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Nico Rosberg: “I’ve been told what Lewis said. My view is very different.”
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Nico Rosberg
Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Aug 2014   |  4:41 pm GMT  |  610 comments

Nico Rosberg has released his usual post race video blog, commenting on the incident with team mate Lewis Hamilton at Spa and the comments made by the Briton afterwards.

Hamilton said that Rosberg had admitted to hitting him “on purpose” in their post race meeting.

Not surprisingly, Rosberg has a different view,

“I’ve been told what Lewis said in the press and the way he stated his version of events,” said Rosberg. “My view of the events is very different but it’s just better that I now don’t give all the details of my opinion. I prefer to keep it internal. We had a very good discussion after the race now we need to move forward.”

It was the first destructive contact between the pair in 12 races, which is not so surprising in a way, considering how hard fought the championship is.

Toto Wolff spelled out in his first briefing after the race that this kind of contact between team mates was covered in the agreements that had been made between drivers and the team. He felt “let down” that Rosberg had initiated a move which led to contact and a puncture for Hamilton, which wrecked his race and a broken front wing for Rosberg, which contributed to costing him the victory.

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton

Leaving aside the motives Rosberg may have had in his move and Hamilton may have had in his comments to the media afterwards, the team’s frustration is that not enough was done by the drivers to avoid that collision in the first place and also post race not enough has been done to ‘de-escalate’ the situation, as Ukraine conflict observers might call it.

Rosberg was attempting a pass early in the race before the DRS was enabled and had almost enough pace to make it. Had he waited another lap, with DRS he would more likely have pulled off a clean pass. It was a rather clumsy effort; Rosberg is not as adept at the close quarters stuff as Hamilton. It could have been avoided in other words, as Rosberg admitted in the post race meeting – which Hamilton and Wolff have confirmed.

Hamilton took his words to mean that Rosberg did it on purpose, hence his statements to the media. His decision to go public on things said in a private team meeting is another cause for concern, similar to the tweeting of Jenson Button’s set up sheet at McLaren a couple of years ago.

Lewis Hamilton

There are some lines within teams which, when crossed, cause some serious eyebrow raising. Hamilton feels let down and has acted in the way he sees fit, which has crossed a line. Rosberg has crossed a line in triggering the incident, failing to avoid the risk.

Rosberg, a more calculating individual, has preferred to keep his powder dry in terms of public statements, but the big picture of the Spa saga is that it is all part of his strategy to keep Hamilton on edge. It’s worked so far pretty well; Hamilton has not put together many complete race weekends since Monaco, sometimes for reasons beyond his control, like the qualifying fire in Hungary, other times for his own reasons.

It’s set up in a very interesting way for the rest of the season. It will be extraordinarily hard for the Mercedes management to find a level on which the pair can work together now, but they must find a way and strict no contact rules will be enforced, even if it must be at the cost of letting them race at times, as Wolff vowed yesterday.

* Interestingly Mercedes’ main sponsor Petronas issued a statement on Monday, which is quite unusual for a title sponsor after an incident on track.

Here’s what it said:

“We are proud to be partners with MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team. Having such a highly motivated Team and competitive drivers has helped us tremendously achieving the success on and off the track – with strong leads in both world championships. Based on the progress so far, we could have seen the Team and the drivers at the very best with a one two finish.

“However, that did not materialise due to the incident that occurred in Lap 2. Racing is all about taking risks and the skill of racing is in how those risks are managed out on track. Nobody in the team or at PETRONAS wants to see championship points lost through incidents like yesterday happened. We believe that the drivers and the Team will remain focused and competitive, and make it their priority to win the Championship title.”

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1

The worst thing for a F1 driver right now: to be HAM team mate & to be competitive.

2

To all the Nico fans or anti-Lewis supportors:

I would say, it’s not even about supporting Lewis or supporting Nico, but I think everyone should just weigh up all the obvious evidence!

The obvious ones are that both Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda blamed Nico and were extremely anger! And most fair top drivers including Jenson Button put the blame on Nico! So we know these kind of biased so called ‘journalists’ will write any rubbish just cause a stirl!

Anyhow, I have been watching the video of the Belgium collision over and over, and clearly Nico never had even half a car length next to Lewis’s car at any point, and not only should Nico had aborted the move, he also didn’t need to cut back so quickly and so hard behind Lewis to make that corner! I don’t know what everyone else is watching, but to me, Nico’s second turn-in of his steering was deliberately more harder, earlier, and ‘more deliberate’ than necessary! In my opinion, Nico did it on purpose knowing that it was likely Lewis would have a puncture, which is obviously worst than losing a piece of end-plate on his own front wing!

The truth of the matter is, and Lewis heard it from the horse’s mouth which was ‘confirmed’ by a Mercedes ‘spokesman’, Nico ‘did on purpose’ ‘to prove a point’! Nico gambled because he was already 11 points in front of Lewis, and he won his gamble and is now 29 points in front (he really wanted to win and be 36 points in front)!!! As one steward said, it’s was a ‘cunning’ drive/move (you would expect from a ruthless driver, or what I would call unsporting or ‘cheating’)!

And honestly, I don’t know how the steward can even call a 10 second review of the Belgium collision to be a fair review because we’re talking about title contenders, not Alonso and Magnussen or someone else down the field, and also it’s very high stakes now, as we are closing nearer to the conclusion of the Championship!!!

I hope the stewards at all future races will take this more seriously, I really do, because in my opinion, if the ones at Belgium did their jobs ‘more thoroughly’, then perhaps now, none of us would feel the results there were as ‘unfair’ as it was!?

3

Was Hamilton retired just before he was going to be lapped?

4

Which would we rather see…. this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPnP_H7a-ew or THISSS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=633xHeGQM4A

Oh right that’s Kimi talking about Lewis smashing into him in the pit lane. Straight to the point. I’d rather watch the latter. Watching a grown man cry is not my idea of enjoyable.

5

Your spot on. I was one of Lewis Hamilton’s biggest fans and admirers. Then a few races into this season I thought to myself that this guy has completely lost his mind and could do with some psychiatric counseling. What happened to that bright, always chin up character. Now he behaves like a spoiled brat who feels he is owed so much. His attitude is despicable, Martin Brundle said what an awesome drive from the pit lane and shrugs his shoulders and walks off. Dude go F— yourself. It is becoming tiring to watch you. Crying to the cameras, its an oscar he should get. I’m just so sorry for the team, please dude spare us. H.A.M. till the day I die, yeah great acronym for young kids. I believe he holds himself on such a pedestal that he has started to believe all the shit his posey now tell him. Sour grapes, you are being beaten far and square

6

I don’t see how Nico can harbour any resentment.

As far as I’m aware, and please correct me if I’m wrong, he is referring to Bahrain and Hungary.

In both of these races, and at no point, did Nico have the corner in any of those moves. Not around the outside of turn 2 in Hungary, and not around the outside of turns in Bahrain either. He got down the inside once in Bahrain, but then proceeded to outbrake himself.

If Nico does not have the corner, then as the driver behind, it is up to him to concede the corner to the driver ahead. This is racing etiquette.

Just because you are alongside, does not entitle you to the corner. If a car ahead of you, takes the racing line before you do, any collision is your fault.

Indeed, even if you alongside. If you are far enough alongside, Hamilton cannot “close the door” on you. The fact that he did, by definition says that he could, which by definition says that Nico was never in a position to secure those moves in the first place.

Therefore he should fall behind and return to the racing line, to plan his next attempt and try again next time.

Nico is without doubt an intelligent bloke. This does not make him an intelligent racing driver.

Yes Hamilton has been hard in all circumstances, but according to the rules, he has also been fair.

That may not be how Nico sees it via his own rule book, but we are not racing under Nico’s rules.

Nico has taken the law into his own hands, this cannot be allowed!

But then having said that, I’m not really sure what rules we are racing under, considering some of the appauling decisions being made.

Queensbury rules maybe?

7

Great to see the totally balanced and fair article by David Coulthard on BBC yesterday. Absolutely spot on in my view, calls it as it is without prejudice. Moving forward, the bad news for Hamilton is that Rosberg has clearly grown a ruthless if not expedient streak in his bid to be world champion (Monaco was the moment), is fast when there are no drivers around him and has his emotions better under control. Hamilton needs to get his in check, and channel his justifiable anger better to start putting himself on pole. Rosberg is clearly harbouring some resentment so can be unsettled, and the pressure will grow on him as he’s expected to win now, especially if Hamilton gets in front. Monza is massive.

8

Agreed – DC pretty much echoes my view that Rosberg basically was a bit clumsy in trying to get tough, and that Hamilton was clumsy in a different way spouting off to the media.

The most interesting aspect to the whole incident is Lauda and Wolff’s rather blunt assessment of the situation. Rosberg ought accept responsibility for the bump in Belgium but equally he might well wonder why the environment that made him feel compelled to drive as he did has been allowed to be created.

9

I agree DC is right its unlikely Rosberg intended to the collision, but what he did was certainly deliberate i.e. he intended to hustle into Hamilton’s space as he himself admitted (which we know thanks to Lewis!). So in some ways he wasn’t clumsy at all, he was actually very calculating although events probably went further than he intended. I suppose that leaves the issue as to whether he was out of order, personally I think the accident was certainly his mistake and he should have put his hands up. On the top of the Monaco affair, I think he is showing that he is prepared to take additional measures to out-manoeuvre Hamilton to win the title – I can understand why, but he needs to be prepared to accept the consequences for the way people view him inside and outside the sport.

Hamilton is no saint himself of course, and definitely has sharp elbows when people are trying to overtake him, but I cannot see Hamilton doing the same thing, because I don’t think he thinks that way and above all because it would be tantamount to admitting he is not as good a driver as his opposite number, which he would never do! Mind you, if I were Hamilton, I would be thinking about changing my approach now!

10

hard evidence, rosberg on a full lock to the right towards hamilton approach a left hand corner which bends away from hamilton. if he wanted to pass why could he not have kept his steering straight at least? this was premeditated.

http://www1.skysports.com/f1/report/22058/9441022/nico-rosbergs-simmering-anger-with-lewis-hamilton-spills-over-into-fireworks-at-spa

11

Nico is Keke’s son. Keke was a hard b—— behind the wheel and also idolised Prost. Nico seems to be cut from this cloth.

Lewis is not Ayrton in this scenario, he’s Nigel. A fast talented moaning chip on his shoulder guy who wants to be up there with the greats but can’t quite make it. Also a lucky 1 time champ.

I bet Nico’s Dad tells him all about how he dealt with Nigel 😉

12

i suspect the mercedes bosses are in on it because according to hamilton they said they can now race at a meeting before the race in spa but they’ve been racing all season. hamilton said he was surprised that the bosses said they could now race.

hamilton is hamilton and no one else. he has proved his driving abilities and his integrity. nothing more to prove. if they don’t want him in f1, there other racing series around the world he can take part in. he refuses to be bullied, just like montoya.

13

I totally agree. Mercedes are in on it. They’ve used Lewis to get the balance of the car set up from his previous skills at McClaren. Mercedes just want a German champion. If Nico wins it, nobody will respect him or Mercedes.

14

Here’s a genuine question. Nico’s talking about regulations, and the only thing I can think of that he might be referring to is number of times a driver can move to defend. Anyone know how that currently reads? And anyone know if Lewis might have breached that or not?

15

If that is the upper end of the quality of Nico’s driving then I would not want to be a driver who is side by side with him in Eau Rouge ala Webber and Alonso. As a driver, you should be able to trust the abilities and integrity of your team mate above all other drivers on the grid in a tight situation. A clumsy move at best, utterly despicable at worst. Nico would be well at home in NASCAR with a move like that.

16

he said he did it to prove a point. was wasn’t clumsy he achieved his calculated objective and no one has done anything about it. hamilton will smartly carry on as normal. even if it means driving for caterham. he has already proved his point.

17

hamilton said during their meeting before the race, wolf told them that they are now free to race which he didn’t understand because they were racing hard before spa anyway. this suggests that wolf knew about rosberg’s intensions leading up to spa. wolf said ‘not on the second lap, he could have waited until later in the race’.

18

Don’t know I bother to reply but you do talk a lot of nonsense!

19

Bench the incompetent for the next race, for all the cr*p that LH has put up with from weak management its the least Mercedes could do

20

It seems to me that all this noise is the work of 2 immature drivers. It’s easy to get in a bad way with Hamilton. He’s aggressive and not very thoughtful.

Nico is not as fast but he has been luckier; still, his silences and this latest clumsy move take some notches off his total in my opinion.

Lewis will have to be careful and deliberate in each of the remaining races. Stay away from the other Mercedes and stop fighting… and he will be the champion.

21

Has anyone considered the precedence the FIA not acting on this type of move now sets?

F1 could fast descend into a destruction derby.

The FIA have to act – otherwise drivers can quite legitimately now follow Rosberg’s lead – punctured tyres everywhere, carcasses/debris on the track to boot – BRILLIANTLY!

Sort it out Charlie/FIA/Stewards. I whole heartedly applaud you for your more relaxed approach to handing out penalties – but this is very poor! No safety car for all the debris on the 180mph entrance to Blanchimont. What if that had flicked up into a drivers helmet, at that speed, doesnt bare thinking about!

22

Charlie Whiting has been doing a lot odd things this year. He appears to be allowed to make decisions on his own, viz restarts. I’ve heard he’s likely to leave F1 soon, in my opinion, that should be sooner rather than later.

23

the fia will not act because ecclestone wants rosberg to win the championship this season.

wolf confirmed that rosberg said he wanted to prove a point. this tells me that it was premeditated and carefully planned for it to be executed so perfectly. rosberg must have planned it soon after the hungarian grand prix . enough evidence of wrong doing but the fia will not act because we have seen this repeated many times for a few seasons now. all they did was to reduce the width of the front wing. i wonder why they don’t just make the tyres tougher.

24

For all the biased opinions being exchanged here, FACT is, with everything taken into account, Ham and Team Management are in the RIGHT, Ros is in the WRONG.

End of.

25

Nico made a bad judgement call, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. However you want to phrase it is just semantics, and if you want to compare rap sheets including both reprimands and ‘got away with’, Lewis comes out far, far worse overall so let’s not go there.

The part that really surprises me is not that Nico made that bad call, but that it took him this long to lose the plot enough to make that scale of bad judgement. Lewis has mounted a sustained campaign of bullying – innuendo, personal slights, manipulation and half-truths – in the media, and on track it’s been largely Nico taking avoiding action to preserve the cars, not Lewis who has on occasion relied on Nico yielding to preserve the cars. I don’t blame or criticise Lewis for any of this here – he’s known to be a brilliant but aggressive driver, so to ask him to preserve the cars was always unrealistic, and psychological warfare is part of the sport.

I do blame Mercedes though. They’ve made their own bed, I think. Nico is known to be a team player who tows the company line, and on track looks after his car, and I think Mercedes took that for granted and didn’t manage him at all because personnel problems have never really come from his side of the garage before. And because things were calm last year, they saw no need to put boundaries in place for Lewis, which was naive given his track record with the media at McLaren. So what we have now, is one driver acting out presumably because he feels bullied and betrayed, and the other overtly manipulating the media to get his own way, neither of which can be allowed to continue.

Mercedes need a strong leader who can manage *both* drivers as well as the rest of the team. Niki is a brilliant man, but he’s not a team leader. By repeating Niki’s critical statement word for word on Sunday, Toto appears to have told us that he is not his own man, and Paddy is a great engineer, but also not a leader.

Mercedes is doomed right now, which is a crying shame, because they have a fantastic car, a very tight and loyal team at garage level, and two incredibly talented drivers.

Bring back Ross Brawn, all is forgiven.

26

Could it be this feud has been seething since Lewis was hired by Merc. Nico has been there since day one. Lewis is signed on at a much higher salary. I wonder how many times Nico has asked himself “WTF?”.

27

This makes sense.

Which makes rosbergs resigning odd.

Details have never been forth coming regards the financial agreement and makes me wonder if now after all has been agreed he is not happy.

Hamilton may still be on considerably more and this could be the root of his discontent – all the other stuff is just stuff.

Don’t get me wrong this much detail has nothing to do with us but considering before spa all the positives in Rosbergs life – New contract, marriage but still dissatisfaction, building tension over the break

Interesting

28

Rosberg’s true colours are showing and his persistently nonchalant public facade is damaging his credibility. He is careering down a very unsporting path and clearly lacking the ability to defend his views. He also keeps referring to the ‘code’ yet he himself has driven exactly the same way as have all the drivers, across all of motor sport.

Jennie Gow: “Do you feel you have anything to apologise to Lewis for?”

Nico Rosberg: “Erm, I don’t want to go into such details at the moment because I haven’t seen it.”

Jennie Gow: “Has it damaged your reputation and if it has do you even care?”

Nico Rosberg: “As I say, I respect peoples opinions you know so I do care, I just ask that people who are going to judge the situation prepare themselves well before they make a judgement, which mean read the regulations for example, because that is very, very important before somebody is able to make a judgement on such an incident. You need to know what is allowed and what isn’t allowed in terms of our ‘code of conduct’ you know.”

Jennie Gow: “So what are you saying is and isn’t allowed? For people who don’t have a copy of the code with them, what are you pointing out?”

Nico Rosberg: “Ermm. [long pause] No I dont want to point out any specific details but I just ask that of people you know and then if they’re still of the opinion that I was in the wrong, the few people, then err I will respect that.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/cff1

The situation as it stands now is making Mercedes and Formula One the laughing stock of international sport. Rosberg now only has to win in Abu Dhabi to secure the championship, even if Hamilton wins the next 6.

Read that again, Hamilton could now end the season 11 wins to 5 and still lose. How’s that for fairness.

29

Hi James, just a couple of points: Rosberg looked very uncomfortable on the podium, a real reaction from fans and driver so a plus for this way of conducting interviews to top 3! nico will think twice now about close racing not because of this incident but he has a large points advantage. I think the issue of management is not in whats said on pit wall or in pre or post race meetings its who you hire as your drivers and making it plainly obvious to both early on (Ross in Malaysia 2013) who you favour otherwise they are always going to race!

30

Interesting statement by PETRONAS.

The terse nature of the statement could be seen that internally major sponsors already have a conflict with the teams ethos of letting the drivers race and are fearful of the WDC being lost – no matter how unlikely.

Was Totto’s anger as a direct result of him given assurances to the sponsors that his drivers understood the risks and would not continue to impact each others races?

Is this the start of Wolf being forced to issue team orders?

31

James,

Much of the coverage has focussed on the internal problems at Mercedes, but I’m curious to know if Nico will get any comeback from other teams/drivers as a result of this incident? Deliberate or not, he ruined Massa’s race, cost Williams points, and the debris placed other drivers at risk too.

Equally i’m a little surprised stewards didn’t investigate on the day (or later) and that there wasn’t a safety car to deal with the debris. Does this signal a much deeper change in policy on Charlie and the stewards respective parts? Perhaps the feeling is that race management was becoming too much of the race day story.

32

Interesting point on the choice not to investigate and a shift in emphasis. Since the Canadian GP there has been an agreement between Charlie and the teams that the stewards are being less punitive. This was, we believe, agreed by he and teams at working group level. Charlie spoke about the understanding to media at the British GP saying: “I have had lots of positive feedback from people at the initiative that has been taken.
“What the initiative says is that unless the stewards feel that a driver is wholly or predominantly to blame, no further action will be warranted. Therefore, it’s still a decision of the stewards; the stewards are the ones who decide whether they think a driver was wholly to blame. Where it’s clear to everybody that there is no driver clearly to blame the matter won’t go to the stewards, it won’t go as far as summoning the drivers to explain what happened. There will simply be no further action. We’ll see how it goes. However, when this came up in the Formula One Commission, where everyone felt it was a good way to proceed, I had to point out that we usually only act on matters we are asked to take look at, so it’s up to the teams to make sure they don’t ask us to investigate small incidents as well. We all have to play our part.”

33

after monaco 2014, i suggested that hamilton should not trust rosberg and shouldn’t allow him anywhere near his drinks bottle. since then it has been messy. rosberg could’ve paid one of hamilton’s fitters not sabotage his brakes and fuel lines.

mercedes should offer him a pay rise in return for him racing fairly against his teammate.

34

On of their key Sponsor is not happy with such incident and has made a public statement – means a lot.

There must be a lot of pressure on Toto to act.

It would also be reasonable to assume Mercedes will be unhappy and Lauda be given a message to handle the situation better.

Going forward, I expect to see interference from the pit wall. Certainly would mean a loss to the racing fans if it happens.

From the current points difference it could mean Advantage Rosberg but who knows (points difference is large but still one DNF/bad race and suddenly it equals out).

35

I’m interested to read the sponsors comments where is it please?

36

I can’t believe you guys are still crapping on about this.

Nico made a mistake and clipped the back of Lewis… happens all the time in motor racing. Every driver in the field has made the exact same mistake at some point.

On to the next race…

37

If Nico had held his hands up and said sorry guy’s I made a mistake that would have been the end of it, but he didn’t on the contrary he adamantly said it was deliberate, and he was making a point. This was more than just a simple mistake.

38

I think the problem in this case Simon is that Merc are fueling their own fire with all the inflammatory comments made in public.

Blame them!

39

Seems to me the only true punishment Mercedes can give Rosberg is to bench him for Monza and stick a replacement driver in for the weekend to get points for the constructors.

Step forward PAUL DI RESTA!!!

40
kenneth chapman

@ paul lewis….surely you are jesting? apart from the total irrationality of your summary to suggest di resta as a substitute would be the joke of the year.

41

@ paul lewis…all cool, my mistake re TIC.

42

On the contrary that seems a sensible suggestion. Rosberg needs pinning back, and Mercedes management need to “make a point”. A replacement driver for a race or two would go someway to curring Rosberg’s antics. Di Resta would make a fine substitute.

43

tongue firmly in cheek!

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