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Rosberg apologizes to Hamilton and fans for “error of judgement”

Aug 29, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

Nico Rosberg AP

Following a meeting with Mercedes bosses in England today, Nico Rosberg has issued a public apology to teammate Lewis Hamilton and Formula 1 fans for his part in the incident that marred last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

On the second lap of the race at Spa-Francorchamps, Rosberg tried to overtake Hamilton around the outside of Les Combes, and refused to back out of the move despite there being plenty of run-off area to use. The two made contact, leaving Hamilton with a puncture that ruined his race. The Briton ultimately retired with six laps remaining.

Rosberg managed to continue in the race and finished second, extending his lead in the drivers’ championship to 29 points. However, he met the wrath of the team bosses when he admitted that he chose not to back out of the move so that he could “prove a point”.

The drivers and team bosses met in England today to discuss the incident, resulting in Rosberg accepting responsibility for the incident and being disciplined by the team.

Rosberg has released the following statement this afternoon:

“In the days since the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa, I have spent a lot of time thinking about what happened during the race and discussing it with the team.

“I have already expressed my regret about the incident but, after meeting with Toto, Paddy and Lewis today, I wish to go a step further and describe it as an error of judgement on my part.

“The number one rule for us as teammates is that we must not collide but that is exactly what happened.

“For that error of judgement, I apologise to Lewis and the team. I also want to say sorry to the fans who were deprived of our battle for the lead in Belgium.

“Lewis and I have been given clear instructions about how we race each other. As drivers, we have a clear responsibility to the team, the fans of the sport, our partners and Mercedes-Benz to deliver clean racing. We take that responsibility very seriously.

“I look forward to concluding the season with hard, fair competition on and off track right up to the final lap of the season in Abu Dhabi.”

The German driver will not face any sanction from the FIA, but has been disciplined internally at Mercedes. The team has not gone into any further detail on the matter.

  1. techmeister1 - Aug 29, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    What Rosberg is apologizing for is Mercedes inability to control Hammy’s unscrupulous behavior. Rosberg has sent a memo to the team and Hammy that he isn’t going to allow Hammy to continue to run him off the road when Rosberg has the faster car. Now the question is will Mercedes get Hammy under control or will it all come to tears because Rosberg is too nice a guy who plays by the rules while Hammy ignores the team requests designed to give both drivers an equal opportunity to win the championship.

  2. shotgunzoom - Aug 29, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    Yeah, get him under control cause he been all over place. I mean, everybody knows that LH has some kinda nerve thinking he’s there to try and win a championship. Where does this guy get off thinking he should strive to be the best guy out there? He should stay in “his place” and not assert himself. I just saying trying hard to win races might infect the whole grid or something. Can’t have that now can we???

  3. Jeff - Aug 29, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    Man they’re really making Rosberg out to be the bad guy. Hamilton it appears can do no wrong.

  4. adamthemanc - Aug 29, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    Who exactly is “they”?
    The press, the Mercedes team, Hamilton’s advisors?
    I think you’ll find they are portioning blame where blame is due…. In Nico’s direction.
    Surely a line can now be crossed under this whole thing, seeing as Rosberg has OPENLY admitted to causing the accident, apologised for doing so and has been disciplined within the team.
    The saying goes “innocent until proven guilty”…. Rosberg was guilty, it’s been proven, end of story!
    His team wouldn’t discipline him unless it was warranted, therefore it was obviously warranted cos they’ve disciplined him.
    How much more evidence does anybody want that NR screwed up?…. A lie detector test???

  5. shotgunzoom - Aug 29, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    Adam stop making so much sense!!

    Logically making your point and backing it up with examples, facts and data isn’t how a lot of people express themselves. Rhetoric seems to be the way to express and support your opinion around here.

    Thanks for trying to elevate the discussion!!!!

  6. Jeff - Aug 30, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    To me no apology was needed. I think most objective fans, racers, media, can agree to that. It was a racing incident. Racers are allowed to race right?! I think they, everybody you named adamthemanc, pressured Rosberg to make an apology. And they are the ones who are making Rosberg the bad guy.

  7. worknman24hours - Aug 30, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    It’s over, move on people,nothing to see here.

  8. fastcar6000 - Aug 30, 2014 at 11:20 PM

    Let them race and forget about who did what. Hamilton would have done the exact same thing to Rosberg if the situation was reversed.

  9. shotgunzoom - Aug 31, 2014 at 3:45 AM

    No, he would have actually past him like he did at the start.

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