The Mercedes Formula One team have taken unspecified action against Nico Rosberg, after he admitted to culpability in the accident which punctured team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s left rear tyre on the second lap of last Sunday’s Belgian GP, and thus extended his title lead over the Briton from 11 to 29 points.
Both drivers were called before bosses Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe at the team’s factory in Brackley, Northamptonshire, to discuss the incident and find a way to move forward.
The team have allowed their drivers to race all season, believing that to do otherwise would be unfair to them, such has been the dominance of their W05 Hybrid race cars. Mercedes have won nine of the 12 grands prix so far, taken pole position for all of them and set the fastest lap in 10.
A team statement confirmed the drivers would still be free to race one another, but that another collision would not be tolerated. The statement said: “Toto Wolff, Paddy Lowe, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton met today in the boardroom of Mercedes AMG Petronas headquarters to discuss the events of the Belgian Grand Prix.
“During this meeting, Nico acknowledged his responsibility for the contact that occurred on lap two and apologised for this error of judgement. Suitable disciplinary measures have been taken for the incident.”
Hamilton said on his website that he is adamant his relationship with Rosberg is not irreparably damaged, despite the increasing intensity of their battle.
“There is a deep foundation that still exists for me and Nico to work from, in spite of our difficult times and differences. We have the strongest group of individuals who have worked their hands to the bone to give us the best car. It’s important that we never forget that and give them the results they deserve.
“Nico and I accept that we have both made mistakes and I feel it would be wrong to point fingers and say which one is worse than the other.”