The Spanish Grand Prix was a millstone for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen but there is a very good chance that wouldn’t have been possible if the two Mercedes drivers hadn’t collided at turn 3 taking each other out of the race. Here how they saw the incident but how did you see it?
I had a great start and I was ecstatic after passing Lewis around the outside of turn one. At that point, it was my race to win.
I came out of turn three and realised I was down on power with the wrong mode selected due to the engine mode switch being in the incorrect position.
Lewis was closing in, so I decided to make a clear move to the right hand side as soon as possible, to close the door and show him that wasn’t an option. I was very surprised that Lewis went for the inside anyway. The next thing I knew, we were in the gravel trap.
I’m gutted, not just for myself but for the whole team, it’s the worst feeling as a driver.
I had a decent start from pole but got slipstreamed on the way to the first corner and lost the lead.
Coming out of turn three, I was catching Nico Rosberg really quickly and went for the gap on the right – I had part of my car alongside but then had to take to the grass. The gap was there and, if you’re a racing driver, you go for that gap. We saw what happened after that. I’m hurt and disappointed for the team most of all because we lost 43 points today.
We’re all here working together towards the same result and the team give me the opportunity to race with the work they do. When I came to a stop in the gravel trap, all I could think about was how gutted I was for the team – that’s where I feel the pain.
But we will move on together and come back stronger in Monaco.
After all the hard work we’ve put in over the past two weeks it’s deeply disappointing to come away with no points, but in my opinion this was a racing incident, with the drivers racing for position, and I don’t want to start blaming one or the other.
Both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are upset and we talked with them, looking at the pictures and the data, to determine exactly what happened. By letting the drivers race as we do, this kind of eventuality can happen but we won’t change our approach – we owe it to Formula One and the fans to let them race.
But today, it was the work of the whole team that finished in the gravel trap, and this isn’t what we want to see happen – both of the boys know how much hard work goes into each race weekend and that they have the responsibility to bring that home. We have matured as a team over the past years, so we will be able to move on from this and, hopefully, fight back in a positive way in Monaco.
So how did you see the incident? I’ll be honest, I am inclined to agree with the stewards as a racing incident. I recall Alonso pressing Vettel wide at Monza and then the opposite happening a year later. Both drivers forced into the grass and no penalty given, that’s racing. Defending lines etc.
I’m not one for handing out penalties and I like the new Nico who isn’t going to cede anything to Lewis just as Lewis never does with Nico (USGP in 2015, Bahrain 2014 for example). Nico very intelligently said it was his race to win. This is a head game but implies it’s his race, his time, not Lewis’s. Very well played for a guy who is intent on winning a title.
Lewis has punted, bounced off of and shoved his way through enough races and drivers and done incredibly well so I don’t feel like he’s a victim in the chase for a title here. You put your nose in thinking Nico will lift and be intimidated and this time, he won’t. I love that about Lewis and I like it about Nico now too.