Rosberg denies Hamilton’s account of Spa crash

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg has denied Lewis Hamilton’s explanation for the crash between the pair of them in Belgium, but declined to offer his own version of the events.

“I’ve been told what Lewis said in the press and the way he has stated his version of the events,” Rosberg said in a video posted to his official YouTube account today.

“All I can say is that my view of the events are very different. But the thing is it’s just better that I don’t now give all the details of my opinion and things like that. I hope you respect that.”

Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014Following a discussion between the pair of them and Mercedes management yesterday, Hamilton told media Rosberg “basically said he did it on purpose. He said he did it on purpose. He said he could have avoided it. He said ‘I did it a prove a point’.”

Rosberg did not address Hamilton’s claim. “I prefer to just keep it internal, you know,” he said.

“We had a very good discussion, an important discussion after the race. As when such things occur we must sit down and review them and that’s what we did. Everybody gave his opinion, now we need to move forward.”

Rosberg expects further conversations about the incident will take place before the next race: “There will be another discussion for sure because we need to see if we need to change our approach in the future, as we did in Hungary. And we will do that.”

“The good thing is we really have great leadership in the team with Paddy [Lowe], Toto [Wolff] and with the help of Niki [Lauda],” he added. “And that really is important in such situations.”

“And therefore I’m confident that as always we’re going to find back to our way and keep on fighting in Monza.”

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257 comments on Rosberg denies Hamilton’s account of Spa crash

  1. Bernard (@bernard) said on 25th August 2014, 17:20

    Keeping things like this ‘internal’ only promotes deep suspicion, why can’t Rosberg see that? Nobody in their right mind trusts internal investigations and rightly so. Transparency is everything. If you want respect, make your case out in the public domain where it is exposed for all to see – and then defend it.

    If Hamilton hadn’t come out and said what happened in that meeting none of us would be any the wiser, and Rosberg would still have his Mr Nice Guy veneer suitably intact. As it stands, he has been exposed and is doing everything in his power to lessen the damage.

  2. First let me say how refreshing it is to see drivers duke it out on twitter, rather than chucking their HANs devices at each other on track after an incident! I’m glad F1 lacks that nonsense nowadays.

    I really hate to see this drama, espeically between two guys who are so talented and have a good personal history. But I have to blame Nico in this soap opera. Hamilton should be fuming. He goes too far most of the time, but this time he has been quite restrained. He got taken out by his teammate in a clumsy move and the teammate refused to own up to it. Nico should just admit he messed up and move on. Seriously, it’s not like he just totally locked up and rammed a guy—this is just one of those small errors that all drivers make. Just admit it.

    I’m sure the suits in Stuttgart, having seen their cars take each other out of the first two spots, are not even trying to hear about what Nico “really meant.” I tend to think that one result of of Nico being stiff-necked about this will be the unfortunate appearance of strict team orders at Mercedes. I think the races between them will now be over as of the first pit stop window.

  3. Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 25th August 2014, 17:40

    I believe the point Nico wanted to make was that he CANNOT pass Lewis while racing with similar equipment or even with better tyres. He has proven that point over and over again. Sad because he’s actually a pretty good driver. I would rather see Nico lose like a man and improve and do better next year. There’s no shame in losing if you give it your best especially at that lever and against a driver like Lewis. But stealing the victory, there’s nothing more shameful.

  4. matt90 (@matt90) said on 25th August 2014, 17:48

    It’s worth remembering that Toto originally backed Lewis’s account before saying that Hamilton misinterpreted the words.

    • neil (@f1-neil) said on 25th August 2014, 17:53

      I think Toto went into damage control to stop a FIA investigation.

      • Pete (@repete86) said on 25th August 2014, 18:55


      • Bazza Spock (@bazza-spock) said on 26th August 2014, 1:02

        Exactly. He only backtracked for the good of the team.
        Aside from all of the main stuff I like how Toto isn’t as polished with this kind of stuff as someone like Horner.
        It really is a different set up at Merc with Wolff and Lauda continually shooting from the hip.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 26th August 2014, 1:39

        If not that then he realised that saying one of his drivers intentionally hit the other wasn’t great PR. I imagine he’s rather annoyed that Hamilton ever let the words from the meeting get to the press, but then again Wolff probably should have avoided confirming those words to be correct himself…

        My stance on this has changed somewhat. Rosberg is obviously at fault for the manoeuvre, and that was always clear. I was very annoyed to see him take advantage from it and compound ruining his team mate’s (and of course main rival’s) race by making a further mistake which lost his team the win- much though it gave a great race, my opinion of a driver who turns a 1-2 into a 2-DNF can’t be high. But I thought it was probably just a clumsy move, possibly just a mistake in that he hadn’t fallen back quite enough and so accidentally was close enough to clip the rear tyre. That was giving him the benefit of the doubt, although I wasn’t sure if in actual fact it was a case of poor race craft. So having confirmed that he thought having only his wing just up the inside was a legitimate tactic changes that from clumsy but unfortunate to foolish and certainly worthy of derision. That he supposedly has claimed that he specifically knew that putting his car there would result in contact if Hamilton didn’t leave space- which he really had no obligation or expectation to do- is even more ridiculous. It seems unlikely that he intentionally did it hoping for contact, but given he knew contact would be on the cards if he put his car in what was a ridiculous position, I can’t rule it out.

    • Bernard (@bernard) said on 25th August 2014, 18:34

      The ‘nonsense’ remark from Wolff is odd as there is effectively no difference between what Hamilton said and what Wolff said.

      Hamilton: “[Nico] said he could have avoided it. He said ‘I did it to prove a point.'”

      Wolff: “Nico felt he needed to hold his line. He needed to make a point… What we saw there was that Nico was not prepared to take the exit, and that caused the collision.”

      Deciding not to take the exit is indeed causing a deliberate collision. There is no misinterpretation. Even Lauda confirmed Rosbergs position on the matter after the meeting.

      Further, Rosberg placed the blame squarely at the feet of Hamilton, not once suggesting he was even slightly at fault. Strange considering that all drivers (including Rosberg himself) employ the same defensive measures day in day out, in all categories of motorsport. Bizarrely, his assessment of Hungary is also at odds with him laying the blame on Hamilton for such a defence.

      “… Lewis didn’t let me by, although he was ordered to do so, so that’s obviously not good and we need to discuss that internally.

      “The thing I am most annoyed about though is the last lap though because I had a little opportunity and just so close, but didn’t manage to use it you know, just like 30cm missing or something.

      What [Hamilton] did was ok, the way he defended, because the guy on the inside, it’s his corner, so the guy on the outside needs to you know, make it far enough in front so that the other guy can’t push him out and I didn’t manage to do that so that’s what annoys me most.

      “But ok, still in front in the championship, a long summer break now so I get to think about it a little bit, I look forward to that – although not now at the moment I’m still annoyed actually, but er tomorrow I look forward to it and then onwards and upwards for Spa.”

      He was annoyed because he couldn’t make the pass stick, so he entered this race with his head clouded in frustration, not a good mentality for someone expected to go wheel to wheel with rivals at 200 mph.

  5. lordhesketh (@lordhesketh) said on 25th August 2014, 17:49

    Here’s what I think:
    Racing incident. However, I don’t see why someone can’t be deemed to have caused the racing incident. It was clearly Rosberg’s fault. I’m not going to get into what I think should or should not be punished through a penalty system. That’s an entire issue on its own.
    I will say that as soon as it happened, I was thinking of Hamilton always prattling on about emulating Ayrton Senna. I think it was Brundle who said something like, “Ayrton would always leave it up to you. He’d put his car where there was going to be a crash, and would let you decide whether that crash would happen. As soon as you backed off, he knew he had you.”
    I remember Rosberg twice being the reason why both Mercs didn’t crash in Bahrain. He’s tired of it. This is the point he was proving.

  6. Lewisham Milton said on 25th August 2014, 17:50

    He said, she said, he said, she said, yawn. Not sure which one’s the he and who’s the she.

    Talk to each other and sort it out, ya pair of toddlers. I don’t want to know about your sob-story selfie videos.

  7. We would not be talking about this issue if Nico Rosberg apologised on the day about his misjudgment in the overtaking and subsequent crash to Lewis Hamilton’s car. Nico caused the loss of points to his team. The longer Nico Rosberg refuses to acknowledge his part in the cause of damage to his team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s car, his actions will remain suspicious and his reputation questionable in the eyes of the fans. Just calling it a “racing incident” does not help Nico’s case in my opinion – it sounds so mechanical! Lastly, Nico Rosberg may be a “fast driver” however he comes across very arrogant and this is probably why he does not connect with the majority of the people who have given their opinion so far on social media about this issue.

  8. neil (@f1-neil) said on 25th August 2014, 17:52

    I think one of the most damaging things is Nico’s comments about British F1 fans, thats not good for Mercedes who is trying to sell cars to insult potential customers.

  9. ADD (@addimaf1) said on 25th August 2014, 17:54

    Personally I like that Hamilton is emotional and says what he thinks for better and for worse. He has also been remarkably calm throughout all this and hasn’t been whining like some of you suggest, quite the opposite in fact which is surprising. Personally I don’t know why Nico does a video blog this was just PR drivel. The only thing he said is that he doesn’t agree with what Lewis said, which we all knew he would. Other than that he hasn’t offered any explanation as to what he did, and he hasn’t even done the obvious thing and say he screwed up and made a mistake, while at the same time apologising to his team and teammate. He hasn’t been professional, he’s been very immature, whatever he said in that meeting instead of just saying what I have above gave Hamilton all the ammo he needed to get the wider public and media on his side, like Hamilton wasn’t going to use it to his advantage and spill to anyone that would listen.

  10. mrvco said on 25th August 2014, 17:59

    I was sick of the whole NR vs. LH drama before the summer break. Now NR goes amateur hour, touches up LH and here we go again. Wow, I’m getting all nostalgic for Merc’s 50+ year hiatus from F1.

  11. jayteeniftb said on 25th August 2014, 18:00

    As Martin Brundle keeps reminding fans (who pay attention) regarding Senna and in recent times Kobayashi about the racing mentality (spoiled childish attitude) of “I am coming through, now you decide whether we are going to have an accident or not”. These drivers believe in fighting tough. Hamilton is one such racer which has been consistently evident when he fights (not just comes) through the field (collisions with massa in 2011 and more recently in germany).
    Mature drivers back out to avoid an accident. They believe in fighting tough AND fair. Nico is one such racer as has been evident with his past racing especially in Bahrain this season.
    Contrast their track record for racing accidents for further evidence.
    THIS TIME he decided he has had enough and proved a point that “if you want an accident, I am done backing out, you are going to get an accident”.
    Clearly Lewis did not understand this complicated thought process and instead played the victim like some spoiled child (which is also very consistent and tragically so for such a gifted driver).
    It is also understandable why they used to be friends but not are anymore, as far as we know. One of them grew up.

    • neil (@f1-neil) said on 25th August 2014, 18:05

      Actually I think you have that the wrong way round. Lewis whilst tough is also pretty fair.

      As to

      Mature drivers back out to avoid an accident. They believe in fighting tough AND fair. Nico is one such racer as has been evident with his past racing especially in Bahrain this season.

      You should look through previous videos, Nico is absolutely terrible and has a record of driving people off the track, wht he’s complaining about he’s done to many people including Lewis this year.

      • Scepter (@scepter) said on 25th August 2014, 18:23

        I think Nico might be cracking under the pressure this is the 2nd race in a row where he started from pole and didn’t win, and in both races made a lot of mistakes, in this latest race he lost positions at the start, damaged his wing by making contact with his team mate costing the him and team valuable points, un top of that he went and flat spotted his tyres, i don’t think that cerebral label is going to last long if he throws the WDC away.

    • hamilton vs massa india 2011— so you’re using that incident as an example of an indictment of hamilton and clearing rosberg? if so, you just proved yourself wrong. in 2011 hamilton was WAY more alongside felipe at moment of impact than rosberg was on hamilton yesterday.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 26th August 2014, 2:10

        And he had been slightly more alongside moments before, but fell back the small amount possible when he realised Massa was turning in anyway, and was considerably further alongside just prior to either of them braking, which for a corner following a straight (unlike the second corner in the sequence where Rosberg hit Hamilton in Spa) is the most important factor. Mind you, there were several crashes between Massa and Hamilton, so that might not be what they’re referring to.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 25th August 2014, 19:14

      Mature drivers back out to avoid an accident.

      In this case, Hamilton was clearly ahead, and taking the racing line. Rosberg is the one who should have backed out.

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 25th August 2014, 20:52

      It was actually the way that Rosberg ran Hamilton and Alonso off track (on the straight!) in Bahrain 2012 that prompted the stewards to crack down on such nasty driving tricks.

    • Well we know who is the fastest driver .Hamilton has proved it by starting from the back & almost catching Nico more than once.Nico was clearly at fault. Anyone that has raced cars or motor cycles can see that.

  12. capame said on 25th August 2014, 18:14

    It’s very unfortunate that the crash between HAM and ROS gets that much coverage.
    Totally subdues the fact that we saw awesome fights for position during the race and one hell of a multi car battle to the end. THAT is what makes me shout at the tv, punch the air and then some. F1 in full attack mode just is the best motorsport out there for me.

    But i guess Merc are having themselves to blame for the bad press (and it is only bad press) they are getting.

    First Nico not taking the initiative and saying e.g. “I messed up, big sry to Lewis. I wanted to stand my ground and it was too aggressive”. (We all know he still would be smiling on the inside.) Then still not addressing the obvious on day 2? Not good and grounds for overthinking ones pr personnel.

    Second and that is the big one for me: I have never seen team leadership throw their championship leader under the bus like Lauda and Wolff have done. Never in the 22 years since i follow every race. And then announcing team orders and possible punishments live on tv without proper consultation… i’m astonished by the lack of professionalism on their part.

    This and the obviously ineffective driver parenting job they have done up to now could taint the whole season for them and Stuttgart will not like this.

  13. John H (@john-h) said on 25th August 2014, 18:20

    Is he actually going to apologise for taking his teammate out?

  14. lockup (@lockup) said on 25th August 2014, 18:25

    I notice how Nico is trying to marginalise Niki. I guess he’s given up on that relationship.

    • lawrence said on 25th August 2014, 19:08

      Niki brought Lewis into the team and made a big deal of it, but now it seems as it was completely needless and irrelevant. Might have brought anyone really, they’d be either better or worse than Rosberg, but one of them would still win the title anyway.

      • Pete (@repete86) said on 25th August 2014, 19:12

        Lewis is a bigger name and draws more attention though. That’s why Mercedes wanted him. Mercedes wants to sell cars and increase brand recognition. The suits in Stuggart couldn’t care less about the racing. For them, F1 is a giant billboard.

        • True, infact they had threatened to pull out of F1, so for them they look at their numbers and say why are we spending so much money on this thing called F1. Im pretty sure some of them don’t even know what F1 is

      • lockup (@lockup) said on 25th August 2014, 19:50

        @lawrence that’s not really the point. In any case next year will be much closer and they will need Hamilton . But this is the second time I’ve seen Nico go on about how it’s Toto and Paddy running the team. Niki is a shareholder and has the ear of everyone including Zetsche. If Rosberg has alienated Lauda that is a factor. Rosberg betrayed the team in Spa, risked a huge embarrassment in Monaco, and has been booed on the podium in full Mercedes colours. Now he’s playing factions in the team? He could be on thin ice.

  15. ok. next GP all drivers should just dive down the inside of the car ahead whether there is a gap or not. The position will be given to them by the stewards.

    The FIA have now set a precedent that a leading driver on the racing line should re-open the door whenever anyone one millimeter of their car alongside them.

    This of course is absurd because A- it is the duty of the following driver to not run into the car in front. And B- the leading car does not have the responsibility of judging millimeters through a tiny rear view mirror whilst negotiating corner complexes at racing speed.

    • Well actually you’re wrong. The sporting regulations state –

      For the avoidance of doubt, if any part of the front wing of the car attempting to pass is alongside the rear wheel of the car in front this will be deemed to be a ‘significant portion’.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th August 2014, 23:44

        The excerpt you have quoted (from article 20.4 of the sporting regulations) does not apply here as it relates to a driver who is “defending his position on a straight, and before any braking area”, which was not the case when Hamilton and Rosberg made contact as they were no longer on the straight and past the braking area.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 26th August 2014, 2:13

        As Keith says, that rule refers only to crowding drivers off the track in straight sections. There may not be a rule-book definition for it, but having only a wing stuck up the inside in any corner is considered a faux pas at best.

    • greg-c (@greg-c) said on 26th August 2014, 2:11

      KInda sounds like Massa and Perez Montreal !

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