Lewis Hamilton has promised that he will not be looking to retaliate against Nico Rosberg following his Mercedes team-mate’s actions in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.
All-out rivalry has now broken out between Hamilton and Rosberg in this season’s Formula One world title fight following the events at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The incident ultimately forced Hamilton to retire and, with Rosberg going on to finish runner-up, the Briton is now 29 points adrift in the drivers’ standings with seven races remaining.
Hamilton claimed the second-lap collision between the duo was engineered “on purpose” by Rosberg to “make a point”. The German said his version of events is very different.
“The weekend was damaging,” Hamilton admitted. “I don’t know how I’m going to get back those 29 points, but what I do know is I’ve a great group of people behind me.
“The poor guys on my side of the garage have had quite a lot of bad races. But I know with their support and that of the fans, the fact we’ve a great car, a great team and we should be finishing one-two, I really hope I can bring them some good results moving forwards.
“Whatever the case I will always put the team first and I won’t take anything into my own hands.”
Asked whether he could trust Rosberg should they be wheel to wheel at the next race in Italy, Hamilton said: “I’ll have to make sure we’re not wheel to wheel.”
Formula One’s governing body, the FIA, has decided to take no action against Rosberg despite Hamilton’s accusations. “The FIA will not intervene in this issue,” said a spokesman, who added that it would require a “new element” for stewards to open an investigation once the results had been declared official, discounting Hamilton’s post-race comments.
“A comment alleged to have been made in an internal briefing and later denied by the team itself does not constitute such a ‘new element’,” added the spokesman.
Meanwhile, Martin Whitmarsh has parted company with McLaren after more than 24 years of service. Whitmarsh served as head of operations, managing director and Formula One chief executive during his time with the organisation before taking on the role of team principal in 2009.
In January this year, however, McLaren group chairman Ron Dennis effectively staged an internal coup, returning to his former role as group CEO, ousting Whitmarsh in the process. It brought to an end Whitmarsh’s five-year reign as team head, with 2013 proving to be one of the Woking-based marque’s worst in their history as they failed to finish with a single podium.