3 July 2016
F1 Austrian Grand Prix: Hamilton: Rosberg collided with me
Lewis Hamilton insists he gave Nico Rosberg all the room he needed in the wake of their controversial coming together on the final lap of the Austrian GP
Lewis Hamilton insists he gave Nico Rosberg that room he needed to make turn two on the final lap of the Austrian Grand Prix after the title rivals came together controversially, allowing the defending champion to clinch victory.
Rosberg looked on course to win after getting ahead at the first pit-stops and holding position after a late change, but Hamilton would put on a stunning charge in the closing stages to get on the tail of his Mercedes team-mate entering the final lap.
With a better run up to the turn two hairpin, Hamilton went to the outside only for the two to make contact when the British driver turned in. With Hamilton running wide but Rosberg sustaining damage, it was Hamilton that would prevail to snatch the lead and complete the lap for the win, with his rival dropping to fourth.
Speaking in the immediate aftermath, Rosberg says he was 'surprised' that Hamilton turned in when he did, while the defending champion maintains he gave plenty of room to the German, who Mercedes said suffered a brake-by-wire failure.
"Nico made a mistake into turn one, clipped the kerb and went wide” he said. “I got a good run on him, he blocked the inside and I went outside. I was on racing line, he was on my blind side, I assumed he was there. I went very wide and as I started to turn, I was on edge of the track and he collided with me.
"My guys said he had something up with the brakes, maybe, I am not sure exactly what happened, I came back onto the track as quick as I could."
Nevertheless, Hamilton suggests he is more relieved to have completed a much needed win, one that reduces to the margin to Rosberg to 14 points, than the controversy surrounding the incident itself.
“After that [the second stop] it was just all guns blazing to push as hard as I could. I needed the points, I can't afford to lose any more points.
“I am just grateful I didn't give up, I kept pushing and I really enjoyed the race, that is what racing is about. It is about close battles and difficult challenges ahead. The most important thing is you keep your head up.”
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