Rosberg, Hamilton crash POV…how did you see it?

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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?

NICO ROSBERG

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.

LEWIS HAMILTON

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.

TOTO WOLFF

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.

You

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.

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Rapierman
Member
Rapierman

Saw on Sky Sports F1: Anthony Davidson showed a video. On there, Rosberg realized that he had the engine mapping on the wrong setting and quickly tried to change it to the correct one. In this instance, he no longer had his full attention to the road, and the result was the accident. I was 50/50 before, but now I can see how it would appear that Rosberg was at fault.

Tim C
Guest
Tim C

If Lewis is really the faster driver of the two, then he didn’t need to pass Nico on the third corner of the first lap of the race. He would have been able to get him the moment the DRS became active. It almost seem to me it was a desperate move by a man seeing championship hopes slipping away. Regardless of who was at fault, Nico has definitely shown that he isn’t taking anything else from Lewis. Nico put his stake in the ground as they say. I also think it’s good for the sport to see drivers “go… Read more »

mini696
Member

With the difficulty (impossibility) in passing at this track I think he knew he had to pass or it wouldn’t happen. Mercedes cars can’t follow another car without ripping up their tyres too.

Mike Curran
Guest
Mike Curran

I am in complete agreement,Hammy reminds me of an adult baby when things aren’t going his way. Things are starting to get desperate for him and I think he would rather take both of them out than to allow Nico to beat him. I expected better from the world champ but this is how he chooses to react and drive. Not too professional in my opinion.

228929292AABBB
Guest
228929292AABBB

Speaking of adult baby, what a funny move for a guy often accused of spitting his binky out of the pram, to toss his wheel like that. Talk about playing to type! So funny.

ScottyNZ
Member
ScottyNZ

Agree however that particular track is really difficult to pass at. Current thought is that you need about a 2.5 second differential to make it work. So yes Lewis was desperate as he knew that if he didn’t get past then it was unlikely to happen without the team or misfortune engineering it.

ScottyNZ
Member
ScottyNZ

That wasn’t meant to defend Lewis I mean he is desperate and I wonder if Nico has now got under his skin and he will start making even more poor decisions

Marcio Ribeiro
Guest
Marcio Ribeiro

I agree that it was a racing incident and it did not warrant a penalty of any kind. Nevertheless, I also agree with Niki Lauda when he says Nico was in the lead and had no obligation to move out of the way for Lewis to pass. Lewis saw a gap, went for it, the gap closed and he didn’t lift. Wrong choice. But it’s part winners instinct, part craft and part luck. Had Nico been intimidated by Lewis’ move, it might have worked and we’d be talking about Hamilton’s audacity (in a positive way). But sometimes courageous moves lead… Read more »

dinoart
Guest
dinoart

All I know is, Kvyat was far away behind.

mini696
Member

Racing incident (or I should say accident).

We hold these drivers up to impossible standards and sometimes they just simply stuff up. Lewis went into a gap that was always going to close, Nico just didn’t think Lewis would go there.

Stewards got it right.

228929292AABBB
Guest
228929292AABBB

Agreed but I think that’s taking the easy way out a little, because even if it deserves no further action it’s unlikely the scales don’t tip even the slightest bit one way or the other. Everyone bitched last year that when Lewis shoved himself in and said ‘let me through or we both crash’ Nico played company man and backed off. Now Nicos doing exactly what we all moaned he wasn’t doing last year and that’s why he’s leading the points and it’s the example Lewis set for him that he’s following. Lewis was behind – bearing more responsibility to… Read more »

DRS_Matt
Guest
DRS_Matt

The thing you missed was “Nico had his car set on “missing 160 horsepower” mode and nobody could have expected him to be driving so slowly. In the fraction of a fraction of a second you have to decide which side of the car you are chasing to be on he expected nico to be 20-30 feet up the road from where he was.

228929292AABBB
Guest
228929292AABBB

You make a good point. Although in Lewis’ own words he was aware (because of the light) exactly what was going on, Rosberg made a pause while closing the door. Whether he had a moment when he considered leaving a lane or, more likely, he was fussing with his switches, still one might get the impression, coming up from behind, that he was the Rosberg of old and was going to yield. It was all pretty fast and sort of understandable. I just think in the end you have to be able to handle all that if you’re the passer.

Schmorbraten
Guest
Schmorbraten

Nico will have known that Hamilton was alongside already, so I think that move was not in the spirit of the rules saying you shouldn’t run other drivers off the road, but probably the move was ok technically. Still, he could have foreseen that Hamilton going onto the grass would most likely also spell trouble for himself.

ScottyNZ
Member
ScottyNZ

Disagree The “oh after you” behaviour relegates you to number two and not a potential world champion… It was a legitimate cut back Hamilton could have backed out. This is just the old dog being told….. caution I will bite by the young subordinate. Just look at what happened to Schumacher’s team mate

ScottyNZ
Member
ScottyNZ

that should have been team mates

jiji the cat
Member
jiji the cat

100% agree with you NC

Schmorbraten
Guest
Schmorbraten

Also another good example of Niki Lauda being not only useless, but counterproductive as well. He’s got no interest whatsoever in how his comments might hurt the team.

Lesson #1 would be: If someone asks you a question, that doesn’t automatically mean you should answer it. *Really* answer it.

Btw could anyone relay that one to Eddie Irvine and Jacques Villeneuve as well?

mini696
Member

I disagree, he should answer it with the truth.
It is the mainstream media who is to blame for taking his comments to the extreme.

Member
Fast Freddy

When I saw it I blamed Rosberg. Then I heard about the power settings being wrong and now I agree with the stewards. Besides assigning blame does nothing to solve the issue now or in the future.

Dennis Tirch
Guest
Dennis Tirch

I am with you, NC, in appreciating a more assertive Nico and also in understanding this as a racing incident. Admittedly, as a Hamilton fan, I’m probably biased in Lewis’ favor, a bit. However, I have a few reasons for holding Rosberg a bit more accountable, or at least for having a dimmer view of Nico today than I did yesterday. I think Davidson’s excellent analysis demonstrated that a part of Nico’s attention was diverted during this section of the race. It doesn’t appear that Nico properly judged that Lewis was already well into his move when he pushed him… Read more »

dude
Guest
dude

No need to decide, Hamilton already apologized, which suggested he accepted it’s his fault. This fact is beneficial to Rosberg’s championship.

“I have already apologised to the team,” he said. “That was the most gutting thing when I stopped, just thinking about all these things that worked so hard in this team to give me an opportunity to race today.

“It was apologies from my behalf that I didn’t score those points for the team. These things happen in racing but it’s the right thing to apologise to all these guys, just like when the engine fails they apologise to me.”

Andreas Möller
Guest
Andreas Möller

To be fair, a driver saying “sorry” to his team does not automatically mean he’s accepting blame or suggesting it was his fault. It means he’s sorry about how the race ended, after all their hard work. It can also be more than that, but it doesn’t have to be at all related to accepting blame – drivers often say “sorry guys” to their team even after being punted out of the race through absolutely no fault of their own. In Vettel’s case, once he’s done swearing ;-)

dude
Guest
dude

The media and Skysports will not see it that way and will hype the controversies for all they can milk it. However, Lewis is in a good mental state and Nico isn’t going to be able to rattle him easily. Monaco is sort of Nico’s territory, Lewis must beat him there to gain about psychological advantage.

Andreas Möller
Guest
Andreas Möller

Obviously, I don’t know how the German media took this, but having seen the Sky Sports coverage, I didn’t feel they took Lewis’ words as any sort of admission of guilt (in regards to the incident itself). They mentioned to Lewis that Nico might have been distracted by the engine mode change and saw Lewis too late, then if he wanted to lay the blame anywhere (clearly offering him a bone to run with). Lewis responded that he didn’t see any point of getting into that, and that he’d rather focus on the future. The Sky interview with Rosberg was… Read more »

mini696
Member

.

Jim Pennington
Guest
Jim Pennington

Nico said he was in the wrong setting then over defended, Hamilton went for the gap was pushed in the grass day over. If I where in either car I would have done the same. They are racing for the win. Not driving to the grocery store.

ScottyNZ
Member
ScottyNZ

double yep

Christy from Canada
Guest
Christy from Canada

Lewis would never have let Nico through if roles were reversed. This is a turning point for Nico I think. I agree with Niki’s viewpoint.

ScottyNZ
Member
ScottyNZ

yep

Mike Curran
Guest
Mike Curran

I think Nico has to come off very strong over the next two races. If he does manage to out point the Hamster then he will be world champ. Nico has never been in a better position than right now so let’s see if he can capitalise on this to carry him to glory. Ham has put himself in a bad position and he is well aware of the consequence of taking out both cars again. His edge is gone now.

Turbo
Guest
Turbo

Racing incident. Rosberg was within his rights to move to the right and take the inside line away. I don’t think he realized how big the speed differential was at the time. Hamilton went for a gap that was almost certain to close. Just a bad set of circumstances. The only reason this is questionable is because Rosberg made the aggressive move. Hamilton has shown himself to be aggressive against Rosberg and we would expect Hamilton do something like that. I don’t think playing with the wheel is that big of a factor. Watch these guys race and you’ll see… Read more »

Wayne Rentoul
Guest
Wayne Rentoul

Nico’s confidence took a huge hit in Spa when they clashed last time, so it’s awesome to see him standing his ground this time! Go Nico!! Would Lewis have pulled that move on Seb, Dan, Kimi or anyone else but Nico? NO, I think not, so why does he think that Nico would be OK with it? I also don’t buy Lewis’ bunk that his first thoughts were for the “1300 Merc staff back in Brixworth and Brackley that he disappointed”. PLEASE!! He was so upset he had to throw his steering wheel out of the car in a tantrum…… Read more »

ScottyNZ
Member
ScottyNZ

Racing incident. If the roles had been reversed and it was Hamilton in the lead he would have done the same thing. In fact I was really happy to see that Nico had the B**ls to try to stamp on Lewis and say uh uh big boy not this time. I am fast becoming a real fan of the new Nico. For those who are slamming Nico just remember the current aggressiveness he is showing is just what Hamilton has been praised for in the past. It goes two ways. The question I have is what the heck is happening… Read more »

DRS_Matt
Guest
DRS_Matt

How many times has hamilton taken nico out of the race before today vs the other way around? Thats why nico gets the calls for “Less stupid agression” and not lewis, who usually pulls it off cleanly-ish

ScottyNZ
Member
ScottyNZ

But Nico didn’t take Hamilton out…. it was judged to be a racing incident

DRS_Matt
Guest
DRS_Matt

He stopped looking at the road and swerved violently in front of an oncoming car. When people do that with their phones on the freeway its pretty cut and dry, yea? “Racing incident” means “no punishment” not “Everyone is innocent”.

ScottyNZ
Member
ScottyNZ

or driving when tired……….

Lenn
Guest
Lenn

A Racing incident as far as i’m concerned, over aggressive attacking vs. over aggressive defending.

On a personal note, I hope they do this many more times this year. With the Mercs out of the way we have a real race on our hands.

Andreas Möller
Guest
Andreas Möller

At first, I felt the blame was more on Rosberg, for so aggressively moving over to the inside (there’s no other point in being that far over, except for blocking/squeezing another driver out). But I could also see how Lewis could be blamed for being overly aggressive, so I didn’t see the need to punish one driver over the other. With the stewards coming out with a “racing incident” decision, I’m good with that. Martin Brundle called this the ”defining moment of the season”, in the sense that it might change Mercedes’ modus operandi. Both for this season (by controlling… Read more »

Graeme Fuller
Guest
Graeme Fuller

I am with NC, I was rapt when Nico passed Lewis on the outside. I agree that as Nico was in front in was his to take. Lewis has closed gaps before on many drivers, Nico included. Also was it necessary for Lewis to pass that early?, he is a racer and yes should go for gaps, but that early in the race. I eagerly await the podcast to here PC’s view on that and the peace as a whole. Finally what t-shirts will be made up for the plucky teen now?

Wahoodaddy
Member
Wahoodaddy

I saw it as a reason to celebrate.

Lars
Guest
Lars

All I can do is offer my opinion on this. As a former SCCA class H racer (Elan) and a former offshore class E racer (Baja Cat) – IMHO…Nico took Lewis out in the most egregious manner possible. Yes, Nico was in the wrong map setting and Lewis jumped on it… not by diving into the apex at the end of a straight but by pulling a terrific over and under maneuver through the sweeping right hand # 3 corner which then straightens out for a pretty good distance before entering turn 4. With no slag on the track Lewis… Read more »

offcamberm3
Guest
offcamberm3

I think Nico moved over too far too fast too late. He should have left a car width between himself and the grass. Lewis’s move was the correct move to make, Nico’s was too much. I’ve seen a few comments saying that Lewis was too aggressive so early in the race. I do not agree with that. It’s a wide track and Lewis was going much faster than Nico. What’s Lewis supposed to do besides go to the inside? Ram into Nico’s rear?Nico said his car was accelerating more slowly than it should have been. Nico on the other hand… Read more »

ScottyNZ
Member
ScottyNZ

Nope disagree Nico’s move was one designed to put even more pressure on Hamilton. Nico knows that of you can get under Hamilton’s skin then he will start to make mistakes. The pressure is beginning to increase for Hamilton. If he has to think twice about his approach to passing Nico in future races then he will be slightly hesitant in his approach. That is half the battle won for Nico. The other half is ratcheting up the pressure on Hamilton. If Nico gets far enough ahead on points then that puts Hamilton into the desperation zone which we know… Read more »

offcamberm3
Guest
offcamberm3

Good points. I agree with everything you have written. But Nico went one car width too far in implementing this strategy, at least when I try to answer the question, “was one of the Mercedes drivers more responsible for this crash than the other?”

Abhijeet Gaiha
Guest
Abhijeet Gaiha

“Nico should have taken responsibility for his mistake (wrong engine mode), left at least one car width to his right and got on with the race.”

That’s like saying a slower driver should *never* defend. How does that make any sense?

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

I’m going to go by initial impression first. As I recall, LH was on the right side of the track, then Nico came way across from the left side to the right side. My first impression was that Nico caused the crash, since LH was in position. I keep thinking of near the end of the race, when Vettel and Ricciardo were going at it, Daniel tried to go around him on the outside in a similar fashion to the Hamilton/Rosberg maneuver. Vettel was the lead car, and he backed out of the block to let Daniel go by, then… Read more »

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

What I really like about the people posting here, is that unlike other F1 fan sites – if you are a Lewis fan or a Nico fan, it doesn’t really seem to matter, people don’t seem to attack your opinion but respect it. That is fabulous.

Thanks NC.

jospep4
Guest
jospep4

I think it was a racing incident, I agree with the stewards and I also think that it was handled correctly by Mercedes and the drivers, not much fuss and no war declarations on any part just the correct “mea culpa” and that’s it ! move on to the next race. I would also like to point out a couple of things that got me thinking. One is Red Bulls strategy, I think that Daniel Ricciardo`s situation is going to turn into a Mark Weber type thing I think that is unfair. And the other thing that I been wondering… Read more »

MIE
Editor

On viewing the incident live, I first though that Hamilton had made a mistake and lost the car under braking on the grass, he then collected Rosberg (grass having a somewhat lower coefficient of friction than racing tarmac). Only later in freeze frame from the on board shot from Hamilton’s car was it apparent that he had just got his front wing alongside Rosberg’s rear wheels. He did appear though to be driving into a closing gap. Rosberg was already heading left at the point Hamilton decided to go even further left from a point where he was half a… Read more »

MIE
Editor
Bolivar
Guest
Bolivar

I must disclose that I’m a Hamilton fan however, it was very clear on the video that this “gap” Lewis was referring to did in fact exist. In the words of the great Ayrton Senna, “if you don’t go for the gap, you are no longer a racing driver”. Moreover, it is also evident on the video that Lewis nose was already passed the rear tire by the time of Nico decided to “denied that option”. The problem as I see it, Lewis commitment, and Nico’s excitement (by his own admission) was to blame but, if we are going top… Read more »

Negative Camber
Guest

“Lewis looked us in the eye and took the blame… he apologized. He took everything on himself. That’s fine with me” – Niki Lauda

Andreas
Guest
Andreas

Interesting. Niki went right out – before the drivers had even returned to the pits from that gravel trap – and said it was Lewis’ fault. Toto (after the team meeting) was very clear the team was not going to handle this the same way as they did the Spa incident. His message was clear: this is racing, these things happen. It was a racing incident, and we will continue to let our drivers race each other. It seems Niki didn’t get the memo… ;-)

jakobusvdl
Guest
jakobusvdl

Inquest over then, Hamilton confessed.
I’m glad we won’t have to spend the rest of the season going over and over it.
And Sky won’t turn the incident into an opening sequence for every f*ing section of every GP for the next year…….

ShocksAndAwe
Member
ShocksAndAwe

It was always going to end this way. Nico made a mistake and aggressively tried to fix it. Hamilton saw the mistake and aggressively tried to take advantage. They basically made the same move at the same time. Nico of old might have given Hamilton room, but he knows Hamilton won’t give any quarter, so he can’t either. Niki blamed Hamilton, and I get why… Niki thinks a driver should be more mature and selective about the chances they take… like not driving fast on public roads. But Hamilton isn’t that guy. He’s ALWAYS going to go for the gap,… Read more »

Joe Mama
Guest
Joe Mama

I think that may just be the most elaborate, expensive game of chicken I’ve ever seen.

Negative Camber
Guest

HEre’s a link for comparison that saw the world come down on Nico for this move: https://youtu.be/bBeGeeWaOLU

Jose Briceno
Guest
Jose Briceno

I think this accident was good for Nico because he didn’t let Lewis manhandle him as he has in the past. Now Lewis knows he is dealing with a man that will hold his ground now. Nico showed me he’s ready to be a champion. Good job Nico.

ETM
Member
ETM

To the people who like to say Hamilton had overlap I say that overlap achieved tenths of a second before of contact is irrelevant. By that point the actions leading up to the incident have already occurred and the incident is inevitable. What matters is that occurred in the 0.5-1 second beforehand. It is interesting to me that in the past Rosberg has always been the softer racer who concedes position when pressed (Hamilton a harder racer). A racer, Hamilton in this case, will drive accordingly based on his competition. He stuck with his move to the inside expecting Rosberg… Read more »