4 July 2016
F1 Austrian Grand Prix: Rosberg upset to be blamed for Hamilton clash
Nico Rosberg: The penalty shows they [stewards] gave me the blame, which sucks. I respect that but I am of a different opinion.
Nico Rosberg has reacted with disappointment at being blamed by the FIA stewards for his controversial collision with Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the Austrian Grand Prix, as he once more defended his actions against his team-mate.
Rosberg and Hamilton made contact at turn two on the final lap as the defending champion tried to pass around the outside. With Rosberg attempting to run Hamilton to the edge of the track, the pair would instead made contact as Hamilton turned in.
Though Hamilton survived the impact to clinch a potential crucial victory, Rosberg suffered damage that would drop him to fourth at the chequered flag.
As Mercedes reacted angrily to another incident involving its drivers, Rosberg was summoned by the stewards to explain his part in the clash. However, while Rosberg defended his actions, insisting he gave Hamilton enough room to make the corner, stewards didn't agree and imposed a ten second penalty.
Though the penalty doesn't change the result, Rosberg says he is upset that, in official terms, he was found to be the driver at fault.
“A horrible end to the weekend,” he said, speaking on a video blog after the decision. “I also got penalised for the incident, ten seconds which doesn't change the result but shows they gave me the blame, which sucks. I respect that but I am of a different opinion.”
Discussing the incident itself, Rosberg maintains he was justified in the way he defended his position against Hamilton.
“I defended on the inside and I felt I was in a strong position, I was convinced I would make it stick. I went deep because that was the best way to defend my corner to keep him outside a little bit. Of course I need to leave him room on the track, which is what I was doing, and then Lewis just completely caught me by surprise and turned in.
“He said I was in his blind spot and he couldn't see where I was, so maybe that was the reason, but it caught me surprise that he turned in before he reached the edge of the track even though I was there. I couldn't react and we collided, which was devastating. I got unlucky and my car was very damaged, so I lost 3 positions, lost the win.
“That was a massively tough one but sometimes the sport can be real bad. I am really frustrated, it is really hard to get over something like that. I had the win in the bag and I was convinced I would win it, so to lose it on the last lap like that in those circumstances, It is tough.”
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