Austria, one of the victories most bitter of his career in Formula 1, and surely the most throughout the year. Lewis Hamilton obtained the triumph and trim differences with Nico Rosberg after a duel that lasted from the first stop, when Hamilton lost the lead to the cover the Ferrari and not his companion, until the last lap.

After a failed attempt by Mercedes to return the position at the second stop, Hamilton, with tires more durable, gave chase to Rosberg, and tried to overtake him on the last lap. Both, however, collided at the curve 3.

¡LEWIS HAMILTON wins the Grand Prix of Austria! Perez had crashed…
— F1 direct (@motorF1directo) July 3, 2016

Hamilton went for the loophole, he was able to continue without major damage, and ended up watching the checkered flag in the first place. In the interview post-race, the briton defended his stance. Consider that Rosberg went too long on the curve, leaving no margin to turn.

“I don’t think that has been controversial. Nico made a mistake in turn 1, hit the piano and it was long. I walked up to him, I blocked the inside and I went outside. I was on the racing line, he was on my blind side and I assumed that he was there. I went very long and, when I first started spinning, I was on the edge of the circuit, and he collided with me. My guys have told me that something happened with the brakes, I don’t know exactly what, but I went back to the track as fast as I could”.

After getting off the car, and in the podium, Hamilton was booed by a large group of fans (the Grand Prix account with a lot of influx of germans in the stands). The Mercedes driver decided to take iron to the subject, believes that it has no culpability in the incident:

“it is Not great, of course. (Austria) is one of the most beautiful countries to which we go, driving through the valleys with the bike that I have here… So having that feeling and this response when you win, it is not the best. I forgive them, sometimes the way things are, they have the right to have an opinion. I’m Not sure why they have done it: makes no difference, I won the race“.

“I command you, I have the inside”

Rosberg had managed to climb to the sixth position to the lead thanks to a good strategy, at the speed of your car and the accident of Sebastian Vettel, but it all was ruined in the final touch, which damaged his front wing against the car of Hamilton. His wing snapped off in the back straight, and the championship leader could only manage fourth. Several hours later, the German was penalized with 10 seconds and a reprimand, what does not alter its final position in the race.

The Mercedes driver has been argued that he had the priority on how to draw the curve, when you go through the interior, blaming the incident to Hamilton:

“it Is amazing. he Was sure that he would win the race, and I lost on the last lap. It has been quite intense. We were fighting, I was suffering a little with my brakes because they are warmed a bit at the end, and my tires were degrading; that gave Lewis an opportunity. Anyway, he hoped to defend and win”.

“I Had the interior, the position is more solid, and I went a little long in the curve, but nothing happens, you know; I command you, I have the interior. Then I was surprised that Lewis spinning towards me, causing the collision. What you want to say (to the commissioners)? I don’t know, I’ve never seen this yet… I’m Still frustrated by what has happened and about to lose the victory like this.”

The “naive” Wolff will evaluate the team’s orders

All this, while the box of Mercedes stared at the screen with utter disbelief. For the second time in less than two months, their riders collide in track, costing the team a number of important points. Toto Wolff expressed very strongly his displeasure after the race:

Has been mindless. Not worthy of comment. We had the brakes to a minimum, not to say completely spent, and could not tell the pilots. Rosberg suffered a failure in the brake-by-wire on the penultimate lap, had no electronic brake. It could have been a double abandonment easily.”

Before a new incident between teammates, Wolff has assured that Mercedes put on the table and evaluate the eternal question of team orders to avoid a repeat in the next races, on this occasion regardless of the pilots. Faced with the question of whether the pilots would respect such orders, Wolff answered with a clarifier: “Yes, with letters maýusculas”.

“In Barcelona he was more at ease with that, because we had had 30 runs without any collision. It was clear that was going to happen eventually and, naively, I thought that they had learned the lesson and that was not going to happen again. But here we are, it has happened again, so you have to evaluate all the available options, and one option is to freeze the order in a particular moment of the race. Is unpopular, and it makes me feel nauseated, because I’d like to see them run, but the competition is not possible without contact, and that is a consequence.”

“We need to calm down a little, and in the next few days we will know. There is a race next week, and we have to discuss internally with all involved how we would handle the situation going forward. we Will make a decision, regardless of what (pilots) say. It is the core of the team that is going to make a decision, and could go in both directions. The result should be that we avoid the contact between the two cars, so everything will be on the table.

however, the head of Mercedes AMG F1 declined to make a statement or express an opinion in public about who had caused the incident, although if you dropped that contact was not avoided by any of the two.

“I don’t think that the thing be really white or black. Nico had a car that was hobbled, trying to brake late, and out of the normal line. And Lewis was on the outside. That’s where occurs the first contact. What I see is that it takes two to make contact. I don’t want to attribute any blame, because all of the times you see the video and look at the onboards there is new information. I have my personal opinion, I’m not going to express it here, but in reality this has to be avoided”.