The 2016 Spanish Formula One grand prix had an explosive opening Sunday when Mercedes AMG Petronas teammates, 2015 world champion Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, collided into one another on lap one. Spectators, team members and fellow drivers were all shocked to see two of the top driver’s in competitive natures finally get the better of them.
The incident occurred on the exit of turn 3 at Circuit de Catalunya when Lewis Hamilton attempted to overtake teammate Nico Rosberg from the inside. At this point, Rosberg attempts to defend his position by blocking Hamilton’s passage. In an effort to avoid collision, Hamilton evades Nico’s defensive maneuver and ends up on the inside grass runoff where he loses control of the car and collides into Rosberg. Bothe cars where in severe condition which caused AMG Petronas to drop out of the race, resulting in zero points for both drivers and the team.
Former F1 driver and AMG Petronas chairman, Niki Lauda, quickly commented after the collision that Hamilton was the one at fault, “It is stupid, we could’ve won this race,” “Lewis is too aggressive. I need to talk to them and hear their explanation and then we will see what happens.”
From a spectator’s point of view, it seemed clear that Rosberg was the one to blame. It appeared as though he forcefully ran Hamilton off the track using an illegal defensive maneuver. However racing stewards came to the conclusion that no one was at fault and it was to be classified as a “racing incident” and there was no need for further action to be taken.
Following the FIA’s decision, executive director of AMG Petronas, Toto Wolf, declared that neither of the drivers were directly to blame and that each were at equal fault. Wolf also decided that no further measures needed to be taken and that the team will be focusing on the race ahead in Monaco.
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