Hamilton and Rosberg crash: Who was to blame?

2016 Spanish Grand Prix

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Mercedes experienced every F1 team’s nightmare outcome in the Spanish Grand Prix as Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start.

Hamilton had lost the lead to Rosberg at turn one when the race began and was trying to repass his team mate at turn four when the pair made contact.

The stewards have announced the incident will be investigated after the race. It is likely to have far-reaching implications for the team as the pair are leading the world championship.

Who do you think was responsible?

Nico Rosberg

Rosberg clearly came out of turn three slower than Hamilton and chose to come off the racing line to defend his position. He pulled all the way to the inside of the corner, leaving no space for Hamilton to pass him on the inside.

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton committed himself to trying to pass Rosberg on the inside but as his team mate used the full width of the track he drove onto the grass. That loss of control sent his Mercedes spinning into his team mate’s car.

I say

Rosberg’s defensive move was very firm, but it was not sudden and it was not unpredictable: it was a clear, consistent change of direction. Hamilton should have expected he was not going to be given a clear run down the inside of the approaching corner.

Hamilton didn’t hit Rosberg deliberately: he lost control when his car went on the grass. But he had the option of backing out of the move. That’s why I hold Hamilton primarily responsible.

You say

Who do you blame for Mercedes’ race-ruining collision? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Who do you blame for the crash between Rosberg and Hamilton?

  • No opinion (0%)
  • Neither are to blame (5%)
  • Hamilton is entirely to blame (13%)
  • Hamilton is mainly to blame (29%)
  • Rosberg and Hamilton are equally to blame (18%)
  • Rosberg is mainly to blame (26%)
  • Rosberg is entirely to blame (9%)

Total Voters: 666

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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353 comments on “Hamilton and Rosberg crash: Who was to blame?”

  1. Hamilton wasn’t along side him, Rosberg was covering aggressively within the letter of the law.

    1. He was very much alongside. Rosberg should have left that car’s width of space. http://imgur.com/a/ThiqB

      1. Hamilton knew he messed up. He had his head in his hands before his car came to a stop in the gravel.

        1. I think Lewis had his hands on his helmet because he was out of the race and is still 43 points behind Nico, not because he thought he was to blame. Talk about manipulating events.

          1. His hands over his face is to protect from impact on oncoming barriers

          2. I agree, hands up were a makeshift halo protection.

        2. John Cummings
          15th May 2016, 18:33

          Sorry glenj, can’t agree with that. I’m pretty sure Hamilton had his head in his hands because of frustration at being put out of the race

          1. Hamilton coverd his face to protect his face & eye’s from gravel and flying debris from the cars while going into the gravel trap, as the car was now out of control (the car had lost the left hand side front wheel and suspension, and now was uncontrollable) so to say that was some sort of display of guilt or blame, indicates that you are delusional or at very least don’t know very much about motor racing. Any driver would have coverd there visor area heading for a very likely collision with the barriers at the wall of the gravel trap.

        3. Hamilton was upset because he was in the gravel…he had the run on his teammate, and his teammate left no room even though Nico could see him coming at an incredible rate right up his gearbox. It’s on Nico, primarily.

          1. Rick Horan
            18th May 2016, 4:50

            Agreed. Hamilion gave Rosberg plenty of room to pass in turn one and Rosberg should have given Hamilton similar respect entering turn four. In any case, Rosberg had made a mistake with one of his settings so his car ended up in harvest mode exiting turn three. When Hamilton saw Rosberg’s blinking tail light and massively slowing down, what was he supposed to do, patiently wait for Rosberg to get everything sorted out? Hell no, go for it! Mercedes doesn’t care which car is first and second (although I think Nikki is somewhat biased). So the team stands to benefit as they would still be running first and second. Instead, Rosberg selfishly shuts the door on his own team mate and takes them both out. The only consolation for me was that Rosberg wasn’t able to continue either after that bonehead move.

      2. @jh1806 I think both drivers where more aggressive then they should of been. Although your first picture lewis is already over the white line of the track at the very start of the move.

      3. +1. In the first pic, it is exactly at that point that Nico should have left more room. He left the door open and invited the overtake only to shut the door too late. He should have closed it much much sooner.

        1. Or that is the point where Lewis should have braked, depending on how you look at it.

          1. I’d be careful with statements like that aapje as with that argument you are basically saying that no one should try to overtaken anyone, in case they ignore the rules and run them off the track.

          2. Mark Wallis
            16th May 2016, 10:12

            Well according to the rules if a driver has 6″ of his car along side another, at that point the lead car cannot continue shutting the door. Hamilton had his entire front wing alongside Nicole when there was still 3 feet of track extra space. Heck he had his entire front wheel IN FRONT of Nicos rear when there was still a foot left. But Nicole carried on driving him onto the grass. Racing incident but Nicole is too aggressive , he realises he’s approaching mid 30s and it’s 3-0 Lewis for championships.

        2. At that point Hamilton is off the track. There’s no space to overtake, so Hamilton proceeded at his own risk.

          1. Nick Zogopoulos
            16th May 2016, 0:09

            at that point there is not enough space to lift or even brake.

          2. You are forgetting the fact Nico was in the wrong gear and thus under powered Lewis recognised this by the engine lights at the back of Nicos car .Lewis saw his chance and Nici was pr occupied with switching gears to notice till Lewis was beside him, Nico then moved to block him , Nico is at fault and should be penalised accordingly.

        3. It is clear from many opinions that Rosburg did not want to allow Hamilton to pass. Rosburg was also driving in a slower mode. Speed should have given Hamilton the edge but Rosburg clearly blocked his passage hence the collision. They were both on the race to win.

        4. Rick Horan
          18th May 2016, 4:53

          It was almost comical how far to the right Rosberg was compared to the normal line. Forcing your teammate off the track at over 150 mph is really too much.

      4. Yes, Ham has his front wing with Ros rear tire in those pics but there isn’t a car’s width between Ros and white like. I’d like to see a frame or two prior.

      5. Actually, when ROS starter to move to the right, HAM was not along side him. That’s why I think HAM is mainly to blame.. BTW, nice move from ROS round the outside in turn one (no one is commenting on that…)

        1. That’s because Hamilton gave rosberg enough space to do the overtake

          1. this is for those who says ham didnt have enough space to overtake or was aggresive or there wasnt a car’s width between Ros and white line… have a look!
            – There is clearly a car’s width! and some…
            – Ros did this exact move before twice in the same race: Bahrain 2012 -> Pushed Alonso off track and Hamilton and got penalty for this move!
            – Only reason Rosberg overtook Ham is Ham left enough safe room for him!
            – If Mercedes doesnt get to the bottom of it like last time, there will be bigger issues within teammates…
            – I think there will be penalty for Rosberg for next race… Grid place?


          2. @mysticus Rosberg DIDN’T get a penalty for that.

          3. @mashiat my bad, i though i remember that correctly, but he got off lightly due to direction change rule, however he is still deemed very dangerous! He drove two people off the circuit at speed! in a straight line, not on a racing line or at a corner!

            Ros didnt get a good speed at start of this race, he just got a tow, and you didnt see Ham driving him off circuit on a straight line, he kept well clear off him! Rosberg does these dirty/dangerous moves more often, and for some reason same rules are not applied same way to different people!

        2. John Cummings
          15th May 2016, 18:29

          Rosberg lost some power (flashing back light) and Hamilton was taking advantage of this.
          Rosberg had to have seen Hamilton in his mirror then moved to close the gap leaving nowhere for Hamilton to go but the grass. I blame Rosberg for forcing Hamilton onto the grass and causing an incident because he didn’t want to give up his lead.

        3. I don’t know how you come to that conclusion….Hamilton was clearly much quicker at that point, and Nico selected the wrong mode, losing pace and allowing Hamilton that run. Then Nico compounded his error by moving to block when he realistically had no chance of keeping Hamilton behind after the mistake he made. Unacceptable. And very dangerous. If Hamilton had not chosen to run off the tarmac and hit Nico in the right rear instead, that would have been a pretty bad accident at that point on the track.

        4. If Hamilton was so aggressive, he could have pushed Nico off in turn 1. Nico being in the wrong gear was total BLAME!!!

        5. Rick Horan
          18th May 2016, 4:56

          Turn one is a good example of what a pass looks like when your teammate does not to force you off the track to defend his position.

      6. Watch replay he was NOT CLOSE to be along side.he carried more speed yeah but Rosberg did same thing Hamilton would do and Hamilton actually did force Rosberg off the track on many ocasions last season.

        1. @dex022 Ham’s pushing off track was on racing line, mid corner, tell me the corner on a straight line? Almost all Ham vs Ros incidents are at the corners and this is not one of them…

          1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwS88mlgsM8
          2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC05YfPIBVc

          There is a pattern on Rosberg regarding this exact move… There is defending and there is madness…

          1. Exactly!

            Before seeing those images, I would have said both were equally to blame. A bit reminiscent of Vettel’s crash with Button in Spa. Try a move, find yourself blocked try to get out and the car spins … bang.

            The TV frames show that Rosberg was clearly in the wrong though. You can’t push people off on the straight. A few years ago it was also Rosberg who was doing that, to amongst others, Alonso and Hamilton. The FIA changed the rules specifically to prevent him from doing stuff like this again. Or at least they adjusted the known interpretation of the rules saying that they would penalise this.

            The only time drivers are allowed to “push” another driver off is when driving on the race line and the gap naturally closes. In that case they aren’t really “pushing” the other driver off, but they are following the racing line and there simply is no space left for the other driver.

            There is no matter of following the race line here. It’s a clear case of crowding a driver beyond the confines of the track. Hamilton does not need to be fully alongside for that to be an infraction of the rules. As the BBC puts it “..the rule that requires drivers to leave space for another car if any part of it is alongside any part of the one in front”.

            This is similar to what Schumacher did to Barrichello (Hungary 2010) although then there was a wall making it extra dangerous and Schumacher was clearly looking for Barrichello to move before running him off track adding to the penalty.

            Still, I doubt the stewards will penalise Rosberg since it would only hurt the team more when it was already hurt by this crash. Similar to what undoubtedly helped Button get away scott-free for putting Hamilton in the wall in Canada 2011.

          2. @patrickl: exactly my thoughts, there is a heli cam, where Ros doesnt make a sudden move until Ham goes far right, then Ros can be seen in a headbutting kind of change of direction… and it is very clear in slow motion! Ros doesnt really go far right before Ham does, he marginally goes right with very little space on the left side/ but when ham does the move, Ros does an incredibly obvious and very bad sharp right towards Ham and almost crashes him midway!

            If you watch it closely, Ros straightens up no sharp twitch until Ham goes far right, and he is even checking him in the last secs before he drove him into grass… In video it is obvious he is slower, he can see it himself, trying overtake button along with sharp twitch! I cant believe he got off without a penalty at all!

        2. Mark Wallis
          16th May 2016, 10:17

          I don’t think you understand. ‘Alongside’ in the rules means that if one of the cars swerved towards the other they would clip it. So even if a driver has 20mm of his nose past the back of the lead cars diffuser-that would count as ‘alongside’.But we have 16 frames showing that Hamilton was over 3ft alongside when there was still enough road . Nicole was angry that he’d made a mistake being on the wrong setting.

      7. At the time HAM got alongside there already was less than a cars width of space..

        1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
          15th May 2016, 20:03


      8. @jh1806 Those pictures only show HAM way out of shape.

        Pass is entirely on the overtaking vehicle. Race or road.

        1. ONLY if the car being overtaken remains on the racing line. Rosberg drove completely across the road to block. Hamilton had his nose alongside and had to run into the grass to avoid a collision. Not acceptable in WEC, Indycar or IMSA… Would result in a penalty. In F1, it seems that bad behavior is tolerated… Too bad, it undermines the series.

      9. @jh1806 Hamilton got alongside (that is, front wing alongside Nico’s car) AFTER Nico had chosen the inside line aswell.

        Lewis saw Nico closing and closing and then pulled alongside him. It was aggresive from Rosberg’s point but allowed under the current regulations. Lewis never backed off (it was probably too late anyway) and he went for it. The picture attached shows the moments after decisions have been made. It’s already too late to judge there.

        It’s hard to overtake there unless there’s a serious mistake from the leading driver. On a 66 lap race, I looked too aggresive from both but if I had to chose one, I’d say Hamilton was mainly to blame here.

      10. Why should have Rosberg left him room when at no point was any significant portion of Lewis’s car between Rosberg and the end of track limits. The first time Lewis’s car appeared alongside Rosberg was only when his right tyres were already outside the track limits. It’s like saying that Rosberg should just leave the space for Lewis whatever the case and shouldn’t even try to defend. Rosberg had already moved towards the right so much so that there wasn’t a car’s width between his car and the white line of the track limit. Lewis should have refrained from poking his nose in a nonexistent gap!

        If you come to think of it Lewis crashed into the back of Rosberg and ended his race and somehow it’s still Rosberg who is being blamed!

        1. “Why should have Rosberg left him room when at no point was any significant portion of Lewis’s car between Rosberg and the end of track limits.”

          “The first time Lewis’s car appeared alongside Rosberg was only when his right tyres were already outside the track limits.”

          This picture quite clearly proves you are incorrect and that Hamilton was along side Rosbergs rear tyre before he was forced off track


          1. Barry White
            15th May 2016, 17:48

            Thanks Martin all the proof anyone needs. Hamilton clearly in a position where Rosberg is infringing the rules of the sport if he moves any further across. It’s in the rule book.

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            15th May 2016, 19:16


            What’s wrong with folks? It was beyond obvious in the race that Rosberg didn’t leave space?

            Is the majority of people watching F1 blind?:-)

          3. sorry for all of you guys …. but are you serious? On the picture what you show is that Hamilton is going straight to the grass, his wheels, his direction is to the grass …. So if you consider that Rosberg should have the time to react and let some space, then you should consider that Hamilton should have the time to react by knowing that going directly to the grass was not a good decision. Problem is that non of them got the time to react, because the time gap between the moment Hamilton front wing pass Rosberg and the moment Hamilton is on the grass is less than a second …. showing fixed image is not a good way to explain the problem… it is a dynamic problem, keep that in mind.

      11. He was alongside indeed: out of the track.

      12. Michael Brown (@)
        15th May 2016, 15:38

        @jh106 Those pictures do a great job in leading the argument that Rosberg is at fault. What they don’t show is that Rosberg had moved before the first picture.

        Plus, two still images make it look like this incident took place longer than it actually did. Use the Allianz bridge as a reference, and you’ll see just how fast this incident developed. Rosberg’s sudden move was to scare Hamilton from taking the inside, but Hamilton just kept his foot in.

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          15th May 2016, 16:15


        2. Michael Brown (@)
          15th May 2016, 16:16


        3. he michael
          i think of all that has been written and said about this accident you have hit the nail on
          the head , rosberg move to block was made early enough for hamilton to lift

      13. “Alongside” in racing terms, if you’ve ever been on track and actually raced, means that you have priority in the corner if you are on the inside and that your front wheel is at the midway point of the other car. Having your front wheel equal to the other guy’s REAR wheels does not mean “alongside”. I’m not sure if it’s HAM fans just blorting out anything in support of their hero or racing newbies who don’t know any better, but I think a bit of racecraft 101 education is in order for the internet and viewing audience as a whole. and for Sky F1 and Brundle in particular, who should know better…he’s an embarrassment to commentators everywhere.

        1. Thank you for the Brundle comment. Lately he’s been pushing the British driver agenda and the bias is leading him to make more and more statements of hypocrisy. One race he says ‘this rule’ applies then the next race it doesn’t, as long as it fits the narrative he is pushing.

          Today was a clear example of the sillyness, when he decided to use the ‘alongside’ tactic to make his point. Lewis was never along side, he was taking a risky chance on the inside of a car that was clearly taking a sweeping defensive line, and in the end the risk didn’t pay off.

          Ten year ago this would not have been even worth discussing – it would have been purely on the shoulders of the person passing, and the guy that got rear ended and taken out of first place and a potential win, would be giving him an earful, if not a punch on the helmet for his stupidity.

          **** Brundle – his claim to fame is being Senna’s teammate – meanwhile so was Michael Andretti…enough said.

    2. From the F1 rule book:

      More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted. If a driver has moved off the racing line while defending their position, they may move back but must ensure there is at least one car’s width between their own car and the edge of the track.

      1. Thank you – for clarifying this.

      2. I think Nico lost power and got distracted trying to find a difference engine mode and overreacted when Lewis initiated his overtake move. One could question why didn’t Lewis waited and gave it a go later on the lap at a safer spot, but there was gap for sure and he was way faster then Nico.. tough call

    3. A pole without the video does not help matters. Yes people will vote based on who they like but at least a video will give them more information on what it is they are voting on.

    4. this is before the white line came up! http://imgur.com/KctwSbk

      he was clearly alongside him

      1. Manan (@mananbond007)
        15th May 2016, 15:17

        Rosberg had moved much earlier to this pic… Hamilton continued on his line despite being two wheels on the grass thinking rosberg will budge mch like past events… He was betting with a weak hand… Def Hamilton more to blame for…

        1. That is spot on @mananbond007, you can’t expect the championship leader to be intimidated out of the racing line, It doesn’t matter if you are Hamilton, Schumacher or Fangio. It’s daft to expect him to yield.

          1. That is opposite of Racing line! Dont you think? or you just purely hate ham?

          2. “you can’t expect the championship leader to be intimidated out of the racing line”

            Its cute that you think Rosberg was anywhere near the racing line

          3. @faulty the racing line is at the other side of the track…

          4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            15th May 2016, 19:15

            @sonicslv @faulty thanks, that’s exactly what I thought. Rosberg is as far from the racing line as possible so he’s defending and if he’s defending then he’s at fault for not giving any space and practically forcing Lewis into the grass.

        2. I love how everyone is blaming whoever they don’t like without looking at the video. I too said it was Ham’s fault as soon as it happened but upon watching the video again here are the things I observed
          1. One could see Nico move to the left initially, as they came off the bend, to block Hamilton from passing on the left and when Ham moved to the right with his momentum, Nico swung to the left completely away from the racing line to ward him off, making it two defensive moves against an overtaking vehicle.
          2. Nico having swung to the left, kept closing the gap even when Hamilton’s car was already beside his ‘significantly’ as per the rules.

          As I said, putting up a pole without giving people a visual evidence of what occurred will only lead to people voting based on who they like or not.

        3. Rosberg didnt move much earlier, he reacted to Ham’s move to the inside!

          1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwS88mlgsM8
          2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC05YfPIBVc

          Exact same move twice he got reprimanded or warned or something if not penalized dont remember… He got away with it that time, i m not sure he will this time… There was a clear space where Ham’s front wheels and nose along side and enough time to react! If you watch Ros he wiggled and didnt make the change of direction after moving to the center, wiggled and reacted to Hamilton going to the side of him… Thats two move there, got to middle, wiggled, got to the side…

        4. Hamilton would have been thinking that if he got even only an inch of his car alongside Rosberg, Rosberg would have to back off. That’s the rules for defending on the straights (or off race line).

      2. that’s not “clearly alongside him”, it is rather “clearly behind him and closing in rapidly into the void”.
        Hamilton should’ve backed off at that stage, so it is entirely his fault.

      3. The only time Lewis was alongside nico was in their briefing room, post-race.

    5. I think you should review the crash. Lewis was in a passing position and Nico was totally at fault. Check the regulations. Hamilton was not at fault. Nico totally at fault.

    6. Both drivers share responsibility however, Rosberg pulled ahead and has the right to defend his lead. Hamilton is known to be aggressive, and because of his frustration and anger, thinking he was intitled, tried to overtake him and failed. Hamilton is already under reprimand for other misadventures.
      The reason this is such an issue, is because it involves Hamilton, and there are many people of the opinion that he is intitled and that is a problem. The time is coming when Hamilton is going to cause an accident.

      1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        15th May 2016, 20:14

        “The time is coming when Hamilton is going to cause an accident.”

        That day was today.

    7. Hamilton was alongside him when he (Hamilton) was on the grass.

      Has anyone ever seen a driver pull over to let a rival back on track?

      Hamilton was aiming at the grass before he even tried to overtake.

      I can’t understand how Hill, Brundle and Davidson can stand in front of the Skypad and say it’s Rosbergs fault. I thought even Sky’s pro-Hamilton attitude would not prevail here.

      By the way, I detest Rosberg’s late move to the inside, but I seem to recall Senna and Schumacher showing everyone else how to do it perfectly.

      1. That’s Rosberg’s aim at the grass! http://imgur.com/KctwSbk Hamilton was clearly alongside him before he was beyond the white and green! There is no racing line on the grass for Rosberg, and intention was too clear… run Hamilton into Green line…. Rosberg did wiggle in middle, he didnt went to right straight away, watch on board camera footage!

    8. sunny stivala
      15th May 2016, 16:02

      ask Niki Lauda who was the STUPID ONE.

    9. sunny stivala
      15th May 2016, 16:04


    10. Not true

    11. Michael Green
      15th May 2016, 18:17

      You have no idea what you are talking about. Hamilton had the right of way and drove like a true racing driver not like Rosberg who is nothing more than a spoiled brat with a lead foot in a fast car. If you knew anything about racing you would never blame Hamilton. I can only hope that Hamilton joins another team because he isn’t appreciated at Mercedes. For some unknown reason, the management at Mercedes wants Rosberg to win the championship; if he does, he would be one of the worst and most undeserving F1 has ever seen.

    12. Gerry Anglin
      16th May 2016, 0:16

      Hamilton was not parallel to Rosberg. If he was, I would hold Rosberg responsible because changed his line. Rosberg did what any driver would do at the turn and that was to move to the inside. Hamilton tried to make a very risky pass and tried to squeeze through a diminishing line and took both drivers out of the race.

      Rosberg gets a pass on this one.

    13. At the end of the day they were both competing for the win!! 6 of one, half a dozen of the other!! However, the likes of Niki Lauda should not side with either publicly and should just shut up, and Jackie Stewart has clearly forgotten what motor racing is all about!!
      Toto Wolff has the ‘balanced’ comments.

  2. I think Hamilton was too ambitious and made catastrophic consequence.

    1. I think hamilton was over ambitious since rosberg was already moving but to be fair to Hamilton he didn’t crash into rosberg because of that,he moved on to the grass and lost control which meant that he hit rosberg.

  3. Lewis Kvyamilton is to blame, 100%

    1. iAltair (@)
      15th May 2016, 13:34

      Nice nickname.

    2. I don’t agree with it, but good one there..had a laugh.

    3. RosbergEntirely to blame he definitely did not want Hamilton to win he comes over has being very sinister and not to be trusted he was seen on sky pad tinkering with the steering wheel switches then denied it when interviewed by Rachel Brooke’s he has run into Hamilton at least 3 times before and hates Hamilton and it showes.

  4. I’m 65/35 Hamilton on this one.
    Had HAM been a touch closer to ROS, then I would put the majority on ROS, but as far as I see it, HAM had more of an opportunity to back out than ROS had to react to HAM’s move.

    1. BJ (@beejis60)
      16th May 2016, 2:01

      @cgturbo not when there’s a massive speed differential. That’s how you drive up the back of someone like VES at Monaco last year or Schumi at Singapore in 2012 I believe.

  5. I’m surprised about the acceleration speed difference. Nico’s additional engine power by the battery was off coming from T3 (blinking lights). Why was this happening directly out of T3? It did not seem Hamilton had this disadvantage if I had to judge by the speed difference – it’s an unusual place where you get a run on a car ahead.

    1. @xenomorph91 Well aparently ROS forgot to change to the right mode in the starting grid. In Sochi he made the switch but not here.. so he had a harvesting mode on from the warm-up lap..

  6. Both to blame. Each could have done something to prevent this, but both committed to their actions. Now they are in the headmasters office, while everyone else is on the playground

  7. Rosberg should leave a cars width. You can’t force someone out in a straight, small one but still a straight. They were not in a breaking zone yet because otherwise Hamilton couldn’t have crashed into Rosberg with tail ahead. I suppose he was simply not looking.

  8. Nico mainly to blame for me. Looked to me like he pulled to the inside without checking his mirrors. He knew he was slow off the previous corner and I think the panicked a bit. By the time he had pulled over, Hamilton was already there.

    But, having said that, it was a stupid move in its timing from Lewis. 66 laps to go and he tries to be a hero on lap one. Again, it looked like he panicked. Amateurish from both of them to be honest. However 1) there was a gap and 2) he was significantly quicker going into that corner. I’d call it probably 60:40 in Nico’s favour in terms of who is to blame.

    1. I saw the race throw the Sky Sports and they show the view of both cameras on top of the cars, side by side, frame by frame… Nico is messing up with the configuration of the Mercedes and the car went in recovery mode… When Hamilton saw the red light in the car of Nico, he reacts immediately and went for the passing, Nico looks to the right side mirror, he knew that Hamilton is along side him, and push him of the track… 100% blame for Nico…

  9. Matthew Coyne
    15th May 2016, 13:29

    He had his nose alongside His rear wheels and was left NO room at all, where did Rosberg expect him to go?

    Lewis had so much more speed he had to try and make the move it might have been the only chance in the whole race on this circuit where overtaking is so hard, the defensive move of Rosberg didn’t leave any space at all which to the rules isn’t even legal (1 car width to be left if the car is alongside which his nose was) Rosberg misjudged just how much faster Lewis was off T3.

    Hamilton isn’t blameless I guess, it was aggressive but then he had to be.

    70/30 Rosberg imo.

    1. Well you are supposed to leave a cars width if you have a car alongside you.. but HAM came from behind ROSs rearwing so fast I don’t think he had any time to see a car alongside him to leave a space. And at the speed ROS was going to the white line i’m not sure he could have dodged HAM even if he did see him. So in this case I’m going for a racing incident with both doing what they thought was their right.

      1. Hamilton was alongside before Rosberg pushed him off track. That’s the only time it matters.

        1. Patrick, alongside does not mean the tip of your nose is at the other car’s rear wheel. Does F1 have some special definition of ‘along side’ that Merriam Webster, Oxford and the rest of the world (including other racing leagues) don’t know about?

          It was a fast closing gap, Lewis misjudged it and crashed. Racing incident with the pursuing driver causing a double crash – end of story.

          Go watch some old school real racing, and quit this entitlement bitch fest. These guys aren’t even race drivers – just rentadrivers in eletcronic cars that practically drive themselves.

          1. Yes I think the stewards correctly judged that Nico was perfectly fine defending as he did, making his one move legally, and couldn’t have been expected to react to LH’s rapid approach. Racing incident to them but to me LH should have had ample clue that Nico could easily, legally, sweep right across the track at any rate he chose. LH gambled doing what he did, and didn’t let up in time when a slot that was never even close to being guaranteed to be there, wasn’t.

  10. Rosberg should leave a car’s width. Hamilton alongside with significant over speed.

  11. Looked like they both could have used their heads better. Rosberg blocked and Hamilton didn’t give in.

    1. Rob (@potsie9000)
      15th May 2016, 16:42

      Agree totally.

  12. Was Rosberg blind or what ? at that speed he couldn’t have covered Lewis, anyway he pays the consequences.

    1. They both did. Lewis coming out worst. 1 less race to catch up.

  13. No doubt they’ll have to write yet more F1 rules after this.
    My gut feeling is you can’t just move across the whole track like that, what sort of example is that?
    If I was in charge of the show I would ban Rosberg for a race or two…

    1. Or drivers like Hamilton who think that being the ‘people’s drive’ or the Brundle’s boy ‘purist drive’ entitles him and anyone else like him coughRicciardocough to throw your car into closing gaps and expect people to move for you.

      Does anyone remember real racing in the old days, where you could defend a position and not have to give it up because of some inane ruling?

      For a sport that is desperate for competitive and exciting racing, they sure do a heck of alot to suffocate it into boredom.

    2. https://f1metrics.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/the-rules-of-racing/

      This article that John-h referenced speaks to a driver being able to conduct his one defending move all the way across the track and at any rate of speed. Nico’s move was legal. The stewards then had to decide if he could have reasonably been expected to leave room given LH’s own rapid approach. Obviously Nico couldn’t have been expected to react in time given his own legal move across the track at a quick rate.

  14. JayR (@deidunxf1)
    15th May 2016, 13:33

    No one is to blame. I’m sure neither Hamilton nor Rosberg expected HAM to have that much of a speed difference of T3. Hamilton drew close to Rosberg and Rosberg tried to cover of Lewis thinking both their speeds were somewhat in the same range but with how fast Lewis was he had to get on the grass or take out Nico’s rear tyres. That then led to him losing control (was going to happen no matter how slow he was on the grass) and inadvertently yook out Nico thereafter. THE GRASS IS TO BLAME PEOPLE!!!

  15. Mainly Rosberg. He had the right to defend, “but you gotta leave space”.

  16. Racing incident. Hamilton was too aggressive (attempted to hastily reverse placings after Rosberg’s excellent start–the old ‘you don’t win a race on the first lap’), whilst Rosberg’s defence was overzealous (Hamilton had a clear run at very high speed, Gave Lewis nowhere to go but the grass, resulting in a loss of control). Half and half–I can make a case for both–so equally to blame.

    1. Additionally, the huge overspeed Lewis had going into T4 would’ve surprised Nico. It happened so quickly that neither had enough time to respond adequately given the circumstances.

    2. JayR (@deidunxf1)
      15th May 2016, 14:03

      I don’t know what F1 we have been watching lately but “you don’t win a race on the first lap” is not true these days. Races are settled in lap 1(for the top teams anyway) more than we’d like to admit.

    3. Barry White
      15th May 2016, 17:55

      Most F1 races are won in the first corner never mind first lap.

  17. Anyone blaming Hamilton clearly doesn’t know the rules. Leave 1 car width. Nico was way off the racing line so he was purposely pushing Hamilton off. He was on the inside of a corner, not where he would normally be for a corner so he was there on purpose. Hamilton lost traction on the grass and slid into Nico because Nico had been forced to slow down even more than normal because of his poor placement of his car on the corner.

    1. Guccio (@concalvez00)
      15th May 2016, 14:00


    2. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
      15th May 2016, 15:22

      Leave one car width if he is already alongside the chased driver. Nico’s angle was already closing before Ham tried the move.

      1. This.

          1. What?

      2. According to the rules if you have your front wing along side the rear wheels of the car in front, you are concidered along side. It doesn’t matter what the other car is doing (closing the door or opening it), as long as you are along side, it must leave you a car width of space.

        We can of course consider that the rule is not correctly written, but that’s another debate. @omarr-pepper

      3. Lewis put his nose and more there before the gap was closed. End of Story. “But he was closing the gap” isn’t an excuse when you are at a straight and not even close to the racing line. He closing the gap because he was pushing the other guy out of the track, that is why he was closing the gap.

        Hamilton had no way to change lines and avoid getting run out of space after he committed to the pass with so much difference in speed. Rosberg was the only one who could avoid this becoming an accident but maybe he thought he wasn’t going to get picked up but that was a nice karma.

    3. You do not just have to leave the car’s width, read the rules! ‘More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted. If a driver has moved off the racing line while defending their position, they may move back but must ensure there is at least one car’s width between their own car and the edge of the track.’ Rosberg was on the racing line all the time and he did not have to leave any space.

      1. Let me get this straight. You think that the inside of an approaching bend is “the racing line”?

    4. Yep, agree 100%

    5. No, clearly your don’t know the rules or what “alongside” means.

      1. @zambas Per the rules:

        For the avoidance of doubt, if any part of the front wing of the car attempting to pass is alongside the rear wheel of the car in front this will be deemed to be a ‘significant portion’.

        So yeah, in F1 rules talk, Hamilton is already alongside Rosberg.

        1. Exactly. To prevent any problem of interpretation, the FIA defined clearly what “alongside” means.
          @zambas @sonicslv

      2. You are the one who doesn’t know what along site means. The matter was clarified by the FIA after some foolish drivers(coughMassacough) thought that it meant frond wheels with frond wheels.

    6. Those aren’t the rules… When you leave your line to defend, you must leave 1 car width when you return to your line. When you originally leave your line though you can go however far you want, obviously without crashing into the other guy.

  18. My head says that objectively it’s equal measure, basically a racing incident, just with rather dramatic implications. Rosberg was within his rights to defend, though Hamilton had so much more speed there. But my gut says that in that split second Rosberg decided to force Hamilton onto the grass on purpose.

    1. @maciek Are you sure about the intentional part? ROS did one steering input to guide the car to the right and he did it well before HAM was alongside him. The speed that that gap was closing combined with the speed HAM was closing in just about made it impossible for either driver to avoid once the decisions were made.. so to me it was a racing accident.

    2. …… and your gut would be right. Hamilton for the life of him cannot trust Nico like he would a Vettel or a Fernando. Nico does the weirdest things sometimes….
      Remember Monaco qualifying incident?

  19. To all saying Ham’s fault- where was he supposed to go? He was run out of tarmac- tried to avoid Nico, went on the grass, lost control and crash. If Hamilton had done the same antics’ in turn one when Nico overtook him- they would have crashed earlier! I think really the problem is Nico chose his line too late of which at that time Lewis’ wheels were alongside and he tried to avoid the contact by going on the grass. If I am not mistaken a few years back, Rosberg did the same thing in Bahrain 2012 to Lewis and Alonso and he was penalised then.

    1. Not penalized, so you’re point is invalid.

      1. *your

    2. Thank you – I to remember times when Rotberg did similar manoeuvres like today – still have to say : Hamilton is way superior driver : that is, with proper Hardware.

    3. Well Nicos chose the line well before Ham was alongside.. he went from 2/3 left to whole way right with one steering imput and HAM got his nose alongside just before the gap closed. It was a racing incident. And as it has been commented on many rearending accident, you do know HAM could just have lifted off or even used the other pedal once he saw the speed that ROSs car was moving to the right, right?

      1. This is a competition and the fastest wins. There is no room for sentiment or the blame game. Winner takes all. This was a tackle like on a football pitch. I therefore feel they are both to blame and furthermore, the Mercedes group should be careful when taking sides. Bad for business!

  20. HAM definitely at fault. He is too easily distracted these days. He was probably day dreaming of seeing Kanye at the Met ball.

    1. “HAM definitely at fault. He is too easily distracted these days. He was probably day dreaming of seeing Kanye at the Met ball.”

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAH!!!!! oh that’s a good one…my sides hurt after reading that! well played. LOL!

  21. It looked very much like the Hamiton and Button Canada 2001 crash https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9jPvPS_xHk
    Hamilton was thinking very optimistically that Rosberg would give him room and let him through, Rosberg knew Hamilton was there (he may say he didn’t).

    1. Difference with that is button was taking the normal racing line. Rosberg very clearly wasn’t

    2. @alan77 Like oak said and it was wet race so all Button can see in his mirrors is his own spray. This is totally different accident

  22. For me Rosberg 100%. 1. You don’t defend against a teammate as aggressively as you would someone from another team because you don’t want to take each other out. 2. He didn’t leave a car widths room 3. At the rate Hamilton was closing on Rosberg there could only be 2 outcomes from Nico’s move, Hamilton go off on the grass or Hamilton run into the back of Rosberg.

    1. I don’t agree with your first point. Rosberg has every right to defend his teammate just as he would any one else.

      Hamilton had the better drive and speed though. What I find odd is that Rosberg already had Hamilton blocked on the left THEN left the racing line (on left side) which he already had to block off the right.

    2. So you don’t defend like Ham did last year in Japan and USA where he actually FORCED Ros off the track and ROS didn’t do that today.

      1. @dex022
        So therefore you must believe that Rosberg is at fault for this collision considering you blame for the incidents at Japan and USA…or are your opinions based upon driver preference?

      2. *considering you blame HAM for the incidents at Japan and USA

      3. Question to all – why was Rosberg SO SLOW?

  23. Hamilton went for a gap which was there on the exit of the corner. He had such a pace advantage out of T3 that the move was 100% on. On the exit of T3 Rosberg was on in the middle/to the left side of the track so there was a gap for Hamilton to go into to the right. I don’t understand how anyone can say the move wasn’t on as if a driver has the over speed and there’s a gap to go into then surely the move is on ? Rosberg is fully entitled to take a defensive line but the issue for me is he just keeps on pushing to the inside until his back wheel actually touches the white line on right side of the track. I’ve watched the replay frame by frame and there’s no doubt Hamilton has his wing along side with his front wheel nearly level with Rosbergs rear. Again, at this point, there is still a cars width for Hamilton to slot into and that puts 100% onto Rosberg for me. The fact is there was a gap and Hamilton was along side while the gap was still there.

  24. WillOfTheSupremo
    15th May 2016, 13:50

    That was quick Keith.. 60/40 Ros’ fault because he switch 2 lines instead of 1 drivers are allowed to do so.
    Hami wasn’t clear though, a 3x wdc should predict that move, or AT LEAST avoid an accident there. The defence came from Ros though, so..

  25. Might end up as a racing incident, but nico clearly to blame.

  26. This “Hamilton go off on the grass or Hamilton run into the back of Rosberg”. If Hamilton had run into the back of Nico then it would have been entirely his fault. As it where, Nico shut the door too late after a sluggish pullaway from the previous corner.

  27. Poor Lewis…

  28. Given I’ve only seen the incident once or twice, I don’t feel I can assess this one properly yet. However, what I want to see is a proper analysis of what happened against the relevant sporting regulations. Even if most people’s “feeling” says one way or the other, it’s the sporting regulations that define what is and isn’t allowed.

    I believe these are the relevant clauses:

    27.6 More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted. Any driver moving back towards the racing line, having earlier defended his position off-line, should leave at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track on the approach to the corner.

    27.7 Any driver defending his position on a straight, and before any braking area, may use the full width of the track during his first move, provided no significant portion of the car attempting to pass is alongside his. Whilst defending in this way the driver may not leave the track without justifiable reason. For the avoidance of doubt, if any part of the front wing of the car attempting to pass is alongside the rear wheel of the car in front this will be deemed to be a ‘significant portion’.

    27.8 Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted.

    I don’t think 27.6 applies, because there only appeared to be one defensive manouvre made by Rosberg. Both 27.7 and 27.8 could be a factor, depending on the exact circumstances and interpretation, though neither are crystal clear (e.g. in 27.7, if rear wheel and front wing are level before the braking zone, what does the leading driver then have to leave? I would assume it’s a car’s width, but it doesn’t actually state that).

    1. Having just seen these images posted by @jh1806 above, then assuming 27.7 does mean having to leave a “car width”, then by the letter of the law you’d have to say Rosberg is the one more at fault:


      Unless I’ve mis-interpreted…?

    2. 27.7 is the rule Rosberg has failed to adhere to as far as I can see. Never mind front wing Hamilton almost had his full front wheel alongside Rosbergs rear. I think Rosberg knew he was in trouble coming out of turn 3 and made a move out of desperation more than anything, knowing he had a points advantage in the championship and so could take the risk.

      1. “Rosberg knew he was in trouble coming out of turn 3 and made a move out of desperation more than anything, knowing he had a points advantage in the championship and so could take the risk.” +1.

        1. Although these guys are on top of their game, I think you give a bit too much credit to their thinking abilities.. or are you really succesting that ROS had time to think: “oh wow i’m in the wrong mode i need to switch it and defend to the right because Lewis probably is in the right mode and is gonna be alot quicker than me I’m really should go all the way to the white line because I have a very big points advantage.”

          What he did do was a desperate move to the right which moved his car next to the white line and HAM was in his right to make a move but the gap was closing so fast it was only going to end one way once they both had made their decisions.

    3. Rob (@potsie9000)
      15th May 2016, 17:21

      When I read: ” … 27.7 Any driver defending his position on a straight, and before any braking area, may use the full width of the track during his first move, provided no significant portion of the car attempting to pass is alongside his. Whilst defending in this way the driver may not leave the track without justifiable reason. For the avoidance of doubt, if any part of the front wing of the car attempting to pass is alongside the rear wheel of the car in front this will be deemed to be a ‘significant portion’. …” … I think the important words are ‘during his first move’.

      When was Nico’s first move (..and when was his first move ‘completed’) ? .. I think his first move was when he turned to the right to block Lewis. He then continued in a straight line until he was trying to avoid the spinning Hamilton. Therefore, his ‘first move’ was completed as soon as he turned to the right. At that time Lewis was 4 (or so) car lengths behind. At the time when Lewis’s front wing was ‘alongside the rear wheel’, Rosberg had completed his first move.

      Therefore (IMO), Nico complied with 27.7 and Lewis is to blame for the collision.

    4. I like your response. It sounds very practical and articulate so if we apply all the rules listed it puts Roseberg at fault. I would like to believe though that Roseberg would not stoop to that level.

  29. According to the FIA racing regulations, think its clear that you are allowed to defend with a single move to either side if you are the leading car? And you only need to leave space for another car, if said car is more than halfway up on the side of you before the turn starts. Afraid that Hamilton was not in that position and he should also have anticipated a single move to defend from Rosberg’s side. Though I personally would have had enjoyed to see him pass Rosberg, it has to be within racing regulations. Clumsy pushing through from the rear does not work most of the time, especially not when up against your teammate in same car. (Kvyat anyone…?)

    1. Half the car or any of the car. Can you point me to the regulation?

      1. 27.7 Any driver defending his position on a straight, and before any braking area, may use the full width of the track during his first move, provided no significant portion of the car attempting to pass is alongside his. Whilst defending in this way the driver may not leave the track without justifiable reason. For the avoidance of doubt, if any part of the front wing of the car attempting to pass is alongside the rear wheel of the car in front this will be deemed to be a ‘significant portion’.

        To me that would suggest Rosberg had to leave the space. Hamilton fulfilled the requirement for significant portion of the car alongside while he had all 4 wheels still on track and Rosberg ran him off the road.

      2. Well, regulation 27.7 as quoted above states it pretty clearly. “If any part of the front wing of the car attempting to pass is alongside the rear wheel of the car in front this will be deemed to be a ‘significant portion’.

        Once again, this seems pretty clear cut to me. Aren’t we to refer to the regulations and if not, why are they there if not to clear things like this up @keithcollantine

      3. 3. Racing alongside another car

        When one driver is completely ahead of another on a straight, either can move with impunity within the width of track. Things change when there is any overlap between the cars, because lateral movement could cause a collision. If two cars have any parts alongside one another, each driver must respect the space occupied by the other car. It does not matter who is ahead, nor how far they are ahead, they may not initiate a move into the other car. Both drivers have the right to continue driving in a straight line unimpeded. This rule is stated under sporting regulation 20.4. ANY PART OF CAR PEOPLES

  30. If you move off the racing line to defend, and any part of the other car is alongside, you havetoleavathespace.

    It’s pretty clear cut to me, I’m surprised at the votes to be honest.

    Have a read of this:

    1. Alonso said it best…

    2. @john-h What I glean from that article is exactly why this was left up to the stewards and why they deemed it a racing incident, as stated under 1. The one move.

      A driver is allowed to defend all the way across the track at any rate of crossIng, and so if an attacker comes in too quickly such that the leader couldn’t reasonably be expected to react and leave space, then the stewards will use their discretion as to the legality of the move.

      I would suggest the stewards decided Nico was in the right to defend as he did, and could not have been expected to react to LH’s rapid approach given his own, legal, rate of speed of moving across the track.

      I think Keith words it best with his view as stated with his poll article.

  31. Lewis «Kvyat» Hamilton, I presume?!…

  32. Alex McFarlane
    15th May 2016, 14:11

    Rosberg seemed to take a very unnatural line round that corner, I’m surprised he would have lost that much speed if he didn’t make a mistake or the car glitched on him, but there was no reason for him to be that far to the right of the track.

    I’ve not seen any other driver taking a line like that around that corner.

  33. This crash was a result of the spa incident. Nico announced that he won’t be taking anymore intimidation from Lewis and will show him the same space that Lewis gives him. If Lewis doesn’t like it then tough luck buttercup, don’t drive on the grass. Nico’s block was aggressive but that’s his job, if it was the other way around Rosberg would be crucified for taking Lewis out.

    1. Hamilton gave Nico PLENTY of room going into turn 1 and 2 today, only for Rosberg show his childish, petulant true colours and not afford Ham the same courtesy, cutting him off like a GP2 rookie. Typical premature behaviour from Brittany.

  34. Rosberg knew exactly what he doing, I would go further and say that he had been waiting for just such an opportunity my reason for saying this is Hamilton is now in a position of chasing Nicky and one way to naturalist you biggest challenger is to stop hamilton from racing with his natural style, so if he is blamed by the Stuart’s will force him to take less risks and for me will make racing boring

  35. I’d say it’s pretty much equal blame. Rosberg could clearly see Hamilton had far more speed than him and Hamilton had managed to get the wing alongside. You aren’t supposed to crowd a driver off the track especially in the braking zone, it’s not the same as pushing wide on corner exit and I’m sure we’ve seen drivers given penalties for that in the past.

    But Hamilton could see the gap was closing and bullishly didn’t try to back off allowing himself to instead be crowded off the track. It was a move that should have hurt him more and managing to also take out Rosberg out was incredibly lucky for keeping his championship hopes alive.

    Both drivers did something aggressive and questionable but we’re talking split second decisions. I think how calm and neutral Toto sounded about it tells the story given they will have seen the telemetry.

    1. The Skeptic
      15th May 2016, 15:18

      Good analysis. Agreed – both are to blame.

      Nico – failed to leave room as per rule 27.7 (Lewis’s wing and wheel were alongside).

      Lewis – failed to recognise that Nico was committed to defending the inside line and stubbornly went for the diminishing space. With a big speed difference could possibly have gone around the outside!

      1. But that was the outside.
        That aside, Lewis had positioned his car out of the bend to overtake from the left but Nico covered that making Lewis switch to the right which according to regulations he was entitled to do believing that Nico would no longer defend having defended once already. But Nico swung again to that side completely leaving the racing line this time.

        1. This thinking makes sence if you assume that Nico “covered to the left” as you said.. I rather think he was exiting the T3 the usual way.. which is from right to left without any covering involved. And I think the overtaking move was after T3 which would make T4 the turn that dictates which is outside and which is inside.. and HAM was going for the inside.

  36. If Rosberg had left appropriate space just as Hamilton had done for him between turns 1 & 2 (if you notice Ham did not put up too much of a fight and allowed Nico passed so that he could instead set himself up for the next few corners) then there would have been no issue. Once again Nico panics and so over compensates through sheer desperation. Dirty tactics from Rosberg. Rosbergs fault.

    1. I suspect Rosberg burned through his battery power to get ahead which is why we saw such a huge speed delta for Hamilton coming back at him as he still had battery left.

    2. I was just about to say the same thing @EKNI. Had he showed Hamilton on the same courtesy Hamilton showed him through turn 1 for the pass they wouldn’t be in this mess. Romberg goes waaaay off the racing line to block Hamilton too late. People say Hamilton should have backed out, but when you are going 160mph + with going for an opening and it closes AFTER you have committed to it the it’s impossible to pull out. Reaction time of any driver isn’t quick enough to avoid that situation.

    3. Spot on agree entirely

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        15th May 2016, 19:22

        @bnkracing – indeed – why we have to prove this is beyond incredulity. The stewards’ decision is one of the most questionable decisions ever. They must just flip coins :-) Has anyone taped their discussions to see if they toss any coins around?

  37. ROS was 1.5car with off line exiting T3 as part of his initial defense into T4 knowing HAM was close enough for a run. He was watching his mirrors for sure. There was no reason for the run ALL the way to the grass. A strong feint to a car width’s would have been enough to force HAM to compromise his T4 entry. The first pic is where I think ROS should have went back to the racing line. I think this is where he picks up the extra % of fault. http://imgur.com/a/ThiqB

    1. Alex McFarlane
      15th May 2016, 14:35

      The next corner would have required Rosberg be further out to the left to be on the racing line, so not sure what he was doing there.

      1. 4-5 whole car lengths over to the left…for a corner that really only has one line. If anything, ROS was opening both of them to get passed by 3rd heading into T5 (if all went well).

    2. clare coulson
      15th May 2016, 14:38

      Rosberg had made his intention clear hamelton should have known he couldn’t get through ham was to blame .

    3. That was a seriously STUPID move by ROS – too late

  38. We’ll never know for sure but in my appreciation Mr. Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton deliberately took Nico out after his detour in the pasture.

    1. Yeah, that makes lots of sense, he span his car completely and dangerously out of control in a high speed stretch just to take out his opponent and put himself in a worse situation in terms of the championship.

      1. “AFTER”. He had already lost the race and the points, so he had nothing to lose and plenty to win by taking Nico alongside. The only question is if he had already totally lost control of the car or not.

        1. So according to you Hamilton could guide how his car was gonna slide and touch Rosberg while jumping on the grass. WOW! Hamilton must be an even bigger talent than anyone thought.

  39. Rosberg to blame. He was significantly slower but slung the car out wide (a line nobody else took) and really left no chance for Hamilton.

    It depends how you view their aggressive driving overall. Hamilton is aggressive but generally safe, calculating spaces on his presumption that the other driver will provide fair space (as he did when Rosberg went past). Rosberg’s aggression is more out of control as we’ve seen on a few occasions, including Spa 2014. I don’t blame Rosberg for ‘upping’ his aggression after Austin last year when Hamilton bullied him (fairly) off track but that’s not to say he has the same kind or control of hard driving. When Button and Webber were racing versus Hamilton, for example, you can had situations where all the drivers respect the space of the other driver. Rosberg simply doesn’t do that – hence the collisions.

    1. Johnny stick
      15th May 2016, 15:07

      Remember texas last year. Ham ran nico off the track forcing nico to brake. This time When it was hamilton’s time to brake to avoid a collision, he didn t. Clearly ham never was interested in preserving the race. Seems to me ham said do or die. Even if roseburg was in the wrong is was up to ham to keep it together for another attempt.

      1. If you take the racing line on the exit of the corners then that’s a different thing entirely. We’re talking about running someone off a straight way off the racing line.

      2. “Remember texas last year. Ham ran nico off the track forcing nico to brake.”

        No, that was mid-corner, this is along a straight where there is an actual racuing rule about leaving a cars width.

      3. Actually if you read my post I mentioned Austin, Texas, and Rosberg’s decision to become more aggressive in response. That doesn’t mean every situation is identical though. Rosberg has already forced Hamilton wide this season at the start and I thought fairly. In this case, though, he seems to have gone flat out to take the first curve and then been vulnerable to Hamilton having reserve power to come back at him immediately. Rosberg must have planned and known this. So my guess is that he planned before the race to pull side to block Hamilton on that side. Problem: the speed with which Hamilton was approaching, and the fact that Rosberg was way off line, slower, on a straight section. In other words, I think Rosberg was playing with fire with this tactic from the off, hence I’d hold him responsible for what happened.

  40. petebaldwin (@)
    15th May 2016, 15:06

    Anthony Davidson is going to analyse it shortly on Sky so hopefully we’ll get some good camera angles. It happened very quickly but I think it was probably more of a racing incident. Rosberg started going to the right well before the accident but Hamilton committed to the right when there was still space.

    I think Rosberg was expecting Hamilton to appear to his left and Hamilton thought Rosberg knew he was there… Hamilton got his nose alongside just alongside Rosberg but only for around a tenth of a second so considering it cost both of them equally and didn’t affect anyone elser, I’d just call it a racing incident.

    1. Alex McFarlane
      15th May 2016, 15:19

      Looks like Rosberg was in the wrong race mode and lost spatial awareness while adjusting settings on his steering wheel. His car started harvesting mid-corner, which shouldn’t have happened at that point in the race. Seems pretty clear cut to me, it was accidental but Rosbergs fault.

  41. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
    15th May 2016, 15:08

    From my view that looked like Rosberg pushed Hamilton off.

  42. hamilton come out faster then rosberg from last corner.Rosberg defens his postion agressivle leting hamilton no room…

  43. Karl Wagner IMHO it was 50/50. Hamilton got a better drive, saw a gap and went for it, not expecting Rosberg to come back across so quickly. Rosberg knew Hamilton had a better drive out and moved to cover him, not realising how much faster he was going. Maybe Hamilton shouldn’t have been so aggressive and should have anticipated Rosberg’s move, maybe Rosberg should have been more aware of Hamilton’s speed. Fault on both sides and a racing incident for me.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      15th May 2016, 19:20

      @dormouse He didn’t anticipate that Rosberg would push him into the grass next to a wall. Come on! if he could anticipate that, he’d win every race by knowing things before they happen. We talk over and over and over “that you must leave space”. We’ve seen so many drivethrough penalties for way less than that including last race when a driver couldn’t change his path without pushing the other car out. At least he had a valid excuse but still he got the penalty. I guess if my dad was Keke Rosberg, I wouldn’t get penalties either:-)

      1. @freelittlebirds

        If you consider this from a neutral point of view, it could be expected that Rosberg would make a blocking move. Hamilton could see that his own closing speed was massive, and knows that it is difficult to judge that from the car in front. He made a very optimistic (at best) overtaking attempt, Nico moved to block him aggressively but in an understandable and predictable move.

        With my heart I feel that this was Rosbergs fault (being a fan of Hamilton), but thinking rationally and putting my bias aside there was roughly equal blame on both sides. It was a racing incident of the type which will happen occasionally when 2 fast drivers are battling for the championship.

        And in hindsight, it gave us a fantastic race and I’m glad it happened!

  44. While fans of Lewis Hamilton and British media inevitably will blame Rosberg, they’d do well to remember how they reacted when Maldonado took out Lewis four or five years ago. Hamilton’s overzealousness to regain the lead may have been a typical “Maldonado moment of disengaged brains” and the root cause but the accident as such was a race incident. Move on.

    1. “they’d do well to remember how they reacted when Maldonado took out Lewis four or five years ago”

      Vague post is Vague! Which incident was that and what reaction are you referring to?

      1. Valencia 2012 – Hamilton pushed Maldonado off the track and then closed the door as he rejoined being alongside Hamilton. What goes round comes round…


        1. And Martin hasn’t replied since he realised you didn’t bluff. Served.

          1. “And Martin hasn’t replied since he realised you didn’t bluff. Served.”

            Err no I haven’t replied because I wasn’t on the site. Fail comment is fail @lari

            “Valencia 2012 – Hamilton pushed Maldonado off the track and then closed the door as he rejoined being alongside Hamilton. What goes round comes round…”

            Really? Maldonado fails to rejoin the track properly and you are going to blame it on Hamilton? Ahahahaha! They even say in the video you linked to that it was Maldonado’s fault! Hamilton wasn’t at fault there so I really have no idea why you’ve brought it up.

        2. If what goes around comes around really works, does pastor now have random people driving into the side of him when hes out on the road now??

  45. Hamilton to Manor next race to be replaced by Werhlein?

    Hope this results in Hamiltons relationship with Merc ending and he goes to Ferrari.

  46. A once famous racing driver once said.

    “If you no longer go for a gap which exists you are no longer a racing driver”

    Lewis went for a gap, it didn’t pay off, they both crashed out. Racing incident, no one is to blame, let them race and stop trying to assign blame to every incident.

    1. The racing driver that said that was a plonker, used to try and bully people by diving down the inside and knocking them off. Did not end well for him.

      1. Er… really, you’re saying that Senna died because he was a bully? I’ve always known you have a desperate lack of class, but you’ve reach new lows in my esteem.

        1. I think he meant to say that Senna did not win as much as he potentially could have, if he had not been so much ‘all or nothing’ in his approach. Senna certainly drove very often as a bully to intimidate his opponents to give him space.
          We all loved him though. ;o)

          1. Yes as you said.

      2. My comment wasn’t meant to be about personalities but more about how we need to stop assigning blame every time there is an incident. Incidents happen, its part of racing. We want overtaking therefore we have to give drivers the benefit of the doubt and let them get on with it rather than hindering them with the fear of penalties.

        1. Agreed and this is why the day just gets better. The decision is a racing incident which it was so no silly penalties will result. Remember in 95 Hill and Schumacher at Silverstone and Monza? Arguments but no danger of penalties. This race really was old school with this decision.

  47. Does anyone have a video from Bahrain 2012? Rosberg did very similar defensive move there into turn 4 I believe, he was reprimanded for that if i´m correct.

    1. Yeah, luckily off track there isn’t grass so Lewis managed to keep control.

  48. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    15th May 2016, 15:13

    I tend to think they’re equally to blame. Rosberg tried to defend from Hamilton and was unprepared for how fast he was coming at him. Hamilton was coming at him too quickly and before he knew it he was on the grass… spinning around… and bam, collision.

    I don’t think Rosberg was wrong to do what he did, but neither was Hamilton for firing it up the inside like a bullet. If Hamilton had pulled the move off we’d be congratulating him on a spectacular overtake, but it didn’t pay off and he took his teammate out too. He certainly never intended to do that so…

    Racing incident, both to blame as each other. I just hope Mercedes don’t do the ‘don’t race’ rubbish again.

  49. My favourite part of that race was McLaren’s consecutive winning streak of 11 races being saved!

    1. Ah ah, well spotted! :D

  50. Steven Boyd
    15th May 2016, 15:14

    We’ve seen Schumacher defend the inside line far more aggressively than Rosberg did on Hamilton, and people not have an issue with it; Hamilton should have known he would shut the door, in the same way Hamilton did on Rosberg in 2 races in 2014.

  51. Going to be interesting how the Stewards will judge this one.
    Just a couple of observations, also considering previous steward judgements. (and today is no clear case…)
    So lets look at the event chronologically:
    Per 27.6, then Rosberg is good, as he only moved to defend onto one side from the racing line.
    Per 27.7, then Rosberg is still good as he is allowed to defend his position down the straight before any braking area and he is allowed to use the full width of the track during his first move as he did. And this is valid as long as Hamilton’s frontwing is still not on side of Rosberg’s rear tire. And that was not the case when Rosberg initiated his defensive move.
    From here is starts to be more shady grey and not so ‘clear cut’. Because during Rosberg’s defensive move towards the right side of the track then Hamilton arrives from the rear and manages to get his frontwing alongside Rosberg’s right rear. From images I have seen, appears as Rosberg only moves across to the right in only single move. So very deliberate and predictable. We also need to see how far up Hamilton came before going off track.
    Very difficult to judge. May end up as ‘racing accident’. Challenging though to accept a race leader can be blamed for defending his position by a reasonable and predictable move to just one side. I am for neither of the two Mercedes drivers, reason why I await the Stewards decision with interest. The 27.7 rule is not always clear cut in such on track racing situations.

    But I clearly cheered for the very interesting race that unfolded afterwards between the 4 cars remaining at the front, the Red Bulls and the Ferraris!

    , provided no significant portion of the car attempting to pass is alongside his. Whilst defending in this way the driver may not leave the track without justifiable reason. For the avoidance of doubt, if any part of the front wing of the car attempting to pass is alongside the rear wheel of the car in front this will be deemed to be a ‘significant portion’Per the 27.7 then a leading car can

  52. Aggressive attacking, Aggressive defending. Ended in a collision. Sad, but it happens

  53. Just seeing footage at Sky Sport Deutschland showing that Nico Rosberg probably made a mistake will pressing some button in his cockpit, losing the speed and, as a reaction, turning to the right to cover Lewis.
    Having said that, it was still up to Lewis to avoid the contact and since he wasn’t alongside Nico at that point, he should have backed off. So the accident was caused by an error on Nico’s side, but the main responsability to avoid it, in my view, was Lewis’. 65:35 for me, too.

  54. William Jones
    15th May 2016, 15:22

    Nico entirely to blame – he pressed the overtake button before making a double move, he panicked and drove Lewis off the track. That being said, still a racing incident and no punishment due, in my opinion.

  55. “But he had the option of backing out of the move.”

    He also had the option of staying in bed.

  56. Hamilton 100% to blame. Rosberg had track position, made his move early and fairly. Hamilton was so far back, wasn’t in a clear overtaking position and should have backed out.

    Brundle claimed Hamilton had his front tyre in line with Rosbergs rear, but that was when he was already on the grass, and there was only one outcome once he lost control.

    But hey I’m sure the Pro-Brit coverage will continue (Davidson and Brundle are ferociously British biased at times)

    1. I’ll just leave this here: http://imgur.com/KctwSbk

  57. Hamilton entierly to blame of course! I wonder why we even debate aboute it! The leader choses the line. End of!

    1. You clearly have never raced or ever followed a rulebook..

      1. You clearly have no idea about racing..

        1. I am sorry to inform you that the leader does not choose the line in a small straight in F1. If there was a wall right at the end of the line then Rosberg would have driven Hamilton on the wall because Hamilton’s car was already beside him before Hamilton touched the grass. Get your facts straight and continue “racing” your own very special way…

          1. You are completely ignorant, are you not? “Small straight”? “If there was a wall”? Really? Those are the rules you read? You are a joke mate. Would have been more honest to say “I love HAM”. Sleep tight brother.

    2. @constantinei

      “The leader choses[sic] the line. End of!”

      Nope. Not even close to being true. If there is a car alongside you, you cannot choose a line which pushes the other driver off the road.

      If the leader could just choose the line, noone would ever be able to overtake, because the leader would be entitled to choose a line which drove straight into them.

      1. Very nice interpretation of what I wrote. HAM was nowhere alonside ROS mate. What you are implying is that Nico should have left him room so HAM could come alongside him. That is simply laughable. And if my word means nothing to you take Lauda’s instead. I am sure you must have competed more times in an F1 race than him.

        1. @constantinei
          Having watched the replays several times, I disagree that “HAM was nowhere alonside ROS”. There are clear pictures all over this thread showing HAM with his front wheel alongside ROS rear wheel, which is beyond the FIA’s definition (if any portion of the front wing is alongside the rear wheel), before he left the track.

          1. “His front wheel alongside ROS rear wheel”? Seriously? You must have watched another video mate. Even HAM apologized for it. You just cannot accept it, can you? Get a life…

          2. @constantinei

            Hamilton’s front wheel alongside Rosberg’s rear.

            Hamilton apologised to the team, as did Rosberg. It was not an admission of guilt from either of them.

            I am neutral in this one, apportioning roughly equal blame on both sides. Both drivers made mistakes which led to this accident, and both were very aggressive.

            I have a life, thank you very much, and a very good one. I’m not the one resorting to personal attacks or getting worked up over this. I’m just examining the evidence and reaching a conclusion. You are entitled to your opinion too.

          3. It’s alright.

  58. Neil (@neilosjames)
    15th May 2016, 15:24

    Having watched replays/Davidson’s analysis, my thoughts are the same as they were after the first replay.

    Racing incident, but if anyone is to blame, Rosberg. The gap was there and any driver worth even a tenth of his salary would have gone for it with that sort of speed difference.

  59. Sadly for Mercedes, it also ended their run for the F1 record book with most manufacturer wins in row!
    And likewise also for Rosberg’s run to equal Vettel’s F1 record for most driver wins in a row…

  60. Just watched Ant’s analysis. Turns out Rosberg had started in the wrong mode, found he was harvesting in T3, his car slowed because of that, he looked down to his steering wheel to change his mode switch and swerved right to defend without looking. Changes things a bit!

    1. Alex McFarlane
      15th May 2016, 15:40

      He didn’t swerve right, he simply drifted across the track into Hamilton’s path while he was changing settings.

      It was not a deliberate move, but still ultimately his fault for not paying attention to where Lewis was.

      1. You must be blind or retarded or both.

        1. Sviatoslav (@)
          15th May 2016, 16:05

          to FFan – He simply is a Hamilton fan.

          1. Alex McFarlane
            15th May 2016, 16:11

            Yes and your point? Who I like doesn’t change the fact that Rosberg drifted into Hamilton’s path because he was changing settings on his steering wheel and lost spatial awareness.

        2. Alex McFarlane
          15th May 2016, 16:08

          Nice projection. Self-aware much?

      2. “He didn’t swerve right, he simply drifted across the track into Hamilton’s path while he was changing settings.”

        I agree that he didn’t really “swerve” right, although when I first saw a replay it looked like it.

        He certainly didn’t just “drift”, though. He made a very deliberate, aggressive blocking move after he had changed his settings.

        1. yes, a deliberate blocking move way too late…..
          Rubens Barrichello commented that Rosberg’s aggressive block was dangerous

  61. Guys anyone watching the Sky F1 coverage? Anthony Davidson just made a thorough analysis frame by frame and it turns out Nico didn’t even look at his right view mirror and was distracted fiddling with all the switches from harvesting energy! It confirms to me what some have said that he knew he was in trouble having used up his juice to pass Lewis in T1 and was willing to take the risk knowing he has a points advantage. That is my understanding and opinion of it.

    1. Completely agree.

      And this ‘you can’t win on the first lap’ dosen’t really apply on this circuit, where actually, you can lose this race on the first lap, its like Monaco, track position means everything and Rosberg knew it coming out of turn 3.

  62. Maybe a more important question is how HAMs wheel got loose? That was worrying.

    1. It didn’t. Hamiltons suspension was broke when he collected Rosberg and the wheel was pushed under his car to the other side. As far as I can tell it remained tethered to the car though. I did have the same reaction when the incident first happened of “Where did his wheel go?”.

  63. Rosberg mostly to blame (about 80% Rosberg fault for me). It’s on straight line and the rules as several people already described above is clearly saying the defender need to leave at least a car width. If the driver in back (Hamilton) is staying at the very edge of the track and the defender move will make them crash on the side, then it’s clearly violating the rule about not pushing other car off the track. This is more like Magnussen vs Alonso Spa 2014 and Magnussen is penalized for it.

    1. Sviatoslav (@)
      15th May 2016, 16:03

      Hamilton was not in position to overtake! He was fully behind Rosberg when tried his ridiculous manoeuvre! Re-watch the video: the front wheels of Hamilton’s car were NOT if front of Rosberg’s hinder wheels!

      1. @sviat Look at this 2 rule:
        27.7 Any driver defending his position on a straight, and before any braking area, may use the full width of the track during his first move, provided no significant portion of the car attempting to pass is alongside his. Whilst defending in this way the driver may not leave the track without justifiable reason. For the avoidance of doubt, if any part of the front wing of the car attempting to pass is alongside the rear wheel of the car in front this will be deemed to be a ‘significant portion’.

        27.8 Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted.

        Hamilton is already considered alongside Rosberg because his front wing is already alongside the rear wheel of Rosberg. And since this happened in straight, you can only describe Rosberg action as pushing a car out of the track. Hamilton is not fully behind Rosberg, because if imagine Hamilton didn’t move to the grass, he will hit the side of Rosberg rear wheel, not the back of it, which for me is already satisfying the condition for article 27.7 for him to get a car width space.

        Of course as I write this, the stewards ruling already out and they viewed it as racing incident.

  64. Duncan Snowden
    15th May 2016, 15:38

    Rosberg lost ERS in turn 3. We don’t know how serious an issue that was. So I can’t help wondering if, rather than defending, he was actually trying to avoid a collision by letting Hamilton pass on the racing line. Just a thought. As far as I’m concerned it’s a racing incident, but that might explain it.

    1. Alex McFarlane
      15th May 2016, 15:44

      If he was trying to allow Hamilton to pass, it might have helped if he paid attention to where Hamilton was instead of drifting straight into his path.

    2. At lights out Rosberg had his car set in the wrong mode. Ant Davidsons excellent analysis on Sky showed the difference in switch position vs his start in Sochi.

    3. He surely hasnt lost ERS, he may have been in wrong engine mode from the start. But I think part of the reason Lewis had such speed was that he just had better line throughout T1 and T2 all the way up to T3, where Rosberg was compromised by that outside move he made on Hamilton in T1.

  65. I see it as a racing incident:no one to blame. Hamilton was significantly faster than Rosberg exiting turn 3. I guess it was unexpected for Hamilton to suddenly see him that close, he had 2 choice inside or outside, he chose inside assuming that Nico would follow the racing line, unfortunately almost at the same time, Nico chose inside. I think the speed difference was such that he couldn’t just simply “back off”

  66. AJ (@fifthlion)
    15th May 2016, 15:43

    If you look at the video you can see that Lewis makes a clear move to the inside before Nico, and then Nico reacts to that by further turning towards the inside line. So Nico’s move was more of a reaction to Lewis rather than a pre-emptive move and so should not have continued right to the edge of the track knowing that he was slower out of the corner and that Lewis was coming on the inside line. I would say that it is more Nico’s fault as he reacted wrongly to Lewis coming down the inside, if Nico clearly made the move to the inside before Lewis then he would have been right but he didn’t!

  67. I thank both of the Merc drivers for making the race so exciting from the start to the end.
    It was amazing.

  68. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmZ6Z0QStcc there it is.
    Watch it slow motion x0.25 and stop it just before Hamilton’s wheel touches the white line.
    Hamilton is already next to him when he decides to completely close the line. If Hamilton didn’t leave the track to avoid the collision , his front wing and wheel would have hit Rosberg’s rear wheel. Rosberg was either not looking (I am sure that’s what he’ll claim) or did it on purpose .
    Hamilton had a significant speed advantage because Rosberg had already used all his Electrical energy getting in front of Hamilton. Rules are rules and Hamilton was entitled of one car width. Rosberg never gave it and that was about it. My opinion is that Rosberg is entirely to blame by forcing another car out of the track. He should therefore receive a penalty for the next race. Rules are Rules..

  69. Any driver whether racing or daily, should avoid an accident. Nico could have done just that rather than proceeding with his defensive action. Hamilton had the power to pull partially alongside Nico. Nico had clearly lost power and could have maintained his line rather than cutting across Hamilton. NICO ROSBURG clearly at fault 100%.

  70. MG421982 (@)
    15th May 2016, 15:48

    Whooooo cares?!? It was EXACTLY what we needed! Good job, boys!

  71. I think that both drivers were over-zealous, both had plenty of opportunity to avoid the unnecessary 1st lap dust-up, thus likely surviving to fight out the rest of the race. That said, I would put the onus of avoidance mainly on Hamilton. In my opinion he should have left that corner to Rosberg, and backed out before he was forced onto the grass.

  72. Neither ROS nor HAM broke any written rule,so ,by the book ,no blame or penalty should be administered.However..there are unwritten racing rules-in that kind of high speed wheel-to-wheel racing(which is the part of F1 that excites us the most),drivers need to fully trust each order(that nobody will execute some clumsy and subsequently dangerous maneuver ).I don’t see it as ROS being overly aggressive or anything but clumsy racer(he had done it before ,against ALO in Bahrein springs to mind) and I can think of only couple of other F1 drivers that are capable of such racing clumsiness )Bottom line:an apology from a racer to another will do..

  73. Great analysis of the Lewis/Nico crash by Anthony Davidson on the Skypad:

    I think both hold some responsibility but ultimately I’d call it a racing incident & would personally not like to see any sort of penalty handed to either from stewards or team.

    When Nico moved over the way he did Lewis should have realized he wasn’t going to be left room & backed out of it. Nico was aggressive & perhaps didn’t leave as much room as he could have but I also think he was caught out with the closing speed as well as been a bit preoccupied fiddling with dials & switches on the wheel.

  74. Toto’s words of ‘maybe when you look at the data, its different’ (his opinion to lauda’s, who said Hamilton was to blame) speaks volumes, especially after Davidsons analysis shows Rosberg using different modes and having to harvest through T3 then moving over once he realised Hamilton was coming at him.

  75. In an era where the stewards tend to apply penalties everytime one involved driver is more to blame then the other, I really don´t want to blame either. If stewards weren´t dishing out penalties at every opportunity, I´d say Hamilton had more chance to avoid it, he was behind, he could have backed out of it. But really, both lost their points for this race, neither should be facing any consequences beyond that.

  76. The regulations clearly state you have to leave a cars width in such situations.

    If drivers are not going to be allowed to try to overtake then F1 really is doomed.

  77. This crash was exactly what would have happened at Bahrain 2014 if Nico continued to pursue the inside line into Turn 4 even after Lewis had clearly covered it. For some reason Nico’s battery wasn’t charging properly, so Lewis had too much overspeed going into the next corner.

  78. I agree with Lauda’s assessment 100%. Rosberg is the leader and can take whatever line he wishes. Hamilton was never “alongside” and only had his nose along Rosberg as he was heading onto the grass.

    1. Rosberg started the race in the wrong engine mode and was under powered coming out of turn 3, he was distracted with changing in engine settings to the correct modes and thus defended to agressively once he saw he was about to lose the lead.

    2. No, nose in the track

    3. Nope, Lewis had part of his car alongside (all that is deemed necessary by the rules) which means Nico should have given him said car’s width: http://imgur.com/KctwSbk

  79. One was too offensive. One was too defensive. Racing incident. Silly.

  80. Keith..ROS’s defending move was not sudden or unpredictable..but was a tad too late..if he had done it earlier,HAM would’ve taken the racing line..and no ..once committed to inside ,HAM couldn’t have done any better to avoid the crash..and this is my whole point..

  81. http://www.skysports.com/watch/video/sports/f1/10283247/hamilton-rosberg-crash-analysis

    “Rosberg was distracted, busy fiddling with switches and he didn’t have enough spacial awareness of what
    was going on around him”. Given that as a racing driver you are in combat, spacial awareness at over 140mph is critical. This video for me- along with the rule book that fellow contributors have posted stating that you have to leave a car’s width- lays the blame squarely at Nico.

    1. His concentration was not 100% is a wild guess at best, hardly a fact…

  82. A racing incident.

  83. To everyone saying you need to leave a cars width, I believe that is a false interpretation of the rules. ON your very first defensive move you do not have to leave that space. However, had Hamilton moved back to the race line, and Rosberg did so too, then he would have to leave a space on the outside where Hamilton could go, but never on the first defensive move.

    1. @xtwl No, leaving a car width is an easier term for not pushing a car off the track, or in FIA rule wording: “…deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track…”. Also on rule 27.7 is clearly stated “Any driver defending his position on a straight, and before any braking area, may use the full width of the track during his first move, provided no significant portion of the car attempting to pass is alongside his.”

      Since the photographic / video evidence is clearly shown Hamilton is alongside Rosberg, then it’s obvious Rosberg is violating the rule. However, the stewards already argued the moment of Hamilton is alongside is brief enough so they deemed it as racing accident, which I think is fair enough especially since both of them already out of the race and there will be action within Mercedes itself. But the fact is Rosberg is violating the rule, thus he got more share of the blame from me.

      1. @sonicslv So you do agree with me that a driver does not have to leave the space on the first defensive move, which is what I said. I did not say anything about whose’s at fault or even speak about this particular crash.

        However, as soon as Rosberg started the move it was only due to the harvesting that Hamilton suddenly had a much bigger closing speed and neither of the drivers expected this to happen. Rosberg made a very valid firm defensive move, and Hamilton attempted something that could’ve worked but in the end reacted poorly to Rosberg his defense by continuing and going onto the grass. That’s why I think it was deemed a racing incident.

        1. @xtwl No, I didn’t agree because the rules clearly stated he entitled the whole track width IF no significant portion of the car attempting to pass is alongside his. Ergo, if someone is alongside him, he need to leave a car width space.

          You only read article 27.6 (about leaving a car width space on taking a corner after defending) but missed article 27.7 about defending in straight which is more relevant to this case, and article 27.8 about not pushing other driver off the track.

          1. @sonicslv Read my comment again. I’m not saying anything about this particular crash. I merely pointed out that a driver can use the entire width of the track for his first defensive move. Nothing else. This as a response to all the people saying drivers always have to leave space on either side for the attacking driver. You are right that a driver cannot crowd out a driver if his wing is alongside but and then we start talking about this particular case.

          2. @xtwl Ah true. Sorry, my bad.

  84. Watch a replay….Rosbergs tail lights start flashing indicating a reduction in speed. The multiple times world champion seems to miss the clue.

  85. asking this question is like asking what shade of blue is the sky. No one will every agree, everyone will give a different opinion and no one will have their mind changed. Just endless talk that wont get anyone anywhere.

    What did get somewhere was the excitement of the race! I can tell you I was jumping up and down like a maniac when both took each other out! We actually had an amazing race of strategy that we got to watch! so the Merc drivers may not be happy, but I’M HAPPY!!!!

  86. lol. To all those saying Lewis was “alongside”… front wing to rear tire isn’t alongside. Nico was ahead and could take any line he wants. #notBlessed

    1. The FIA defined in the rulebook what “alongside” is. As reported by other posters, Hamilton was alongside according to the rules.

    2. It is according to the F1 regulations, so I’m not sure what you’re basing that opinion on.

    3. That doesn’t mean that HAM is to blame. ROS had the slow exit, HAM made a move. Unfortunatly they both chose the same side. Racing-incident if there ever was one.

  87. 100% Rosbergs Fault.

    27.7 Any driver defending his position on a straight, and before any braking area, may use the full width of the track during his first move, provided no significant portion of the car attempting to pass is alongside his. Whilst defending in this way the driver may not leave the track without justifiable reason.
    For the avoidance of doubt, if any part of the front wing of the car attempting to pass is alongside the rear wheel of the car in front this will be deemed to be a ‘significant portion’.

    Hamilton did have his front wing alongside the rear wheel of Rosberg while Hamilton had all 4 wheels on the track. as can be seen here https://twitter.com/markhelling/status/731826273463468032

    At that point Rosberg needs to stop moving across and leave a gap, if there had been a wall there Rosberg would have punted Hamilton straight into it like Schumacher almost did to Barrichelo a few years ago.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      15th May 2016, 17:05

      +1 Nico the weasel has struck again

    2. don’t forget this rule as well.

      Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted.

    3. Hamilton is NOT alongside in that photograph. Just look at the shadow of Rosberg’s rear tyre and the shadow of Hamilton’s front tyre. Hamilton has no part of his car alongside and his wheels are right on the white line.

      1. He has a front wing in front of that front tyre though which is pretty clearly alongside Rosbergs rear wheel. But Rosberg was already heading to the inside of the track when Hamilton dived into the gap, so 50/50.

  88. There is no car space , Nico start closing the line before hamilton was alongside hime, check 0:09 mark here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJKgIVqqRpg

    Anyway this is racing…

  89. Hamilton was clearly alongside and entitled to a car’s width. Rosberg shouldn’t have chopped so aggressively across, especially if he knew he had a power deficit. In my opinion

  90. I think the analysis on Sky has been very useful, not for what they said, as they strangely spent most time on some button settings (good catch though) instead on situation itself, but for the video. Few points:
    1. Video clearly showed that Rosberg made only one defensive move, to the right, and – more significantly – he started it as soon as he cleared the turn, that is, it was pre-emptive, it was not a reaction to Hamilton’s lunge. He then continued in steady way to the right. This is nicely confirmed by Hamilton’s onboard, where you can see both cars moving in unison until Hamilton turns his steering more to the right, after which Rosberg’s wheel does not move.
    2. Hamilton suddenly appeared on Rosberg’s right, tried to squeeze into a gap that was disappearing at that very moment, reacted accordingly and ended up on the grass. If the grass did not betray him there, he might have rejoined and all would end up well.
    3. There were two moments where the two drivers could have done something. Rosberg might have interrupted his drift to the right when he saw Hamilton there. However, it is very instructive to watch replay at full speed and mark when Hamilton actually appeared alongside Rosberg. The time to react was so small that I find it hard to blame Rosberg for not reacting.
    And Hamilton might have given up his move when he saw already at the start of his attack that Rosberg was actually moving to the right. He had more time for this reaction than Rosberg had for his, but on the other hand the move he started was not obviously leading to a crash, so I find Hamilton somewhat unwise, but not reponsible for the crash.
    Both drivers had only short time to decide.
    For once, the steward’s decision seems the right one.

  91. Rosberg was so out of sorts the previous corner as he had to tap the brake three times and had lost a lot of momentum. If he had not run his team mate off the road, Hamilton would have beat him to the corner.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      15th May 2016, 17:51

      @tinakori-road that was the whole point of taking Lewis out…

    2. Lol, taped the brakes… That is engine recovery light, bot brake light…

    3. @tinakori-road That’s not certain at all, Lewis would have to take a very shallow slow line whilst Rosberg would’ve taken the outside and kept more speed AND would have been at the right side for the next turn.

  92. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    15th May 2016, 17:51

    Has anyone seen the poll? Wow, people should really go play tic-tac-toe and leave F1 to the big boys:-)

  93. As Niki Lauda said… No question.

    And Lewis admited and appologised to the team and fans. No question.

    And pool also indicates this truth bias.

    Resonable racing incident brought about by Lewiz.

  94. @Keith: it was famously once said that, ”The moment you stop going for a gap you’re no longer a racing driver”.

    You argue that Hamilton is primarily at fault and should have known that Rosberg would defend firmly. To me that gives Rosberg too much precedent in an ‘unbiased’ scenario. In fact, Rosberg could have expected side by side action as soon as he realised he was in the wrong engine setting.

  95. For me Rosberg is mainly to blame.
    It was a Junior Formula move by him and we even saw in the GP2 race what happens If the driver behind doesn’t let himself being pushed of the tarmarc.

    Hamilton was alongside Rosberg before he ran out of space.
    Obviously he could have backed up earlier, But then we would have had to foresee that Rosberg would run him off track.
    But when he had parts of his Car alongside Rosberg there where only two options: crashing instantly or moving onto the grass out of the way.

    In addition, Rosberg had already made a driver error by choosing the wrong engine setting that led to the Situation. Then he moves over like “a madman or a torpedo” as Vettel might say.
    Everyone knows that “you have leave a space, ALL THE TIME you have to leave it a space!”

    That’s two driver errors from Rosberg when Hamilton just went for a gap that was obviously there.

    Vettel and Ricciardo showed how it’s done later in the race.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      15th May 2016, 19:12

      +1 the results of this poll are actually really alarming when you consider that these folks are f1 fans – it goes to show you why half the chefs in the world can’t boil pasta when half the f1 fans can’t tell an obvious accident :-)

      1. I’ve noticed polls on other F1 sites are strongly blaming Rosberg. I don’t know what it is about this site.

  96. What I really want to ask is this.. Hamilton at the time he decides to move to the right is already clearly faster than Rosberg, knows that Rosberg is not going to get any faster because his car is in energy recovery mode and there is a gap. If Hamilton sticks to his move , and doesn’t choose the grass to avoid contact but stops moving to the right at the end of the white line, then how are we all going to react to the Hamilton’s on board showing that Hamilton is already next to Rosberg when Rosberg decides to leave him no room and make contact with Hamilton??

  97. People say that Hamilton had ” no option but to turn onto the grass ” I believe he did have another option and that was to simply brake.
    I believe Hamilton is entirely to blame.

  98. Uzair Syed (@ultimateuzair)
    15th May 2016, 20:42

    Complete racing incident where both were at fault. Rosberg was at fault because he was in the wrong engine mode and defended too aggressively, and Hamilton was at fault because he attacked too aggressively and pulled to the inside a bit too quickly.

  99. I’ve come to two different conclusions, depending on the perspective:

    – From the rules’ perspective, Rosberg’s move wasn’t 100% clean. Hamilton did get his nose alongside Rosberg’s car before he had to jump out of the way. So he was in a way entitled to the inside line. Yet, Rosberg didn’t push him off the track with unfair intentions. He probably believed that he had closed the door on Lewis, and wasn’t expecting him to squeeze onto that quickly vanishing piece of tarmac. In this respect, I’m blaming Rosberg 60:40. Not enough to consider it anything else but a racing incident.

    – From a sporting perspective, I think Lewis was too eager to get past Rosberg at all cost. That was an all-or-nothing move, which you wouldn’t expect this early in the season, especially not from a driver who desperately needs to start collecting points if he wants to fight for the championship. I also can’t imagine Lewis leaving this kind of a door open for another competitor in a similar situation. So he either wasn’t thinking at all, or he thought that Rosberg was going to give in, which would’ve been pretty optimistic as well.
    I understand why he desperately wanted to squeeze past Rosberg, taking into consideration his bad start of the season as well as the lost lead at the start. But he shouldn’t have followed his naked instinct here, hunting down a gap that barely existed. Instead, he should’ve acted reasonably, deciding that the risk probably wasn’t worth taking. It was a long race after all, with many possible strategies. Nobody can tell if he could’ve won the race from P2 as well.
    That’s why I’m blaming Lewis 60:40 in this respect. In hindsight, he made a misjudgement that cost the team dearly.

    At the end of the day, I wouldn’t be too mad with any of the drivers. If Rosberg hadn’t used the wrong engine mode at the start, nothing would’ve happened. If Hamilton had given it a second thought, nothing would’ve happened. They both had their reasons to act like they did, and in both cases that wasn’t the perfect approach, but not a crime, either.

    The Stewards’ decision was absolutely correct, and it reinforces my faith that there might be competent people ruling over the sport from time to time.

    1. Well reasoned.

      I think at the end of the day, this all happened in such a short time frame that over analysis the decision making is, well, going to lead to bizarre conclusions.

  100. jack (@jackobite)
    15th May 2016, 20:48

    I call it 50/50
    I believe while ham may not have “been alongside” him he def was a wing up into the overtake. obey the rules to the letter and Ros should have gave him a cars width, times like this I wish the FIA and the stewards would show some frecking consistency so drivers will obey the rules even if it means they loss a position.

    I am a big fan of Ham and I think given equal chance he’ll beat Ros but I try to be fair and thus for me its a 50/50

  101. I’m surprised ROS got away with it. Then again if HAM did stop moving across it would have forced the stewards to enforce a penalty surely. It would also have been potentially more dangerous with wheel against wheel, just check out the GP2 race 2 crash approaching turn 10.
    I think the intention of the move is similar to spa whereby ROS was trying to show HAM that he wasn’t a push over.
    We’ll see the mind games at Monaco :))

  102. So by a considerable majority people don’t blame Lewis .

    1. That’s an interesting interpretation of the standings.
      There is indeed a majority of people who don’t think Lewis is mainly or entirely to blame (56% of the votes), but the share of people who don’t think Rosberg is mainly or entirely to blame is even larger (65%).

      In every respect, Hamilton gets slightly more criticism than Rosberg:
      Mainly to blame: HAM 29% ROS 24%
      Entirely to blame: HAM 14% ROS 10%

      I’m a bit surprised the neutral answer stands at only 17%. Overall, the blame is very evenly distributed (with wildly differring personal opinions), with a veeery slight tendency in favour of Hamilton’s fault.

  103. Who cares?! This race is 100% about Max!!!

    1. Well, more like 4.5%

      And then less if you consider the fans, team members or TV crew. Or sponsors even. Surely it’s about them too.

  104. To me there is no way LH should have reasonably expected an opening to remain. I think he should have figured out NR’s trajectory across the track well before he nudged his front wing beside NR’s rear wheel, when it was already too late. I don’t believe NR was distracted and drifting. I think he was covering himself as was his right. As Lauda put it, he was leading. The onus was not on him to leave room at that point. It was LH’s responsibility as the rearward car to read the situation better. Brundle seemed to be implying LH had the momentum and therefore had earned for NR to move over, but I don’t think that’s how it works. Leaders are to leap out of the way of anyone coming up to them overcooking it then? Don’t think so. If anything NR gained the first corner on LH and had earned the right to hold that as the leader.

    I’m trying to reconcile here the US GP last year when LH moved NR off the track at the start to everyone’s glee. I argued LH didn’t leave room and I was shot down, being told that only applies to when a leading bloke is making his second move back to the racing line. To me NR was still on his first move, still going across the track…no room needed.

    I also don’t think NR did anything LH wouldn’t have done.

  105. Rosberg to blame mostly.
    After reviewing the video replays available many times it is clear that Lewis tried the outside first, Nico blocked him there, then Lewis tried the inside and Nico blocked him again, forcefully whilst going 17-18kph slower in the wrong engine mode. Nico chose to block Lewis twice since it was the only way he could stay ahead.

    Official F1 site video (Mercedes drivers out on lap 1 – video 1:27)

    If you have any doubts about this conclusion check the video starting at 0:55. Nico is on the inside, Lewis is on the outside, Nico blocks left to the outside. At 1:00 Nico is toward the outside leaving less than a car width room to the outside. At 1:03 Nico has chopped across all the way back down to the inside white track line forcing Lewis onto the grass.

    Is it legal according to the regs to make two blocking moves when defending?

    What blame does Hamilton bear? Should he have backed off and waited for a better opportunity? Hindsight would say yes. Is it possible that Lewis also slowing down by 17-18kph could have left him vulnerable to attack from behind? That is certainly possible.

    I still put this one mostly on Rosberg. He knew he was slower and decided to block twice.

    We shall see if “no team orders” from Mercedes is still the official line and how that may compare to actual reality in future situations.

  106. Lewis was only along side the a millisecond before going on the grass. Nico had no time to react. Nico was always going to defend the inside line. The Nico’s strong defense didn’t create the contact, ultimately Lewis dropped it rallying on the grass. Maybe he should ask Seb/Nando how to drive on grass when forced wide (see monza 12′ and 13′ iirc)

    And once again Lewis fails to turn pole position into leading into T1.

  107. Chris Leslie
    15th May 2016, 23:53

    It seems pretty clear to me that Rosberg closed the door very suddenly and way too late.

  108. I find it interesting that in 2014 Magnussen had penalties in Belgium and Italy for forcing another driver off track. I didn’t agree with either of those penalties then and I don’t believe a penalty is warranted for this as they are racing incidents but it’s the lack of consistency that is frustrating.

  109. 6 of 1, half a dozen of the other for me.

    Nico was slow out of turn 3, and went straight to defend the inside just as Lewis was going for the overtake. Nico was aggressive in his defence, Lewis didn’t back off. In the end, a racing incident.

  110. I think they are both to blame. Rosberg didn’t leave space and Lewis charged into a gap that was already closing.

    Having said that, it happened all in what, half a second max? What do you expect, the drivers making detailed analysis before they act?

    It’s a racing incident, but I am disappointed Rosberg didn’t leave a gap. I think that is dangerous.

    1. The only thing dumber than leaving a gap to be overtaken is going for a gap you know is going to be gone by the time you get there.

  111. One of the most clear cut examples of ‘blame’ being applied equally. People forever moan about lack of excitement or unpredictability, yet when it comes people point fingers and complain about one driver or another. That was an example of aggressive attack meets aggressive defence with an unfortunate outcome for both. But the stewards got it right (in my opinion).

    Equally importantly, I’m grateful that the race winner is a bigger story than a crash (even if I was hoping Daniel Ricciardo would be victorious).

  112. Enough of the talk on what happened on the straight, the actual crash happened entering a corner, when only one driver had full control of his car. That was Rosberg and he decided to turn right straight into the sliding car of Hamilton … duh!

    1. If Rosberg can,t win by fair he will by foul it’s oviously Mercedes want a German in a German car to win f1 wold championship. Bob

    2. correct…but remember these guys hate each other

  113. team mates LOL these 2 men hate each other it was bound to happen and might again…they hate each other plain and simple

  114. notice how vetal and rosberg talk after a race but no talk to hamilton

  115. Hamilton does appear to have backed off after going onto the grass and he remain in the same relative position to Rosberg for the ;length of the straight. If he had been hell bent on saving he car he would have lifted the get the back onto track behind Rosberg but I am guessing that the red mist came down and he was going for it and if Rosberg was taken out, so what. IN addition Hamilton could see Rosberg’s flashing red so he should have known he had any easy pass coming his way. He was too hot too soon.

    100% Hamilton’s fault.

    1. WHat about Monaco 2yrs ago when Rosberg coud not get close to Hamilton quali lap so he wobbled his steering and shot up the escape. Rd and blocked hamiltons quali lap i repert NOT TO BE TRUSTED

    2. Whatcha Antony Davison analoycist on sky pad and you will change your opinion Rosbergs fault entirely bob

    3. Hamilton on the grass … there’s very little grip there!

      1. He went onto the grass as part of going to the right, so if he didn’t then turn left then he would continue into the wall. Turning while going fast on grass is very difficult, even with equal grip from all four wheels.

      2. If he applied the brakes, all 4 wheels would have locked up and he would crash. So he didn’t try to apply brakes.

      3. If he backed off, that would apply engine braking on the rear wheels. It is said that the engine braking alone on an F1 car is equivalent to planting your foot on the brake pedal in a road car – it’s fierce! Therefore, if Lewis had backed off, it would have been the equivalent of pulling a handbrake – not a good idea on grass!

      4. If he kept the throttle in the same place, then the power of the engine would cause severe wheel-spin on the grass – see 3. above.

      So, he was left with very little control of the car, but having to steer to avoid the wall and also try to find a throttle position that would allow the rear wheels to match the speed over the grass … (sorry, I’m assuming he doesn’t have a way of putting the car into neutral, which would be the best way to handle this) while the car is bouncing all around. And that’s effectively impossible.

  116. If Hamilton has a problem with doors being closed or running teammates off the track all he has to do is ask for a second opinion from his interviews last year. And the year before…

  117. This crash was Hamilton’s fault entirely: Since when is a racing driver supposed to make way for a car driving behind, no matter how much faster he is? When Rosberg pulled to his right, Hamilton was nowhere near alongside.

    Hamilton seems to have a bad run, after being overtaken he acted recklessly. We all know that Hamilton has the potential to be one of F1’s best drivers, but last weekend his contribution to his team was worse than useless.

  118. I thought the crash was mainly Rosberg’s fault but also partly a racing incident.

    One of the things I was reminded of when it happened was when Rosberg forced some cars off track in a similar move a few years ago in Bahrain, It was the 2012 Grand Prix and he forced Hamilton and Alonso off the track in separate incidents. In that race no one crashed out as they didn’t go off onto grass and lose control.

    Having looked it up, Rosberg escaped any punishment, so you can sort of understand why no one was punished this time even though it resulted in both cars crashing out.


    However given some recent decisions such as the Sainz penalty at the last race in Russia, which I did not agree with at the time and still don’t, I don’t understand the Stewards reasoning this time out


    Given Sainz was penalised for forcing Palmer off track when the run off was tarmac and there was no real risk, I was surprised the Stewards took no action in this race when instead of tarmac runoff it was grass and the end result was both cars crashing out.

    We all have different opinions on whether different incidents should be punished or just written off as a racing incident but we hope that the people in power, the Stewards are relatively consistent even if the actual Stewards change each race.

    I understand why there were no penalties handed out for this incident, however I maybe missing something with regard to the Sainz penalty but I genuinely don’t know what will and won’t be punished.

    When Rosberg hit Hamilton at Spa in 2014 many saw that as Rosberg saying to Hamilton that he wasn’t going to be a push over anymore, Rosberg wasn’t penalised by the stewards then but he was very publically rebuked by the team.

    There have been comments that this was Rosberg again saying he wouldn’t just get out of the way for Hamilton, and while this time the result was both drivers crashed out, the team in public are either saying it was Hamilton’s fault (Lauda) or trying to be neutral (Wolff).

    I think that response from the team could be telling in that Rosberg will be less likely to back down on track to Hamilton in future.

  119. Racing Incident is cop-out from the Stewards – all incidents occur because the drivers are racing. Hamilton’s front wing was along side Rosberg’s rear wheel, that entitles Hamilton to be given room to race. FIA rules 20.4 and 20.5 make this very clear. Rosberg escaped punishment for similar incidents against both Hamilton and Alonso in 2012. When you also consider the Stewards lack of action at Monaco and Spa 2014, you begin to see a pattern. Rosberg is allowed to cause accidents, take people out and deliberately block the track whereas others are reprimanded for safely using a run-off area during free practice.

    Sounds like a clear case of double standard to me.

  120. Khoi Minh Vu (Vũ Minh Khôi)
    24th May 2016, 3:18

    Hamilton is the guy who causes that. He shifted into the grass trying to pass over his teammate rosters which reduces the grip of his car tyres which makes his car spun and hit rosberg’s car, pushing themselves down the sand.

    So has Hamilton apologized his teammate?

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