Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

What they say about… Hamilton and Rosberg’s crash

What they say about...

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The first-lap collision between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg which eliminated both Mercedes from last week’s Spanish Grand Prix was ruled a racing incident by the stewards.

However the views from that select group of people who can relate to the unique pressures of a racing environment were more mixed. Some came down firmly against one of the drivers, others sided with the stewards.

And others expressed regret that the modern rules of racing allow drivers to defend their position as forcefully as Rosberg did.

Here’s what Hamilton and Rosberg’s Formula One predecessors made of their clash:

Jackie Stewart, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016
Stewart: Rosberg was “allowed to protect himself”

Hamilton is to blame. Rosberg was allowed to protect himself. You don’t go for it on the first lap.
Jackie Stewart

You can ask if Lewis should have been so aggressive but if you want to blame someone its 100 per cent Nico.
Jacques Villeneuve

The speed difference is so high, I don’t know how much it is but it’s quite high, and as soon as he made the decision it’s too late, because he already had a wheel on the grass.

For me it’s more a race incident considering some different parameters.
Alain Prost

It was a miscalculation in Lewis’s head. I blame him more than Nico. But for the team and for Mercedes it is unacceptable. Lewis was too aggressive to pass him.
Niki Lauda

Jacques Villeneuve, Venturi, Formula E, Donington Park testing, 2015
Villeneuve: Rosberg ‘100% to blame’

There you have it red mist disgraceful for Mercedes, joke. Great for the race now wide open. First lap no room no control I am shocked.

We must remember first lap there’s not much room, long race, full tanks it’s always difficult, tyres not up to full temp!

Niki spoke very well and I agree with his comments, shocking for for Mercedes. What Niki said is that it’s unacceptable to lose both cars before the third corner of the first lap regardless who’s at fault. And I agree.

Good call from the stewards racing incident. But behind closed doors Mercedes will be talking.
Nigel Mansell

Feel bad for both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg because this has to be the worse day of their careers
Mario Andretti

It was a racing incident. It could have being avoided by both. Rosberg was more of a fault for closing the door too late.
Rubens Barrichello

The stewards called it right as a racing incident, it was an amalgamation of circumstances which ended up with Hamilton on the grass and then wiping them both out.
Martin Brundle

Rosberg should not be able to drive Hamilton off track with a block – but Schumacher perfected the move and it became acceptable by FIA.
Derek Daly

Over robust defending meets over ambitious attacking.

Have to say, as a driver I would be feeling less guilty if I was Nico Rosberg. I don’t like it but current rules say you can make one move to other side of track as long as no car alongside and that’s what Nico did.
Tiff Needell

The pair at the centre of the row are eager to put it behind them. “It was a tough moment for all of us after the race but it’s now chapter closed and looking ahead to Monaco,” said Hamilton.

However the Monte-Carlo track was the scene of another controversy between the pair two years ago. And with the pressure from rivals such as Red Bull likely to be especially fierce this weekend, Mercedes can ill afford more bad blood between their drivers.

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  • 115 comments on “What they say about… Hamilton and Rosberg’s crash”

    1. I’ve been thinking about this and it strikes me that when you’ve got a sick car that for whatever reason is much slower than it should be, crossing the width of the track when you know there is someone close behind is almost certainly going to result in an accident.

      Arguably, Nico avoided punishment not because of his awareness or calculation of the circumstances, but because Lewis didn’t get six inches further alongside. What I mean is, he did not know the move would be a safe one. He reacted and hoped. Ultimately it was a legal move and a racing incident (I agree with that) but only because Nico was lucky.

      1. And 6 inches further behind and with Hamilton’s closing speed he would have cleaved his front wing end plate into Rosberg’s right rear and been penalised. Ifs and buts aren’t relevant, they were where they were on track, we had pretty much an unavoidable racing incident from both drivers doing what most any other driver would do. You could argue both drivers were lucky the end result was neutral.

        1. Gets hard to keep my bias in check, I used to really like Nico but the monaco “I’ll go out first at Q3” and Spa’s proving a point iv gotten to dislike him alot.
          Had Nico been 40 points behind that sweep across the track in a slower car would not have happened. Lets be honest in a fair fight Ham will win 7 out of 10 times.
          In my humble opinion :)

          lastly, Nico was so unlucky he got collected by Ham any other randomness and Ham would have spun out while Nico drove on.

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        23rd May 2016, 14:10

        @splittimes do you mean it was a legal move because Nico’s daddy is a WDC? cause that’s not a legal move for anyone else driving in F1 today… Senna didn’t have a WDC daddy but Prost had a powerful daddy and he got a 6 month ban for pretty much the same move…

        1. That’s not what he said so I doubt it’s what he meant.

      3. @splittimes I agree.

        “Current rules say you can make one move to other side of track as long as no car alongside and that’s what Nico did.”

        This line from Tiff Needell sums it up well – people who are anti-Hamilton in this case forget that even if you take a defensive line, you do need to leave a car’s width once you are side-by-side. Of course, Rosberg wasn’t prepared for the speed with which Hamilton drew alongside, he was not used to defending with no ERS power – but then again it was he who made the error with the engine modes.

        I always blamed Rosberg more than Hamilton here and even after two weeks I’m still amazed Rosberg got away with it.

    2. Split decision really. Deemed a racing incident, and otherwise arguments can be made either way. Sometimes that can happen with an incident too close to call. Perhaps the real shame is that in F1’s drive to see MS smash all the records, this is one of the unfortunate outcomes, the ‘chop’ as it became known, when MS would do this right from the lights going out.

      That said, I think the best they can do is what we saw. If a guy is ahead he is allowed his one move across the track at any rate he wants, and if it wasn’t already clear, then it is now, that the rearward driver needs be aware that this is legal and can happen in front of him. To try to say the driver cannot move across at such a dramatic rate would make for so many shades of grey that I think they wouldn’t be able to police for what rate would be acceptable. Better to leave them their own rate as long as they are ahead and Nico was obviously enough ahead, or this wouldn’t have been deemed a racing incident.

      1. It really does go to show how desperate F1 has got when over a week since the previous race and the same accident get churned over again and again…

        Talk about flogging a dead horse, this incident will never get a balanced argument as there are too many who deem one of the drivers unable to do anything wrong…

      2. I think racing incident was a fair assessment. If we want to go into minute detail, there is no way Hamilton, or any other reader would not go for a gap when they see the guy in front is massively slower than them. I’m shocked some of the ex drivers think he shouldn’t have gone for it, that’s practically saying you should slow down behind a limping car until you can be sure they are pulling safely away… hell no stock your nose up the inside!

        I think Nico was overloaded and didn’t get the whole situation it happened so fast and he was busy correcting the issue… that said; In my opinion if it was Seb defending there would have been no crash.

        Racing incident.

    3. This has been debated to death since Barcelona but for me It was clear that the blame lay more at Nico’s door than Lewis’. Nico ran right across the track when he knew Lewis was coming, yes there was a high closing speed and that contributed to the misjudgement on both sides, but Nico had to have seen him coming so he could have left a space, the minimum of space sure, but space nonetheless.

      On top of that, he has previous with moves like this…

      1. +1
        Even more so given Rosberg’s own error caused him to lose pace, resulting in a split-second decision to accept being passed or block aggressively, knowing Hamilton would be a lot faster.

        This comes down to Rosberg now over-compensating with aggression for the pace and track skills he lacks compared to his team mate. Makes for good TV viewing, but of Ferrari and Red Bull start to win a few more races, Mercedes would be very misguided to continue backing Rosberg over Hamilton.

      2. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
        23rd May 2016, 17:33

        +2 the closing speed was so great that Rosberg was demanding a great deal of Hamilton even had he managed to close the door before Hamilton got his foot in it. Kamikaze driving from Rosberg.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          23rd May 2016, 18:13

          For me the decision reached by the stewards is absolutely insane – it adds drama just like football but that still doesn’t make a yellow card given to the wrong player any more correct than the steward’s decision. Lauda can’t go back on his stupid statement and it goes to show you how ignorant experts can be. Jackie probably got the 2 drivers confused and really meant Rosberg was at fault… Next time he sees them on the paddock, he’ll be “hold on, you are not Lewis???”

          1. If the roles were reversed Jackie will still blame Lewis. He just dislikes the guy. Maybe his annoyed he braking his records as a British great or something or that he doesn’t treat him like an icon and isn’t interested in him when in the paddock. I have no idea.

            Lauda was the same and a big Vettel fan but he changed his tune after he had a hand on bringing Hamilton to Merc and he also made those comments so fast he never really saw much of the scene or analyzed it. He was probably talking from the side of “no need for attacking in first corners” or something but considering Mercs single strategist and the circuit i will say the first lap really was the win for the race and it was stupid to accuse Hamilton for making an attacking move when he had so much more speed. No F1 driver would sit back and slow down instead of attacking when approaching faster like that.

      3. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
        23rd May 2016, 18:50

        @geemac that Fernando, his English accent never improves: “ALL THE TIME YOU HAVE TO LEAVE A SPACE”
        That’s why Seb said it the same way!!!

      4. @geemac

        Perhaps you should post a link to Alonso’s on board from the 2012 Bahrain race. That way you’ll see that he can moan all he likes because he NEVER had ANY part of his front wing alongside Rosberg – AT ALL.

        Rosberg’s defensive move there was SPOT ON, as it was with Hamilton in the same race. Rosberg went to the line to defend as he is entitled to and neither Hamilton nor Alonso had any part of their car alongside Rosberg BEFORE leaving the track.

        In fact, it was Hamilton who was under investigation for this move for making a pass while off the track.

        So thanks for posting that video that CLEARLY shows Rosberg 100% in the right!

        1. @nick101 Agree 100%. And no penalty for Nico then either. Nico didn’t just lay down and get out of their way so he was wrong, in their opinion. For me the bottom line is that if LH or SV or FA as WDC’s would have done this, they would be being applauded for their WDC level take-no-prisoners skill at retaining a lead. I defy anyone who has slammed NR for this move, which was not penalized btw, to claim they would be just as harsh on any of the 3 WDC’s I’ve mentioned above.

          Another thing that hasn’t really been said in the hundreds of posts since the incident…if you have a problem with NR or with the lack of penalty to him, you should be slamming the stewards and F1 for allowing the swerve, which has been going on for years. They once again told the world by their lack of penalty on NR, that it is a legal move. I suggest get off Nico’s back and get on F1’s and the stewards’.

          I hope they don’t dumb down F1 even further by now policing the rate at which one can defend using one’s one move. But they won’t, because Nico did nothing wrong. He was plainly and simply enough ahead of LH that his move was legal and he could not have been expected to react in time to LH trying for a hole that was always closing…LH went to the right of NR who was moving right…if LH thought NR was just going to stop his one move to make way for him, well now LH knows differently, as if he didn’t already have precedence to go by. LH needed more patience rather than trying to win the race at that corner, having been taken by Nico around T1 as the second on the grid, and he also showed that he considers NR a real threat, to have desperately tried to win the race at that instant and instead took NR and himself out as he did, when he did.

    4. As Ayrton’s biggest fan, Lewis has learned – hard way though – what was like racing against Ayrton Senna ( Estoril 1989 comes to my mind ).

      1. +1 =)) Good one!

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        23rd May 2016, 14:16

        @Boomerang Are you talking about this incident?

        1. Why to unregistered users always make the worse overly agressive posts?

    5. i feel like rubens called it correctly (or most similar to my view). i’m really glad the stewards decided it was a racing incident.

      1. I studies it again and again from the helicopter and onboard camera too and i concluded Nico was at fault because after he fixed his engine problem he stayed in the middle and waited Lewis to attack(he knew he was coming because he lost speed) and the moment Lewis started turning to the right he went aggressively to the right to cut him.
        Even Nico himself stated he was focusing on Lewis so he knew very well what he was doing.
        No matter which side Lewis would choose he would have chopped him that is why he was staying a little in the middle instead of racing line as to be able to chop him ether side as fast as possible since he would be coming at him very fast.
        If he moved to cover the inside line before Lewis made a move then it will have been proper defending and Lewis might have had time to back out of it but this was no the case.
        Considering the much faster approaching speed that Lewis had because Nico slowed a lot due to the wrong engine mode a chopping movement like that by running across the track in that way After the attacking driver commuted to a side to attack was an accident waiting to happen because due to the speed difference it would be impossible for the attacking driver to change sides and the go to the left after Nico started moving to the right. If Hamilton tried that he would just end hitting Rosberg in the back and then seem completely guilty.
        Hamilton had no choice but to keep going and hope that Rosberg will leave him some room.

        So Rosberg created the accident by defending sloppily or maliciously. Hamilton did a normal overtake attempt that was expected from any driver to do when he has so much speed over the other. Rosberg defending made it an incident.

    6. Strange that inteligent, articulated and successful ex-drivers reached the same conclusion: Lewis’s fault more.

      …or maybe not that strange at all.

      1. Strange. I thought all those opinions were made based on an initial emotional reaction and not after proper analysis of the situation.

      2. @lucien_todutz

        4 blame Hamilton, 3 Rosberg and 3 remain neutral.

        So 1 extra blaming Hamilton from a rather small sample size. Hardly a damming conclusion. How many of them gave their account after thoroughly reviewing telemetry and footage and how many from their initial instinct upon first seeing the incident?

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          23rd May 2016, 14:12

          It does not include a lot of other drivers who mostly blame Rosberg

          1. @freelittlebirds
            You keep saying that, but I get the impression there’s no such thing as a majority of drivers blaming Rosberg.

            1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              23rd May 2016, 18:42

              @nase – yeah, you’re right – listen to Alonso’s response over the radio at Bahrain… You’ll get a kick out of it.

            2. @freelittlebirds
              A) That’s a different incident that happened 4 years ago.
              B) Rosberg had completed his move before Alonso was alongside him.
              C) Rosberg was cleared of any wrongdoing by the stewards of the meeting. (See here:
              D) Alonso is exactly one driver out of 22 that are currently in the grid, which is a pretty long shot from the majority, or even a lot of the drivers, especially considering that this was his opinion on an incident that was … see point A.
              E) I’m still waiting for the kick. Did anybody in the grid actually blame Nico more than Lewis? I hardly heard any statements from them. And I’m not talking about some distant point in the past, referring to something else. I’m talking about the present. Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, Barcelona 2016. Nothing else.

            3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              23rd May 2016, 23:04

              @nase that’s the exact same situation and Vettel has the excuse that it happened on a turn and the excuse that he was not slower by DRS speed difference. 4 years isn’t that long ago at all.

              The fact that Rosberg was cleared of wrongdoing means nothing especially since the stewards didn’t want to punish Mercedes any further and both drivers had retired.

              Senna was banned for 6 months for what was technically a racing incident for what they considered dangerous driving.

              This was much more egregious and the words kamikaze and killer moves are not used often but they have been in this case and they carry a lot more weight than he should have exercised more caution and waited for the finish line like Lorenzo did in Mugello to make a move when the car in front is 17 kph slower.

              Of course other drivers on the grid won’t comment on this which is what you’re clearly alluding to. The commentators in the US, immediately said that Rosberg left Lewis no room without even knowing that Nico was 17kph slower.

            4. @freelittlebirds
              Aaand now you’re somehow talking about Vettel, DRS, Senna (what on earth, man? Senna wasn’t banned, much less for 6 months … are you just making things up at this point?), words like ‘kamikaze’ and ‘killer move’ that have been used (in passive voice; “by whom?” one might rightfully ask), things commentators in the US have said without knowing the facts yet, MotoGP …
              … and now suddenly the drivers, who were your chief witnesses yesterday, for supposedly blaming Rosberg, have never commented on this (“of course” – why “of course”???) …

              I’m rather conflicted about saying what I’m about to say, but what you’ve said, in its entirety, is an incoherent pile of rubbish.

            5. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              25th May 2016, 13:51

              @nase well, I think we all have to concede that you are right and Nico had every right to defend just like a 90 year old woman who doesn’t race would have…

            6. @freelittlebirds
              I officially give up. I’ll go back to fighting windmills. There’s a tiny chance they’ll react to external stimuli in a coherent way, i.e. they might collapse if I poke them hard enough. No chance of them blabbering about Ayrton Senna’s and Bernie Ecclestone’s hidden love child that uses DRS in MotoGP, for which Rosberg is to blame because Vettel had a speed deficit of more than/less than/exactly 17 kph …
              That would be heaven.

        2. So if it is a reasonably even split that perhaps drivers were at fault, therefore they both caused the collision, why don’t both of them receive a penalty?

      3. Well they are making obviously false statements. Hamilton WAS alongside when many of the articulate people pretend he wasn’t.

        The stewards didn’t penalize Rosberg because it hadn’t lasted long enough that Hamilton was alongside before he was pushed off.

        So if you follow the “he didn’t know”/”didn’t see” excuse it’s a racing incident and otherwise it’s a penalty for Rosberg. There is nothing there that Hamilton could have gotten a penalty for.

        Of course Lauda made his rant Lauda before looking back at the footage and/or knowing about Rosberg’s blunder with the engine settings. It’s prepostrous to think of a car suddenly slowing down and the driver behind not trying an overtake.

        There was a huge gap to the right of Rosberg who was suddenly losing pace and Hamilton went for it. You have got to be kidding me that you actually think any other driver on the grid would not have.

      4. Even without an incident or an accident, they blame Hamilton.

        Go figure!

      5. @lucien_todutz Even without an incident or an accident, they blame Hamilton.

        Go figure!

    7. ColdFly F1 (@)
      23rd May 2016, 13:09

      Racing incident, and it seems most agree.
      The Mercedes bosses might come to a different conclusion; not regarding the ‘racing incident’ part, but if they properly took their employer’s interests into account.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        23rd May 2016, 13:55

        @coldfly no one can watch the footage and come up with the conclusion that it was a racing incident especially hearing Nico’s comments after the race. That’s without taking into account the free pass on T1 from Lewis. Overaggressive, they make me laugh. That was a masterclass pass and on the inside – if anything, Niki and Jackie were not good enough to make passes like that and are just upset…

        1. Yeah I’m sure the reason Niki and Jackie were upset is because they couldn’t make moves like that themselves. Seem SO logical. /facepalm

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            23rd May 2016, 23:13

            @johanness on the topic of logic, a lot more logical than blaming Lewis with DRS advantage over Nico, would you not say? After all, they developed DRS for passing and that’s the advantage Lewis had out of that corner…

            1. Actually DRS is not allowed for the first 2 laps

            2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              24th May 2016, 3:08

              @Tom indeed I’m illustrating the difference in speed was equivalent to DRS between Lewis and Nico – I don’t even remember seeing a defense like that against a car with that speed advantage other than Nico in Bahrain 2012.

              Can we find a DRS pass where the other driver pushed the other car off the track mid-pass?

        2. Well… It wasn’t actually a pass…

          1. See the last two responses for any clarification you need @freelittlebirds

    8. This whole thing has been pretty good for Mercedes. In the midst of a weekend where history was made and a fairly great race they weren’t a part of happened, they’ve had huge positive publicity from it. They get to sit back and say ‘we will let our drivers race’ and be commended for it all the while the championship is largely safe for them. They wouldn’t have wished it to happen, but for a team in the sport to garner publicity for the parent company it couldn’t have worked out any better.

      Dozens of articles have come as a result which ultimately makes the race team look good for having two competitive drivers unrestrained from going for it during a weekend which even if they’d had a 1-2, there was a good chance headlines would have all been about the youngest ever podium.

      1. You’re not wrong there.

        Plus we got to watch a fantastic race. Given that noone was hurt, it all turned out for the best.

    9. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      23rd May 2016, 13:52

      I had respect for Jackie Stewart but I watched the interview with Will Buxton before the race and his stamement makes perfect sense although I wish he’d have started it talking about free little birds:-)

    10. I wish we could go back to the days when veering offline because someone is trying to overtake you was considered unsporting and dangerous…

      1. Hey! Stop clouding the issue with facts!

    11. I think the steward’s decision was correct it was a racing incident.

      Nico was allowed to defend and lewis need to make a move to get in front when Nico had a problem. The first lap is the time to do it, not once everyone is locked in a pace and fully up to speed and unable to pass.

      The drivers perceived the event in real time, not slow mo, so I don’t think it’s fair to consider either driver at fault.

      Lewis had more to loose and made a move to go for a gap if it had worked it would have been the move of the race.

      1. Nico was not allowed to defend like that. You need to leave space when another driver is alongside when not defending the race line. Hamilton was alongside as defined by the rules.

    12. I still say it’s a racing incident, but for what it’s worth: in the chain of split-second decisions leading up to it, the ultimate one was Rosberg’s choice to move over when clearly Hamilton had no place but grass to go to avoid contact, so that’s my two cents.

      1. @maciek
        I don’t agree 100% with you. I do agree with your assessment that Rosberg’s move was a tad too aggressive (though not enough so to justify a penalty imo). But Lewis did have somewhere else to go: There was plenty of space behind Rosberg. By lifting just a tiny bit, Hamilton could’ve let Rosberg close the door, leaving the outside line uncovered. Obviously, he didn’t take this option into consideration, instead going for a gap on the inside line, that was already quite small and shrinking when he started his move. That’s an understandable approach. But it’s wasn’t the only possible choice. He also had the option to attack Rosberg on the outside line, or to back out of it altogether. Those choices are also part of a racing driver’s job, and there’s probably a dozen incidents in every race that could end in a crash but don’t, because one of the drivers thinks it wiser not to risk his entire race.
        That’s why I think Nico is just as responsible for the crash as Nico is.

        And I’m very happy the stewards decided wisely. The message here is that it’s still possible to race hard, even if that ends in a crash. As long as none of the drivers did anything downright stupid or intentionally unfair, there’s no reason for the stewards to interfere.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          23rd May 2016, 19:53

          @nase you need to watch the races to see how often Lewis lifts in front of Nico – it’s practically running with hurdles when Nico is around as opposed to a sprint – if Lewis hit Nico everytime Nico put the car in a position to be hit, Lewis he would have been eliminated in 1/3 of the races… He literally has to babysit – I think it’s the most appropriate term – Nico when they drive together.

          1. @freelittlebirds
            The only conclusion I take from what you read is that you’re just extremely biased in favor of Lewis/against Nico/whatever your motivation is.
            Your statements are painfully one-sided. And I don’t feel the need to say much more, because I’m probably wasting my time.

            1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              23rd May 2016, 23:25

              @nase the bias is true but it’s not an argument. I dislike Nico because of the way he races and behaves, not because I like Lewis and therefore automatically dislike Nico. It also doesn’t render Nico innocent for any fault on the track.

            2. No, he’s right. There’s a very good reason Rosberg wasn’t quite so aggressive before: he lacks the skills needed to push harder still. And he knew it. However he’s decided that the only way to win a championship is to chance it with driving that’s beyond his actual capacity. Hamilton just needs a bit more patience and he can use this lack of control from Rosberg to his advantage.

            3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              24th May 2016, 3:21

              @David_Br @nase I actually think that Rosberg has improved and I would love to see him fight fairly. He’s a darn good qualifier and we’ve seen him make passes on drivers and he’s managed to string 7 wins. Here he is with a massive lead in the championship and he goes and literally tries to break Messi’s legs because that will end the match.

              Take it easy, defend, let Lewis pass you if you can’t hold him back and get back on it. Maybe you lose this race but it’s only 7 points. But fight, don’t break the rulebook and try to kill your teammate.

              You already got 43 points by breaking once in front of Lewis and the other time leaving him to crash with Bottas. You got a massive lead, time to race – you are going to have to race once in the season, hopefully. You can’t hide in 21 races…

    13. The fact that all ex racers are also evenly split on who is to blame makes me want to commend the stewards for a decision well made. Well and truly, a racing incident.

    14. I don’t understand how people can be in doubt about what happened. It’s very clear from the onboard video that Rosberg never took any action to close the gap on Hamilton, but instead was simply continuing his right turn after turn 3, while fiddeling with the PU settings. Rosberg never straightened the car, until seeing Hamilton on the inside. Yes, he did drive towards the right side of the track, but it was a result of his line out of turn 3, and not a response to Hamiltons move.

      1. Rosberg never took any action to close the gap on Hamilton, but instead was simply continuing his right turn after turn 3

        I disagree. On first viewing it seemed ROS swerved across the track wildly, but watching again it seems clear to me that ROS made a controlled, but very aggressive, blocking move.

        However, this incident has divided opinion everywhere. I sit in the middle and consider both drivers roughly equally at fault, but everyone is entitled to their opinion and I certainly don’t want to put anyone down for stating their own.

      2. I was gonna complain a bit about why we still talk of this?

        But it is nice to see oppinions of people who have done 100, 200, 300 races, who have a few fights for championship fights under the belt…

        But hey, now debate will be again open whos fault is it. I am sure amongst Hamilton fans bias will be firmly on Hamiltons side, amongst Nico fans bias will be firmly on Nico side…

        Ex champions seem to be biased thorward, shame, to aggressive, but especially racing incident. Most think of it as a racing incident, very few attribute more blame to either driver.

        But in any case, mathematically Nico gained most of all, he gets to keep his lead over Lewis, Lewis lost quite a bit, but most was lost for Mercedes.

        How many of those champions would have done the same? I bet quite a few would. But also quite a few wouldn’t and are not champions(aka Brundle and Tiff N.)

        Being Champion is not about being nice and Nico is getting the job done mathrmatically speaking. Points adhere to math, oppinions might vary.

        For the fans? It was an awesome move. We got a spectacular Win, epic lead battle. Without crash Spanish GP would at best be a 6/10 with Nico or Lewis and third Vettel on podium.

        In best case we would see Lewis faster than Nico unable to pass if Lewis backed out or if Nico blocked we would see Nico trailing close behind for 69 laps. Then 2 Ferraris and 2 Red Bulls.

        Both drivers knew full well first lap will decide who looses and made sure its the other guy.

      3. Now read the rules and spot where it says that a continuous move means you can push another driver off?

        Found it?

        Nope huh? Nothing about moves or timing of moves. Bummer.

        It just says that a driver needs to leave space for another car if it has a front wing next to the rear wheel. Which Hamilton had.

      4. The next corner coming up is a right hand turn, you wouldn’t continue to the right side of the track for any reason other than an overtake or to defend the inside of the corner. Rosberg wasn’t continuing the right hand turn, he was moving to defend.

    15. F1 Stewards – Racing incident, case closed.
      Mercedes F1 – Racing incident, case closed.
      Drivers involved – Racing incident, case closed.
      F1 fans and media – Oh my god, whose fault was it? Who can we blame? Let’s beat this to death.

      1. Hear, hear! Best summary I’ve seen, get’s my vote for COD.

        1. F1 Stewards – Incident issued to not penalize the team further, very bad inconsistent decision! Others were penalized for far less damaging moves! It doesnt make the decision right, it just shows how flawed the stewards are!

          Mercedes F1 – Knows who is at fault, and doesnt wanna stir things up in public for their own safety! Just because they said it, doesnt make it a closed! It is just gonna be dealt internally…

          Drivers involved – Both are told to talk down, but Ros being immature/dishonest said/blamed : he didnt think Lewis would dive inside, yeah, he though he would fly over him instead? closed? open by a long margin!

          There was a heli cam footage of the incident, but i cant find it anymore! It clearly shows Ros didnt move the right so sudden! He made it mildly right, and after seeing Ham go far right, he did a kamikaze dive to inside line!

          ok: found the footage!
 watch this at 0.25X speed (slow motion) to the end…

          You can see NICO’s secondary sharp right! Specifically watch the HELI CAM footage after on board one! How Nico’s car wiggles!

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            24th May 2016, 3:33

            @mysticus I had no idea I can control the speed on youtube!!! Thanks for the tip!

            Great video, it’s crazy how close Nico got to the inside line. He took all of Lewis’ space. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lewis had to slow down to avoid colliding with Nico as he went to the grass. He would have run into him at full throttle just like Alonso did a few weeks ago. I think Lewis avoided a much more serious accident. Lauda and Nico should probably be thanking Lewis for avoiding a massive accident.

          2. Thanks for posting that vid, it shows very clearly that Rosberg drove completely off the racing line to the very edge of the track and pushed his team mate off.

            Why did the stewards not punish this?

    16. I feel that everyone is looking at this incident as if it were two drivers from rival teams that took each other out.

      The golden rule is: ‘don’t ever crash into your team mate, at whatever cost’. For me that includes if necessary, letting your team mate drive past you even in a dangerous manner. If that is what is required of you to avoid breaking the golden rule then that is what you do. You can argue about it after the race within the team if you feel aggrieved and team sanctions would hopefully follow for the guilty driver.

      For me Rosberg was completely at fault . He was not going to be able to keep the lead due to his slower car because of a settings error. He should have left the necessary space for the inevitable pass ( especially as he know’s Hamilton will take any chance offered from bitter experience ) and because it is his team mate making that pass, thus to abide by the golden rule he had to leave space. But he didn’t, he chopped his team mate off the track, in a dangerous place at high speed.

      I guess at the moment of his right chop, Rosberg believed that the only casualty would be Hamilton and that his winning the championship was another 25 point step ahead. Twice now he has ended his team mates race and once his qualifying by his ‘errors’. This is what Merc should consider unacceptable especially as it appears other teams are on their heels now.

      It is laudable that Merc let them both race but at some point they may need to follow the no1/no2 meta to maintain their lead in both championships, as all other teams have done throughout F1s history. The clear no1 driver would be Hamilton if push came to shove and they must be reviewing their future plans regarding these issues right now before Monacco. The last two years at Monacco have proved very controversial for Merc so next weekend is going to be very interesting for sure.

      1. You know Lewis had time to brake? Speed differential was only 17kph but he stayed on the gas…

        He didnt lift even on the grass and still keept going.

      2. Ironically if ham had not avoided a colission _ by holding his position at the edge of the track rosberg would have caused a wreck and been pilloried for it…. Oh well….

    17. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      23rd May 2016, 18:16

      Prost’s comment is the best one – couldn’t stop laughing. He didn’t seem to think so when Senna and he collided. That was as much of a racing incident:-)

      1. @freelittlebirds

        He didn’t seem to think so when Senna and he collided.

        Which time? It happened more than once…

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          23rd May 2016, 20:44

          @keithcollantine 1989 Suzuka of course.

        2. Exactlly, but Prost knows this sort of thing happens…

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            23rd May 2016, 22:51

            @jureo I know but it goes to show you what a hypocrite a 4 time WDC is when he ran to the stewards after the collision. That was clearly a racing incident – this was not. Lewis was practically in DRS zone over Nico and Nico pushed Lewis to his death…

            1. Exactly Prosts point. When he and Senna were going for it, with championship on the line, only one was gonna win. On track, of track, on grass, in steward room, in the gravel…

              A little bit of hipocracy is small price to pay for a win.

              Nico drove Lewis off the track in a fully legal racing incident way. He won that battle. Dirty, fair, whos fault was it… Those are insignificant details.

              Maybe in 30years both drivers will have different stance. But right now it is about who wins, or atleast make sure other guy looses.

            2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
              25th May 2016, 2:29

              @jureo you seem to be unaware that F1 has regulations… it’s almost as if you think that drivers can do as they please.

    18. Wow an f1 comment section that isn’t toxic!

    19. When I looked at the video of the crash for the first time, it showed Hamilton’s rear wheels still rotating as the car was spinning around, as though under power, and I think that contributed to his car hitting Rosberg’s. Generally the onus is on the one overtaking to be careful, but there is an expectation the one being overtaken will stay where they are on the track or on the racing line. Therefore some portion of blame could be levelled at both drivers, maybe more to one than the other, but neither is completely free of blame.
      I think the Stewards were right to let it be resolved inside Mercedes. At least their accountants won’t have to pay out a bonus for winning the race, although they will have to pay for the repairs to two cars.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        23rd May 2016, 22:31

        Monza Alonso and Vettel – Check this out – Vettel got a drive through penalty. No incorrect settings and a lot more space on the side. Alonso could slow down and come inside but Vettel wasn’t 17kph slower…

        17kph is DRS passing advantage, right? Technically Lewis had DRS on Rosberg and last I checked DRS was designed for passing. Imagine defending the same way on the DRS zone and pushing the car out – IMO much worse where Nico did it because it’s not a long straight and there was a wall.

        If this was Prost and Senna, Nico would have gotten a 6 month ban.

        1. @freelittlebirds I’m sorry, but your analysis is a bit beyond me. I don’t see how Alonso and Vettel’s overtaking one another is related to this incident. I guess I should have studied the comments of others, but it seems irrelevant to me. The speed difference looks bigger than 17 km/h, but cameras do make it very easy to be wrong, so if people say it was that then I’m not going to argue.
          The point I was making is Hamilton’s rear wheels continued to rotate as though under power, when one would have expected them to be stationary because the brakes should have been applied and the car was going backwards. This spinning of the wheels reduced traction with the grass, so the car’s momentum kept it along side of Rosberg’s car rather falling behind, and the wheels spinning helped maintain the lateral spin of the car, meaning there was more likelihood of them colliding rather than less.

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            23rd May 2016, 23:31

            @drycrust not sure I understand – are you trying to say that the tyres are to blame for the incident?:-)

            We’ve heard strange things from Prost, Stewart, and others so actually this one might add some levity to the situation – maybe another WDC can come out and say that it’s all Pirelli’s fault :-)

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            23rd May 2016, 23:31

            @drycrust just kidding of course

    20. “It was a miscalculation in Lewis’s head. I blame him more than Nico. But for the team and for Mercedes it is unacceptable.”

      Hey Niki, Mercedes is the team.

      1. @melthom He obviously wasn’t speaking for Mercedes; wonder which team he was refering to.


    21. I’m really starting to feel as in Spa 2008, as I could not bear with what I feel were so many F1 fan misunderstanding basic physics (back then) and now with the interpretation of the sporting regs.

      Basically, Rosberg abide by the rule about the one-move, almost textbook.
      I don’t believe being inches of a front wing “aside”, at that speed differential, and only for tenths before impact, qualifies as “being aside for a significant portion”.
      We have a clear, constant, several seconds lasting move against a dive which was only “regular” for a split moment while already doomed.

      Any driver confronted with a defensive move like Rosberg’s can make himself “alongside a significant portion” if he’s not actually concerned with making it through. Just keep diving and you’ll be somewhat alongside. With no track left, just before impact. The “leave the space” requirement should not apply for such hopeless dives.

      1. Lol, science, math be damned. To hell with straight forward interpretation of the rules!

        A-a. Obviously less popular drivers fault.

    22. I think this is the most accurate.

      “Over robust defending meets over ambitious attacking…”
      Tiff Needle

      I still believe Nico was more responsible for slamming the door while going 17kph slower, but both had their part in the incident and both suffered the consequences equally.

      1. Perfect answer @bullmello

    23. The only thing that is absolute lunacy about this incident is the fact that everyone is still discussing it!!! It’s ridiculous. It happened, move on. Was Hamilton too aggressive given it was the first lap? YES — so what? Was Rosberg overzealous in defending given that HE was 10mph slower due to his own mistake, and he pushed a car onto the grass? YES — so what? These are humans, with ambition and heart, making decisions at 200mph. GET OVER IT, people!!! Everyone is looking for drama here, when in fact it’s just racing. I could point to a million other incidents that are either more interesting, or more controversial. This one didn’t even warrant the amount of time it took me to write this.

    24. Someone needs to remind these critics of how many times these cars have failed their drivers, Engine failures, gearbox failures, engines going on fire, pit stop errors, brake failure at 150mph in Germany a couple of years back. Strategy errors that have robbed them of victory.

      The team have failed the drivers far more occasions than the drivers have failed the team.

      Why is not acceptable for 2 cars to collide in motosport once or twice over the course of a few seasons, but it is common practice for drivers to keep their mouths shut when their team and equipment fails them?

    25. I always find myself disagreeing with Jackie’s opinion. Which is a strange because I have so much respect for him as a driver and loved Stewart GP.

      ‘Rosberg has the right to protect himself’: Well of course he does but not by the means of a chop across a car already partly alongside him.

      ‘You don’t go for it on the first lap’: What on earth does this mean? If you’re not allowed to go for it with such a massive speed differential when are you allowed to go for it in Jackie’s overtaking rule book?

      I appreciate it was aggressive by Lewis and I’m pleased the stewards have called it a racing incident but if the finger is to be pointed it has to be at Nico. If Lewis didn’t go on the grass and just stayed to the right of the track then Nico would have simply drove into Lewis and I think the decision on who’s to blame would be much simpler in that scenario. Under normal circumstances Nico’s move was fine but with the speed differential from the incorrect engine mode it was way too aggressive. But anyway it’s certainly a welcome piece of drama. Just hope the Renault upgrade for Canada pulls RB right into the fold.

    26. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      24th May 2016, 3:10

      We’ve established that Lewis had an advantage that amounted to practically having DRS over Nico.

      Can we find a DRS pass where the other driver pushed the other car off the track mid-pass like Nico did? Especially before the corner.

      1. Most aggressive I remember was Webber on vettel during multi21,but even then he left a car width from the wall!

        1. There was also Schumacher on Barrichello in Hungary 2012 (iirc), Schumacher was punished and Barichello didn’t leave the track.

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        25th May 2016, 13:58

        Exactly! This is unprecedented given the advantage and the only 2 people who knew the circumstances were Lewis and Nico. Therefore Nico blocking was indeed a killer move and Lewis was absolutely correct in his calculations – per the regulations, Nico would lose the position.

    27. Can see both sides of the argument really. With the speed he had, I cannot blame Hamilton for going for it (though he had more to lose than Nico did given the state of the Championship), and Rosberg as the leader is entitled to defend his position and choose whichever line he wishes, as long as he does not weave back and forth (which he did not do). Racing incident, in my eyes … a costly one for the team, and embarrassing one for the drivers, but a racing incident.

    28. Jochen Mass, in a slower car, made a similar move on Gilles Villeneuve. We know how that turned out. Had Hamilton, who moved to the grass to avoid contact, had all four tires off the track, he might well have careened directly into the wall close by to his right at well over 160 mph (~257 kmh)… and we might have had a very serious driver injury, or worse.

      1. It’s not really the same – Mass made an innocent mistake, he was trying to let Villeneuve past:

        1. I was thinking about writing an article on the continued demeaning of Lewis Hamilton (though I officially stopped writing some time ago, I have penned a few commentaries – you can google “If Lewis Hamilton Was Nico Rosberg” for an example) and ran across a list of Jackie Stewart statements about Lewis… and this reply of your I never saw at the time.

          To reply: though Mass’s reasoning was alleged to be different (I don’t know how staying on the racing line can be construed as “trying to let Villeneuve ‘past'” (sic)), the move Mass did make and the move Rosberg made were similar. The context in which they were made were, actually,. both similar and different. They were Similar in that both Mass and Rosberg were traveling at an obviously decreased speed with a car rapidly approaching; different in that Mass was on the racing line and move at the last moment while Rosberg was on the side of the track completely opposite of the racing line – yet still made a last moment move.

          In Villeneuve’s case, the result was a fatality. With Hamilton had he not fairly miraculously gotten his car out of the grass, he was headed for a direct hit with an unprotected wall not more than 5 meters from the track’s edge.

    29. It would be interesting to know who has changed mind on this incident after all facts made available

      I certainly have

      @Keith-collantine views seemed ill advised with hindsight now aswell

      1. I like DC’s view:

        the rules state if you have a “significant portion” alongside, then you can’t crowd someone off the race track. Lewis did have his front wing alongside. We can see that clearly. Of course Nico can’t, with those tiny little mirrors. This is why I think the stewards got it right. But fundamentally, all this was put in motion by Nico being in the wrong engine mode.

        A lot of people were passing judgment before they’d even seen a replay or understood about the flashing rain light (Crofty, Niki…)

    30. Ultimately it’s Nico’s fault for forgetting to select the right mode. As Sam Collins explains from 1:14:30 in RadioLeMans’ Midweek Motorsport episode 17 (highly recommended listening), he forgot to switch from warm-up-lap mode to race mode on the grid, which meant that once the launch-phase was out of the way the car reverted to warm-up lap mode which caused the whole problem. Then IMO Rosberg yanked to the right at all costs and caused the accident; split-second placement details are irrelevant.

      1. I’m not convinced he would have done anything differently, other than he may have simply not needed a move and left LH behind, but if he had to defend even in the right setting, I think it is very possible he would do the same thing. Either way, his move was not illegal, and one can argue has been encouraged by F1 throughout the years by their lack of punishing it.

        1. Cmon @robbie if he hadn’t been in the wrong mode the entire situation would not have arisen so he could ONLY have done everything differently.

          As to whether he’d defend all across the track like that again… that depends very much on what Toto has said in private, surely, and we don’t know what that is.

        2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          25th May 2016, 13:53

          @Robbie his move is illegal in F1

    31. Jackie Stewart simply hates Lewis Hamilton – there’s nothing Lewis does that Jackie doesn’t disparage, be it positive or negative.
      2011…Hamilton complains of being repeatedly punished whenever there’s a racing incident while the other driver gets off easy…Jackie digs into him:
      2013…Lewis leaves McLaren for Mercedes, Jackie heaps scorn on the decision and calls it “emotional” etc:
      2014…Hamilton surpasses Jackie’s number of race victories (I think this is where the Jackie animus comes from)….Jackie criticises Hamilton, calls him “created by McLaren” (as if that is a crime) and suggests that Nico was “letting” Lewis win…
      2014: creates a bizarre conspiracy theory about Lewis’ Monaco win (as above) by saying Nico “let Lewis win”:
      2014…comes out rooting for Nico as “the new Prost” in a dig at Lewis:
      2015…Lewis equals Jackie’s three world titles, Jackie dismisses him and says he’s “not a legend” etc:
      2016…Lewis takes a selfie, Jackie criticises him:
      2016…Lewis Hamilton skips a drivers’ meeting, Jackie calls him “immature” and “unable to come to terms with being an F1 World Champion”.:

      I wouldn’t take Jackie too seriously when the subject is Lewis Hamilton.

    32. The truth was that Lewis did exactly same move on Nico at turn 1 and Nico show us how to react when blocked,
      Hamilton could of avoid going in the grass wishing for a gap that wasn’t really there, you would of think HAM be more careful as he keeps crashing in lap one “trusting” everybody else gonna give him room.

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