Niki Lauda says Lewis Hamilton “did nothing wrong” in the incident which led to contact with team-mate Nico Rosberg in the Belgian Grand Prix.
Rosberg clipped Hamilton's left rear wheel when trying to overtake at Les Combes, giving Hamilton a puncture which relegated him to the back of the field and eventually forced his retirement. While Lauda didn't feel that Rosberg intentionally caused the contact – which Hamilton later claimed was the case
– he did say the only blame was on the championship leader.
“Lewis had no fault at all in this case, this is clear,” Lauda said. “Lewis did nothing wrong, he was in the lead, the other attacked, so there is no fault on Lewis.”
And asked if he felt Rosberg could have avoided the incident, Lauda replied: “Yes, very simple, don't turn in.”
Lauda said what annoyed him the most was the timing of Rosberg's move, with it coming so early in a race that Mercedes was expected to dominate.
“Why in the second lap? If he wants to pass him he can pass him with the slipstream a lap later without danger, without risk. It was not that he had to do it because it was the last corner; it was the second lap! So why not pass him in another place with no risk?”