Less than a week after Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg's coming together on the final lap of the Austrian Grand Prix, Mercedes' subsequent reaction to their drivers' latest altercation has been talk of the paddock at the British Grand Prix – and not just amongst the media and the fans…
Even a few of the drivers, including Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo, have offered their view on the contretemps between the title favourites and the 'final warning' that Mercedes has now handed down…
- Nothing will change
It's something that will happen, they crash in 2014 in Spa, this has been going on and on. In Austin last year, in Suzuka, in some races and this year it's Austria and maybe Austin again in 10 races time. They've been three times world champions and nothing will change, it is normal, they are close. They don't have battles with Red Bull because they are 30 seconds, they don't have battles with Ferrari because they are one minute ahead, they have battles with their teammates. Sometimes they crash but in 50 races they crash three times, its normal.”
- They are still miles ahead in the championship, so…
“It was great! I love it! Just one car was still left, that was a shame. For me they can go on racing like that. I definitely enjoy it. Okay, in the end, it is not like it should be that you touch each other and go off the track, but you definitely should let them race because at the end of the day they are fighting for a championship.
“It needs to be like that [no team orders]. At the end they are still fighting for the world championships. You cannot say to the guy in second now, sorry you have to back off, it is not safe for our championship. You have to fight. Anyway, they are so far ahead, like you see I think 4 times they had a touch and lost a position, 3 or whatever, but they are still miles ahead in the championship, so…”
- Whatever happens it is their business
“The only thing that pops into my mind is when you compare them to Senna and Prost. I don't remember that Senna and Prost were karting against each other and were good friends in go-karts, so I think whatever happens to them is their business and you should speak to them and not to me.”
- I know what Rosberg was trying to do… he didn't execute it the way he wanted
I think I know Rosberg had problems, but he didn't help himself by Turn 1, looked like he took a lot of kerb at Turn 1 and killed all his exit. That looked like a bit of a mistake which gave Lewis and opportunity, sure Lewis would have gotten close with DRS out of Turn 2, but Turn 1 I think Rosberg will look back on that and saw 'I wish I didn't take that much kerb' because it just looked like it bottomed out and just pushed him wide, I mean Lewis gained so much there. So that was a mistake I'd say, just a driving error from Rosberg, and with the incident I know what Rosberg was trying to do, I just don't think it executed the way he wanted, and I think to do it how he wanted to do it he had to be in front. Lewis' wheel was in front and it was too late to commit to what he wanted to do. He had to have his nose in front to sort of squeeze Lewis out the way he wanted.
- Same team and then explode the bomb…
“It all happens too quick, for sure you need to have your idea before the corner what to do. They are fighting on the last lap of the race, so you need to have the idea. It's true that sometimes mistakes can happen, you are fighting for the position, so you try everything you can to keep your position. We cannot also forget that this is sport, this is racing. I don't think what's happened was completely anything wrong, even what the FIA did, it was racing. It's the problem that they are from the same team and then, explode the bomb.”
“I don't know what are they rules and I'm not that interested. It's not my business…”