Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014

Hamilton: I gave Rosberg space to avoid contact

2014 Belgian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014Lewis Hamilton says he gave Nico Rosberg space to avoid a collision when the pair made contact during the Belgian Grand Prix.

The two Mercedes drivers tangled on the second lap of the race, leaving Hamilton with a puncture that ruined his race, and Rosberg with a damaged front wing.

“Whilst I was driving I didn’t really understand what had happened,” Hamilton told reporters after the race.

“I felt quite a big thud at the rear and then I watched on the replay just now I gave the guy space and I don’t really understand.”

“But it’s just really gutting for the result and also really for the team. My guys work so hard every weekend and we’ve had such a tough year, the guys that are on my side of the garage, just generally in terms of the whole team. This is not good points for the team, we could have easily had a one-two out there today, and so it’s just overall not a great feeling.”

Hamilton eventually retired from the race while Rosberg took second after pitting for a new front wing. Rosberg did not wish to apportion blame for the collision immediately after the race.

“I got a good run on Lewis,” said Rosberg on the podium, “and I tried to go around the outside and we just touched in the end unfortunately”.

“So that hurt both our races and so from a team point of view of course that’s very disappointing, and that’s the way it is.

“I haven’t seen it yet, it wouldn’t be good of me if I were to comment on it now, I need to look at it on TV and then I can comment about it afterwards.”

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294 comments on “Hamilton: I gave Rosberg space to avoid contact”

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  1. Oh please, it was a race incident. Nico did what he had to do. Bad luck for Ham, as he was probably the expected winner today. He has to fight back now.

    1. Nico did what he had to do

      Oh yes, he did what he had to do to win the championship!

  2. Pretty clearly a mistake on Rosberg’s part, but frankly really only a very small one. The puncture made it seem a lot more dramatic than it was – we’ve seen plenty of little bumps like that all season and before, and they don’t usually end in a puncture. Hamilton was unlucky that this did shred his tyre, but otherwise I think most people would just shrug it off as a fairly minor racing incident.

    It’s a shame it seems to be taking away everyone’s attention from the absolute farce of Ferrari sending mechanics onto the track while the cars are pulling away.

    1. And only getting a five second penalty for it? Highly unsafe!

  3. Racing incident, yes, but I think that Nico took an unnecessary risk very early in the race.
    Going into the braking zone Lewis was ahead, you are just not going to pass someone on the outside of Les Combes when you are so far back. Putting you front wing alongside even when you know you can’t pass is a cheeky move and I really hate it when they do it to me when I play racing games online. It’s legal, yes, but a driver of his experience should know when you can overtake and when you can’t.
    Rosberg should have just backed out of it, he wasn’t going to overtake Hamilton on that occasion anyway.

    Honestly, though, it’s amazing how many points they are throwing away. Today they clearly had the fastest car (two seconds per lap quicker than anyone else!) and they managed not to win.

  4. Anyone remember Singapore 2011 when a similar accident happened between Hamilton and Massa and Hamilton got the penalty? The issue is not whether it was racing incident. The real issue is that at the end Rosberg was clumsy and Hamilton came out worse. if the double points in Abu Dabi causes Hamilton to win the championship, I per say wouldn’t think that was unfair.

  5. Right, here we go…

    After that superb performance, Rosberg should not have been booed. He overcome a change in strategy, a broken front wing, and a bit of debris flying in his face at 200mph and still finished second. What a superb drive from lap 3 onwards.

    However, what happened on lap 2 baffled me from Hamilton, Rosberg and Mercedes. Mercedes clearly had a significant performance advantage here. That was clear from FP1. All that they would have achieved by going wheel-to-wheel like they attempted on lap 2 was only ever going to end in one of two ways: either contact, which happened, or both drivers holding each other up and the two Red Bulls capitalising on it as a result. I think it was a 50-50 incident in terms of the drivers. Hamilton took the racing line as he is entitled to but he could have left room too. It was a bit ambitious from Rosberg but without taking to the run-off, he had nowhere else to go. Mercedes should have ensured that the two drivers were absolutely clear of the Red Bulls before letting them go wheel-to-wheel like that. Mercedes should have come away with 43 points today. They came away with just 18. Something seriously wrong happened and it wasn’t with the car this time. Mercedes may need to change their stance on team orders for the second time in two races.

    1. 50/50. Honestly, I can’t believe this stance. If you’re going to go around the outside, make sure you get at least partly alongside or else back out of it.

      This has always been the case, let alone if you’re doing it to your team mate.

  6. I understand that some people reckon that it was “just a race incident” but I think you have to look at the consequenses. You shouldn’t be able to get away with ruining another drivers race, unless you ruin your own race even more. The situation was very similar of that between Hamilton and Massa in Singapore 2011, where Hamilton hit Massa with his front wing, damaging it and giving Massa a puncture. Hamilton got a drive through, although to be fair that was a slightly more reckless move than what Rosberg did today.

    “Oops sorry, didn’t mean to hit you but now thanks to my mistake I’m gonna win the championship”

  7. Apparently Nico has admitted to hitting Lewis on purpose.

    1. I’d like to wait and see an exact quote. Some reporting that Lewis told the press that Rosberg admitted deliberately hitting him, others reporting that Hamilton told the press that Rosberg admitted deliberately not backing off. Which isn’t the same thing as deliberately crashing.

      1. Im waiting for that quote as well

      2. “It looked quite clear to me but we just had a meeting about it and he basically said he did it on purpose,” Hamilton said. “He said he did it on purpose, he said he could have avoided it. He said ‘I did it to prove a point’, he basically said ‘I did it to prove a point’. And you don’t have to just rely on me, go and ask Toto [Wolff], Paddy [Lowe] and all those guys who are not happy with him as well.”

          1. what a spoiled brat…

        1. I suspect that what really happened is that Nico was told to back off prior to the incident and instead – reportedly – ‘deliberately’ turned up the engine to disobey team orders.

          I doubt Rosberg had any intention of causing an accident, but the point that Merc will be hung up on is that Rosberg shouldn’t have been attempting a pass at that point.

          It’s one thing making a statement by refusing to slow down for your team-mate, but another to disobey orders to back off and instead cause an accident.

          Point made. Hypocrite.

  8. Rosberg was out of order, should have been penalised and has cost Mercedes Kant points from that race.

  9. If? He has admitted doing it on purpose, putting life at risk! He should get a ban. If ?

  10. On the next lap, Nico would have had DRS. Why did he leave his nose in there to get chopped off, instead of having another go next time around?

    1. Because he’s reckless and calculated that he would be better off.

    2. Why did he leave his nose in there to get chopped off, instead of having another go next time around?

      @bullfrog – We all know how important pole position is given two, well matched drivers in the most competitive car. We all know NR was leading the WDC at the start of the race. We all know there is intense, inter-team rivalry between LH & NR. NR started on pole.

      However, LH dived into the lead. Worse still, SV also made a good move at the start. The advantage of NR’s coveted, pole position was thus neutralised within a lap or two. With LH in the lead, NR no doubt thought he was likely to come second to LH. Every point counts and the (bonkers) double points initiative is a factor to consider in the arithmetical possibilities it throws up. These thoughts will almost certainly been running through NR’s mind after he quickly lost the advantage of starting on pole.

      NR probably saw the red mist. NR probably allowed his judgement to be subordinated to getting past LH – who was driving the car that had most chance of beating him – at any cost. NR reacted too quickly, rather than waiting for a less risky opportunity. “WDC rage”, which is something different to “aggressive racing”, might be the way to describe it.

  11. I’ve got something in my left mirror!. Take that number two……….oops.

  12. and by “gave space” he means “closed the door”… real classy fans booing the podium too.

  13. Britney should be penalized!!

  14. Stephen Higgins
    24th August 2014, 17:41

    No, Lewis.

    You didn’t give Rosberg ANYWHERE NEAR enough space.

    You turned in on him when you should have taken a wider line on the exit of Les Coombes and you could have defended easily into Bruxelles.

    Now, because in all liklehood you have lost the Championship, you are resorting to type and trying to blame anyone but yourself.

    Your. Own. Fault.

    1. So why did Vettel feel the need to bail the corner the lap before check out this pic

      1. +1 The same run off area available to Vettle was available to Nico.

  15. I would have thought a few things are obvious by now: Nico Rosberg is a spoilt little brat with delusions of grandeur. The only way he can beat Hamilton, given two reliable Mercedes cars, is by cheating. He so desperately wants to follow in Daddy’s footsteps that he will try every trick in the book to disadvantage his team-mate. The reason he’s no hero in Germany is because he holds a Finnish passport and lives in Monaco. The only thing that’s remotely German about him is his surname. If I were Toto I’d be putting him under team orders, in the next race, to take up position behind Hamilton, no matter what, and protect his back and enable Hamilton to win the next race, if he can, to redress the balance and put the brat in his place. Maybe, after that, he would learn some humility and discover how to be a team player. Any one of the top ten drivers could win consistently in Rosberg’s car. The same would have gone over the last four years for them all, given Vettel’s car. The only way we would ever know who the most consistently skillful driver is would be to put them all in IDENTICAL cars, bar their individual set ups. In that case I doubt we would ever see Rosberg on the podium from one end of the season to the other.

  16. Man, I read through all of this, and have come to the conclusion that an awful lot of you were watching different second lap than I saw. ROS came much farther alongside HAM by the time they both entered that corner, so there was no way HAM didn’t know he was there. By the time they touched, ROS had backed out of it to the point that only his front wing was along side, and there was clearly enough room for HAM to carry on without moving as far to the left as he did. I applaud ROS for pressuring HAM going into the turn and for backing out of it when it was clearly not going to work. This is what racing is about. The whole idea is to get ahead and be first, and they all work at it whether climbing from 14th to 13th, or 2nd to 1st. None of them are mind readers, and they all expect their cocompetitors to drive to the best of their professional abilities, and to the ability of the machines they drive. The fans and Mercedes have blown this completely out of proportion, and they have a professional whiner and drama queen fanning the flames. Lauda is too loud and Wolff is completely unprofessional. We all need to remember it takes two to tango, and sometimes the tango becomes a tangle. It happens. Are we hoping for this kind of drama, or are we actually hoping for some good fast professional racing, where the limits are pushed constantly, and sometimes gone beyond? HAM comes out of a closed door meeting, and says ROS did it on purpose. HAM does a lot of talking. The same could be true of HAM, wanting to make a point on ROS, and having it blow up in his face. Maybe he was hoping he would force ROS into the run off, and potentially ruin his race instead. I say stop talking, and race to the end. I know it is probably asking too much, but no more whinning.

    1. It’s hard to race when your team mate deliberately takes you out.

    2. Completely agree.
      Especially you mention a point that is being overlooked here. Hamilton keeps fanning the flames at any and every opportunity he gets. All year long he’s talking how he is not friends with Nico, how Nico is a rich kid that doesn’t have the motivation to win, how he wants to inflict the pain. He keeps trying to create a hostile environment while all this time Nico’s interviews were mostly in line with “nah, we are still friends”.
      Lewis was making himself into an innocent, naive victim back in 2007 too, and unfortunately, too many people bought it. Now as you said, Lauda and Wolff are being completely unprofessional. I’ve always knew Lauda is mouthing off all sorts of nonsense just like Helmut Marko, while I’ve never rated Wolff to high in the first place.
      I think Nico is the only one I can really respect here, because he is the only one who is being true to himself and is doing all of his talking on the track.

  17. Rossberg could have avoided the collision but didn’t.

    Its disgraceful behaviour and he should be banned for the next race.
    Its clear in the video replay that Rossberg had plenty of options to bide his time and come at Hamilton later, but decided to be malicious and take him out

    1. Have to agree. Watching the replay it wasn’t even a passing opportunity, he cannot seriously have expected anyone to yield the line to an outside pass with so little overlap.

      Doing it “to make a point” looks exactly like it, especially with the extra steering we saw.

      I really liked Nico, it’s very disappointing.

  18. I’m a Hamilton fan but it appears to be pretty clear and simple to me that he was at no fault whatsoever. Hamilton was the driver in front going into Les Combes, so he takes absolutely 0% of the blame in taking the racing line. It is up to Rosberg to lift off the throttle or miss the chicane to slot in behind as the door was closed. It was clumsy on Rosberg’s part, and he has been clumsy in wheel-to-wheel racing often this season. I’d call it a racing incident for which Rosberg was 100% at fault. Let’s move on.

  19. Rosberg is a calculating cheat. The team should replace him for the next 2 races with a test driver to show that the team management will not stand for it.

  20. “I really liked Nico, it’s very disappointing.”

    He has been too nice to everyone, too charming. Now we see his true colours…

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