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Mercedes drivers “remain free to race” following meeting today

Aug 29, 2014, 8:19 AM EST

Hamilton and Rosberg came together on the second lap of the Belgian Grand Prix (© Getty Images) Getty Images

Mercedes has released a statement confirming that its drivers are still free to race following a meeting at its F1 headquarters today to discuss the incident during last Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.

After a dispute over team orders in Hungary, Rosberg went into the race weekend at Spa looking to “prove a point”, and refused to back out of an overtaking move on Hamilton on the second lap of the race. The two drivers made contact, leaving Hamilton with a puncture that ruined his race. Rosberg managed to recover to finish the race in second place, thus extending his lead to 29 points at the top of the drivers’ championship.

In a post-race debrief, Rosberg admitted that he could have backed out of the move and chose not to, leaving team bosses fuming.

The F1 community was then left to consider just how Mercedes could move forwards in 2014, and whether its drivers would remains free to race amid their title fight. However, this appears to have been resolved in a meeting today between Rosberg, Hamilton, and the team bosses.

“Toto Wolff, Paddy Lowe, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton met today in the boardroom of Mercedes AMG Petronas headquarters in Brackley to discuss the events of the Belgian Grand Prix,” a statement from the team reads.

“During this meeting, Nico acknowledged his responsibility for the contact that occurred on lap two of the Belgian Grand Prix and apologized for this error of judgement. Suitable disciplinary measures have been taken for the incident.

“Mercedes-Benz remains committed to hard, fair racing because this is the right way to win world championships. It is good for the team, for the fans and for Formula 1.

“Lewis and Nico understand and accept the team’s number one rule: there must be no contact between the team’s cars on track.

“It has been made clear that another such incident will not be tolerated. But Nico and Lewis are our drivers and we believe in them.

“They remain free to race for the 2014 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.”

Although the team appears to have defused the situation, there will still be questions when Rosberg and Hamilton next go into battle on track. However, it has been made quite clear that a repeat of the fall-out from Spa will not be accepted by the team.

The two title protagonists will next enter battle at the Italian Grand Prix, which takes place on September 7th.

  1. techmeister1 - Aug 29, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    I have no problem with Rosberg’s driving at all. Hammy would have done exactly the same thing if the situation was reversed. Hammy has in the past run Rosberg completely off the track numerous times and Hammy needed a reality check – which he got. Mercedes may want to blame Rosberg but any driver will tell you that Rosberg did exactly what he should – stand his ground. If you allow Hammy to keep running you off the track and the team can’t reel his unacceptable driving in, then you’re going to have even more teammate crashing episodes. Now Hammy knows that Rosberg is not going to yield when he has an opportunity to pass regardless of what the team desires.

    Hammy ignored the team’s efforts to get both of them back on their strategies when the Safety Car compromised Rosberg’s previous race. Rosberg has decided he needed to force the team’s hand to control Hammy’s inappropriate driving and he did. Now either Hammy responds or there will be more wrecks. That is hard competitive racing and as it should be. The team will have to man-up or suffer the consequences.

  2. barrylibby - Aug 29, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    NR apologized ? I wonder if that is accurate or a characterization of what really was said.
    Monza will certainly tell.

  3. shotgunzoom - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Dude your assessment of this situation is markedly one sided and IMO flawed. Now if LH had made some kind of unorthodox/defensive move on lap two then maybe your argument holds water. But that’s not what happened. If NR is so much the better driver then he should have been in the lead from the beginning.

    The team wanted LH to lift so NR could pass. If he was so much better he should have been able to pass all by himself like a man. LH was proven right by the way because he had to stay out longer his tires because he was on a different strategy to NR because of the safety car.

    I really thought this kind of hatred was going away. I mean NR apologized to LH for his judgement or lack there of and still LH is the bad guy, really. I guess LH’s real sin isn’t competing it’s being too good at it. Like Jack Johnson, Tiger and Barack before him some people can’t it when you play the game win. There’s got to be a reason he cheats, he get preferential treatment or he “acts” different than everyone else.

  4. barrylibby - Aug 29, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Monza will certainly tell.
    Story lines.
    LH on pole.
    NR on pole.

    Or Vettle on pole
    or Bottas /Massa .

    Monza will certainly tell.

  5. kando53 - Aug 29, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    I dislike Hamilton, but Rosberg was an @ss for how he drove the first part of that last race. It wouldn’t have mattered if it was Hamilton or some other driver, Rosberg had no chance what so ever in passing the lead car in the corners where he came partially alongside. He also showed complete lack of judgement in the situation where he flat spotted his front tire. Really juvenile driving for that portion of the race.

  6. shotgunzoom - Aug 29, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    Monza is always a special race.
    Senne’s ghost.
    Ferrari will hopefully continue to improve.
    High speed all out racing.
    Love it!!!!!

  7. shotgunzoom - Aug 29, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    Good eyes on you kando. Like or dislike someone right is right and wrong is wrong. Good looking out.

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