Rosberg hits Hamilton and hands another win to Ricciardo

2014 Belgian Grand Prix review

Daniel Ricciardo has made a name for himself in 2014 by being the one driver who is always ready to capitalise when something goes wrong for the Mercedes drivers.

In Montreal it was an unlikely double technical failure. At the Hungaroring it took another glitch for Lewis Hamilton and a timely Safety Car appearance.

And at Spa-Francorchamps the catalyst was a collision which has further jeopardised the fragile equilibrium between Mercedes’ championship-contending team mates.

Hamilton fends off Vettel

Start, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014The opening moments of this year’s Belgian Grand Prix looked like a replay of the last one. Hamilton led the field as they plunged into Eau Rouge with Sebastian Vettel stalking him as they came over the crest on the long run towards Kemmel.

Like last year Vettel jinked to the left and drew alongside the Mercedes – but unlike last year he wasn’t able to make it past. The Red Bull driver ran out of room on the outside of Les Combes and took to the ample run-off area. In doing so, he surrendered second place to Nico Rosberg.

Rosberg had started from pole position but been beaten to the draw by Hamilton and Vettel. Hamilton had actually pulled up too late when they reached the grid and had to reverse back into his correct spot before the lights went out.

Having regained his place from Vettel, Rosberg quickly hauled in Hamilton over the remainder of the first lap, and the pair were separated by just half a second as they came past the pits. Even without the benefit of DRS, Rosberg had Hamilton on the defensive at Kemmel, and for the second lap in a row the race leader was covering the inside line as they approached Les Combes.

Title-leading team mates clash

Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014What happened next has already been discussed exhaustively and no doubt will continue to be as it marked another significant moment in this year’s championship battle. But title contenders are supposed to be of sufficient pedigree to avoid such incidents, and team mates are supposed to exercise an extra degree of caution to avoid such collisions in the first place. All that being so, the pair had absolutely no business making contact, especially not in such a feeble, amateurish fashion.

Hamilton was clearly ahead and had the racing line, so the burden of responsibility falls entirely on Rosberg’s shoulders. It looked utterly careless, but Rosberg has already made one seemingly careless mistake which worked out very well for him this year. Now he has made two, and will therefore become the target of more intense suspicions.

The manner in which they collided – Rosberg’s front wing making contact with Hamilton’s left-rear tyre – evoked memories of a near-miss between the pair during their battle in Bahrain. On that occasion Rosberg took exception to a similar move Hamilton had made, albeit one which was entirely within the rules. Rosberg had further cause for irritation before the summer break when Hamilton declined to let him past when he was told to in Hungary – an incident which was still being discussed within the team when the Spa weekend begun.

No doubt this latest incident will have further consequences as well. But in the race it left Rosberg with a damaged wing – and Hamilton with a puncture tyre and three-quarters of a lap between him and the pits.

Rosberg replaces broken wing

Hamilton traipsed in, trying to strike a seemingly impossible balance between lapping slow enough not to destroy his car and quick enough not to destroy his race. As if that hadn’t cost him enough time, he also had to pick his way around Andre Lotterer’s stationery Caterham in the pit lane.

Meanwhile Rosberg now led, albeit under pressure from Vettel. That proved only temporary, as one Red Bull was soon replaced by the other. Ricciardo had already passed Fernando Alonso on lap four, and on the next tour Vettel nearly lost control of his car at Pouhon, allowing Ricciardo by into second.

He wasn’t able to do anything about Rosberg, however, even as the Mercedes driver struggled with a loss of downforce. But with Hamilton out of contention, Rosberg took the first opportunity to replace his front wing when he pitted for new tyres on lap eight.

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014Kimi Raikkonen came in from sixth on the same lap, and two laps later Red Bull brought Vettel in, but he lost his position to the Ferrari. Ricciardo’s pit stop two laps later temporarily handed the lead to Valtteri Bottas, but once the Williams driver had made his final pit stop Ricciardo was back at the front of the field again.

Raikkonen’s early first pit stop therefore promoted him to second, and behind him Vettel was receiving attention from Rosberg. The Mercedes driver was unimpressed with Vettel using the run-off at Paul Frere curve as an extension of the track, and told his team on the radio Vettel was “cheating at turn 15″.

Shortly afterwards Vettel was told to pay more attention to the track limits, and Rosberg took the opportunity to get a run on him as they approach the chicane. He braked a touch too fiercely, however, locking up his front wheels, and now Bottas was tucked up under his rear wing. As they reached the DRS zone at Kemmel, the Williams driver used his car’s excellent straight-line speed to excellent effect, and having been lining up a move for third place Rosberg was now down to fifth.

The other Mercedes, meanwhile, was a very unhappy place. Hamilton was struggling with a badly damaged floor which was getting worse, and the gains he was making on the cars ahead were gradually diminishing.

Even so, from an early stage he seemed intent on parking his car, despite his team’s assurances that his pace was good and that a Safety Car appearance would give him a strong chance of scoring points. Had Hamilton fallen into the same mindset which led him to abandon his qualifying run at Silverstone?

“My thought is that I already had an engine that’s blown up in the last race,” he explained afterwards. “So I may have lost one engine, so I have one engine less than Nico already, which puts me on the back burner already for the next few races.” For the Mercedes drivers, everything is seen through the prism of their battle with each other.

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Ricciardo holds off Rosberg

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014That suits Ricciardo fine as it keeps giving him chances to win. Rosberg’s damaged front tyres meant he had to make an early second pit stop, forcing him to commit to a three-stop strategy. Once he had done so both he and Ricciardo had one stop left to make – and the pair were separated by almost half a minute.

Rosberg came in for his final pit stop with nine laps left to go. Once back on track he lost little time in passing Bottas and Raikkonen, meaning Red Bull had little opportunity to pit Ricciardo in response had they wanted to.

Rosberg had eighth laps to cut Ricciardo’s 20-second lead, but despite lapping almost two seconds faster than anyone else on the track he simply didn’t have enough laps to get the job done. Unusually the Red Bull proved particularly fleet on the straight, a trait owed to its skinny rear wing. “We pretty much came here with a low downforce setting,” Ricciardo confirmed afterwards.

“We knew it would maybe affect us a bit in the second sector but we believe the car has a good base of downforce to sort of get through the second sector good enough and then what we lose naturally on the straights, running this type of wing, was something that put us back in with a fighting chance for sector one and two.”

Ricciardo used his tyres wisely, and set his fastest lap of the race on the final tour to win by a comfortable 3.3 seconds. Rosberg’s time lost behind Bottas had proved costly.

Magnussen in trouble

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014Life was far from comfortable for their pursuers. Raikkonen’s early first pit stop left him with a long final stint during which he was easily passed by the flying Williams of Bottas. Even so, fourth represented Raikkonen’s best weekend’s work since he returned to Ferrari.

Vettel emerged from a thrilling four-way scrap to claim fifth. Kevin Magnussen defended his position robustly from Fernando Alonso, leading the Ferrari driver to shake his first at the McLaren while he was edged aside at Bruxelles.

But it was on the run towards Les Combes that Magnussen crossed the line, forcing Alonso onto the grass on the straight. The stewards handed him a 20-second penalty after the race which dropped him out of the points.

That promoted Jenson Button in his place, who discovered that being Magnussen’s team mate did not exempt him from similarly firm treatment, and Alonso. The Ferrari driver served a five second penalty in the pits after his mechanics were on the grid after the 15-second warning before the formation lap, and should be grateful his penalty wasn’t more severe.

Behind them the Force Indias sandwiched Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso for the final points after Magnussen was penalised.

An inevitable, avoidable collision

For Hamilton, however, the race had been over for some time. Mercedes finally decided there was no realistic hope of gaining anything from the race with six laps to go, and called him in to retire.

All season long there has been little to separate the Mercedes pair in terms of sheer performance, so perhaps it was inevitable that a collision like this was always going to happen. But the ease with which Rosberg could have avoided it, and his self-serving excuses afterwards about ‘not having seen’ the incident and so being unable to comment on it – as if he hadn’t had a better view of what happened than anyone – will not endear him to those inclined to see the worst in a collision which served him very well.

How well? His points lead over Hamilton more than doubled this weekend to 29. And that scoreline is all these two care about at the moment.

Images © Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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198 comments on Rosberg hits Hamilton and hands another win to Ricciardo

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  1. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 25th August 2014, 0:15

    Very poor decision by Rosberg. A decision that made me lose some respect for him as a driver. He hurt his team mate, his team, but mostly he hurt himself. He finished the race, but at what price?

    It makes on wonder if he would take out an opponent in the last race of the season, especially a double points race, if he knew it would guarantee himself the most points in the WDC.

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 25th August 2014, 0:17

      IT makes *one* wonder…

    • TK (@oeuribe) said on 25th August 2014, 0:45

      I have been thinking about the incident since the race ended and knowing that ROS tried to “make out a point” kind of finally led me to understand the whole situation. All this year Hamilton have pushed Rosberg a little bit harder than any other driver when defending or trying to make an overtake. This was possible as he knew that Rosberg would always back off to prevent any form of collision (this, in my view, can go back to Bahrain). I don’t think that causing a collision is the best way to make this point clear, but also I believe that at some point this was bound to happen in racing if both drivers are on a really equal footing.

      • Toxic (@toxic) said on 25th August 2014, 1:29

        I agree with your point. Hamilton is very aggressive with his racing and Rosberg was bailing out enough. He knows what’s at stake and he wants it. It was a bit clumsy but Hamilton probably tried to squeeze him a bit too far. This time it just didn’t work.
        Is it popular with the fans? No. But will anyone really remember if he ends up winning his first WDC? I don’t think so.
        It was pretty much the same in 2008 for Hamilton. He was in my view too aggressive that year and I felt that he didn’t deserve his title but at the end of the day he is a WDC and what I think doesn’t really matter.
        Personally I would love Daniel to win this year’s title. He is doing stellar job this year and he really became a new Alonso of F1. Having much slower car than the both Mercedes drivers he’s actually slowly but steady chipping away their advantage. Having Double-Dhabi this year, not all is over for him.

        • Guy (@sudd) said on 25th August 2014, 2:13

          @oeuribe and @toxic, Are you guys going to talk about the substantive facts or just make self serving inaccurate claims?

          The facts are Rosberg had fresher tires in Bahrain. So of course Hamilton had to defend hard to keep Rosberg back. It wasn’t so much that Rosberg had to back out of Hamilton’s aggressive moves in Bahrain, it was that Rosberg had more grip and could therefore afford to go deeper under braking and had the luxury of quickly changing lines thanks to his grip advantage. Hamilton did nothing illegal or overly aggressive. So please save us the revisionist history.

          As Keith pointed out, Rosberg could easily avoided the contact. On top of that, he was very self serving post race. Absolutely no remorse for wrecking his teammates race and a 1-2 for the team. How long is the clean cut image of Rosberg going to stand? The guy apparently can do no wrong. “Give a man a inch and he’ll take a foot.” Rosberg is just taking it all at the moment.

          • TK (@oeuribe) said on 25th August 2014, 5:58

            I actually don’t have such a great memory, but that’s the feeling that I have got all season long from their encounters (@sudd if you have some clear example that contradicts this appreciation, please remind me of it because I have clearly forgotten).

            Also, it probably were easy for Rosberg to avoid the contact, but I believe that at the moment he should have been thinking something in the lines of “Why should I always be the one backing of”. Causing a collision is not the appropriate way to express any point and that’s probably an sportsmanlike behavior, but as showed by Perez at Monaco 2013, you shouldn’t expect that your rivals are the ones who always back off.

          • JCost (@jcost) said on 25th August 2014, 8:22

            Rosberg could also easily say sorry on the podium, during press conference or during flash interviews… often this season I hear people claiming Rosberg has the team on his side, but after that 2nd lap misjudgment at Spa, I think he’s not a popular boy at Brackley.

            Nico keeps talking about Bahrain like Lewis did something wrong while holding his ground. It was aggressive but fair, like the battle opposing Alonso to Vettel at Silverstone.

            Overtaking is not showing your nose and wait for the front car getting out of the way. Overtaking is not given, it’s earned!

          • “It wasn’t so much that Rosberg had to back out of Hamilton’s aggressive moves in Bahrain, it was that Rosberg had more grip and could therefore afford to go deeper under braking and had the luxury of quickly changing lines thanks to his grip advantage. Hamilton did nothing illegal or overly aggressive. So please save us the revisionist history.

            Very well said

            I’m getting tired of people going on about Hamilton being aggressive with Rosberg because of Bahrain, dont people remember what happend? I seem to remember Rosberg actually dive-bombing Hamilton from way behind him going into turn 1, and Hamilton taking an avoiding wide line to get better drive out of T1, showing his race craft, i saw nothing aggressive other than Rosbergs attempts to overtake.

            In Hungary, Rosberg was nowhere near along side Hamilton enough to be able to dictate the corner radius, which is what you need to do when passing around the outside, even after Hungary Rosberg didn’t say anything bad about Hamiltons defensive driving there, his problems only lay with the team order buisness, and that he couldn’t make his only over taking attempt work.

          • Toxic (@toxic) said on 25th August 2014, 14:40

            @Guy… “self serving inaccurate claims”? Seriously? It’s just an’ opinion… no need to really jump on anyone.
            It pretty clear that much more people will be now against Rosberg than before but what many of them chose to ignore is the fact that there is a WDC at stake. Rosberg just cannot be the nice guy that he was from the beginning of his whole F1 career really. I always thought that he is too soft to win this this year and I am actually happy that maybe he also got this?
            Don’t get me wrong, I’d prefer to see a clean fight between these two guys but at the same time, I kinda miss the 80s/90s when it was all down to the limit.
            I just hope that Renault will not screw Ricciardo and he’ll be able to keep himself in the race as long as possible.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th August 2014, 2:22

          Did you buy your “Team Rosberg” blindfolds online or at the track ?

          • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 25th August 2014, 3:41

            @hohum – Ha ha, well said.

            After decades of observing Formula 1 and many other racing series I’ve come to a conclusion. The best way to make a statement against any or all of your opponents is to beat them on the track without taking them out, without taking yourself out and without costing your team points with pointless stupid moves.

            I don’t have a dog in the Rosberg/Hamilton hunt. I don’t dislike either driver, but choose to throw my support to drivers like Daniel Ricciardo who race in more of the Jim Clark style.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th August 2014, 4:01

            @bullmello, totallly agree, I like a driver who fights hard, not dirty.

          • socksolid (@socksolid) said on 25th August 2014, 6:21

            @HoHum
            So in this case you prefer hamilton who has been trying to use the media to his adventage by spreading lies and rumours about his team mate? Saying how it is he who has earned it, it is he who made it into f1 purely on merit (the other guy being just “some bloke with rich daddy”) and it is he who is more hungrier or whatever. You know, the same driver who has pushed his team mate off the road in multiple occasions with the mindset that either the other guy lifts off or we crash. And now you are annoyed when the other guy did not jump out of the way to prevent the other guy from crashing into him?

            All I see is lewis complaining and whining all the time in whichever media he gets to publish his words while rosberg doesn’t even bother to respond to his childish remarks. If there is someone who is fighting hard and fair it is the other guy who isn’t doing any of that…

          • JCost (@jcost) said on 25th August 2014, 8:25

            @hohum LOL!

      • bdah3056 said on 25th August 2014, 2:28

        I’m not a fan of either driver, but Hamilton is not the only one guilty of forceful driving. Rosberg actually ran Hamilton off the track on the opening lap in Canada. That day Hamilton lost his place to Vettel. From and objective point, Rosberg does appear to be guilty bending the rules. It’s quite bizarre that each of his mistakes has resulted in him gaining a benefit over his closest competitor.

      • Eric Bormann (@ebchicago) said on 25th August 2014, 3:26

        The problem I have is how early it happened. If you are fighting for the win and you only have a few laps left in the race and so you go for it, that’s racing. 2nd lap? That’s reckless, there is a time and place but the saying you can’t win a race on the first lap but you can lose it applies to the 2nd lap as well. I can’t imagine he tried to do it, I just don’t think he tried hard enough to avoid it.

      • Andrew said on 25th August 2014, 7:52

        Surely Rosberg already make his “point” at the first corner in Canada?

        This is how to make a point, by defending like Hamilton, agressively but fairly. Driving into inevitable accidents is an idiotic and selfish way to make a point and If I were in control of Mercedes there would be very serious concequences.

      • JackL said on 25th August 2014, 14:05

        Theyve both driven aggressively and pushed the limits. Hamilton in Spain and Bahrain and Rosberg in Canada (recall that Hamilton beat him off the line and Rosberg locked up into the first corner trying to stay with him; if Hamilton hadnt yielded they wouldve hit. Interestingly it was also Vettel who took the place initially while Ricciardo went on to win) and Spa. Im giving Rosberg the benfit of the doubt in Monaco. But this was stupid driving. The first rule of F1 is you dont hit your teammate….

    • Mark in Florida said on 25th August 2014, 2:40

      Isn’t Ayrton Senna considered the best driver ever to have walked the earth? I seem to remember that he did the same thing to Prost. So apparently Nico is in good company with his driving. My opinion is that it is a race incident the touch was so slight. There was another similar incident later in the race but no puncture happened. This is just over blown by Hamilton,it didn’t bother him to push Nico off the curve in Hungary so why complain when you get back what you’ve been giving.

      • rafael martins said on 25th August 2014, 4:19

        The point is: Prost did the trick first, then next year Senna. Rosberg is trying to avoid some Hamilton “crazy move” ahead in the championship. Something quite possible. Put fear at enemy, pure mind game that move;

      • manu said on 25th August 2014, 6:10

        In Senna’s case it was understandable because the previous year he had a championship taken away from him because of political moves by the french FIA head, not only that he also had his license suspended for “dangerous driving”

        • Mark in Florida said on 25th August 2014, 15:55

          Senna may have been justified in his actions, but is it right. If so then Nico was justified by the message he sent to Lewis, I’m not getting out of your way anymore or moving over for you to prevent a wreck. I don’t think that Nico was trying to hit Lewis that would be incredibly difficult to predict what kind of damage would occur. I do think he was holding the line and got out of it to late when it wasn’t going to work. If the situation was reversed people would be grousing about why Nico didn’t give Hammy room on the inside because he new he was there. Nico isn’t the golden child so anything less than perfect gentleman driving is going to be heavily criticized. We tend to forget that there are real people in those car’s that have motivations other than what the team or sponsors want. I have said it in an earlier post the second half of the season is going to be the real race. The niceties will go away and raw naked aggression will come to the forefront. It has to, nobody cares who finished second in the championship or who was the nicest driver. Schumacher understood this so did Senna most all champions have that ruthless streak to them. The season is getting really interesting and as strong as Daniel is driving he may just sneak in there and win it all.

          • True, Senna complained about what Prost did the previous year and even said he wasn’t going to race anymore in a political sport. So when he punted Prost people sympathized with him more. Had he not complained about it they probably wouldn’t have sympathized with him as they did. This might be Hamilton’s plan incase Lewis punts Nico at some point in the future.

  2. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 25th August 2014, 0:16

    And, by the way, many congratulations to Daniel Ricciardo for his win! I really like cheering for him. What a breath of fresh air.

  3. W-K (@w-k) said on 25th August 2014, 0:26

    The Independent and the BBC seem to imply that Rosberg hit Hamilton deliberately or at least did nothing to avoid the contact.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/motor-racing/nico-rosberg-takes-out-lewis-hamilton-to-the-fury-of-his-mercedes-bosses-9688615.html

  4. Yes (@come-on-kubica) said on 25th August 2014, 0:36

    I’m so bored of the Mercedes stories now, it’s almost like every is blown out of proportion what next ‘Hamilton say ‘Rosberg didn’t pet my dog he hates all animals’ or Rosberg saying ‘Lewis didn’t say Happy Birthday to me he so rude in private”. The interesting battle is behind them. Some cracking drivers that I would love to see in a battle for pole and the lead, hope Mercedes fall back next season.

    • Michael Brown (@) said on 25th August 2014, 3:53

      I unfollowed Lewis on Facebook. I wonder if he’ll notice.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 25th August 2014, 9:23

      Allow me to state the other point of view. All this is great, fantastic drama and compared to 2013 is not “boring” at all. Gets the emotions going and isaking 2014 a vibtage season. Long may it continue say I.

      • Ju88sy (@ju88sy) said on 25th August 2014, 10:50

        Agreed, been a while (2007 HAM / ALO) since we have had such a fierce battle between team mates. VET stomped on WEB and now RIC is stomping on VET so we can’t look to Redbull. It appears we may have to wait another season for fireworks to fly at Ferarri assuming that ALO & RAI remain unchanged….

        F1 needs these rivalries!

      • Yes (@come-on-kubica) said on 25th August 2014, 13:57

        See I don’t mind the drama but this has become so damn petty. Everything is magnified to the a ridiculous point. BBC definitely made this ridiculous hype train for it. Like the team orders at Hungary, Nico didn’t even ask for it. I’m just getting bored of it.

    • greg-c (@greg-c) said on 25th August 2014, 9:52

      This all started because Lewis took the last bread roll at catering .
      So Nico took the last strawberry milk,
      Its escalated since then,

      Toto took the last steak and Niki broke his arm,
      No one can punch Paddy because he’s to low to the ground,
      And then of course the @lite992 facebook incident,

  5. Mercedes have at least 2 reasos to be very unhappy with Rosberg today.

    He ruined Hamilton’s race but not his own. With a damaged front wing, he lost some positions but was still in place for a win. But destroyed the tyres trying -and failing- to overtake Vettel and did just some 12 laps, or something like that, on the harder tyres.

    He lost the race because of this mistake. Mercedes should have scored 43 points. Lost 25 all due to Rosberg’s fault.

    • schooner (@schooner) said on 25th August 2014, 1:39

      A fair assessment, I’d say. Rosberg had 42 more laps to try and get by Hamilton, and not backing out of that 1st attempt was ill-considered at best. Lauda and Wolff were so obviously livid afterwards, and rightly so. It makes me wonder how the Mercedes brass will attempt to manage their drivers going forward. I foresee some scenario-dependent team orders coming, but how can they even punish one of them for failing to comply? Take away their company car? Interesting times to come.

      • Guy (@sudd) said on 25th August 2014, 2:20

        @schooner, Easy! All they can do is slap on the wrist for Rosberg, or impose team orders and stop them from racing each other. Both routes strangely enough would be beneficial to Rosberg with his 29pt lead. Unless Hamilton is perfect for the remainder of the season and gets pole to checkers every race without mechanical issues. Very unlikely of course.

        • If Mercedes wanted to put their foot down they could replace Rosberg for the next race and make him sit one out. This would give Lewis the chance to level the field again and send a very clear message. I know they won’t do it but that would be something.

    • The biggest reason Toto is upset is because he is embarrassed that there is nothing he will or can do about it, he is too concerned with his personal image in the media to punish anyone

    • There is no Team in Rosberg. He is a wildcard and I think he will spoil his own season and that of Mercedes.

  6. Zane Jakobs (@zjakobs) said on 25th August 2014, 0:42

    .The way I saw it Hamilton left Nico no room whatsoever, and nico tried to get on the power exiting les combes, so as not to be overtaken by cars behind him, Hamilton was there, and took an abnormally tight line on exit, nico and lewis collided. I see it as a racing incident, but if I had to apportion blame, it would be to Hamilton for taking too tight of a line on exit.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 25th August 2014, 0:56

      and took an abnormally tight line on exit

      What, towards the apex of the next corner? That isn’t particularly abnormal.

    • D (@f190) said on 25th August 2014, 0:56

      Sorry but you’re wrong on every possible element.

      Firstly there was no car in a position to challenge Rosberg.

      Hamilton took the normal racing line. Not a tight line. Just the normal racing line.

      Rosberg was to blame. Hamilton this time did nothing wrong at all.

      • Guy (@sudd) said on 25th August 2014, 2:21

        @zjakobs, you’re hopeless. I’m not even going to attempt to correct you.

      • Warren2185 (@warren2185) said on 25th August 2014, 2:41

        The way the rules go, the “Normal racing line” is not a defense to force another driver off the road.
        You can’t take a line to the next apex, or to the track-out when there is another car beside you. That’s considered “forcing the other car off the road” and they hand out penalties for it. They did today actually. So the question is whether Nico was far up enough alongside Lewis for that consideration. Under braking for the right hander. I’d say yes, you’d say no. Remember Lewis is already taking a defensive line to the inside down the straight, forcing Nico to the outside. Would you say Nico was on the “normal racing line”? So Hamilton, who is already off the racing line should guess maybe Nico is to his outside. If Hamilton knows this, it doesn’t give him permission to head to straight to the next apex knowing Nico is there because that then forces Nico off the road. In Hamilton’s defense, the farther in to the right-hander they got, the more out of position Nico was. But can Hamilton still turn back to the left hand apex knowing Nico is there? Whose fault this was is a completely legitimate debate, and the way Formula 1 enforces their “forcing another driver off the track rule” makes it even more so. Both sides have merit.

        • Michael Brown (@) said on 25th August 2014, 3:56

          “Normal racing line” is not a defense to force another driver off the road.

          It sure works in the middle of a corner. Take Magnussen, for example. He can push Alonso wide in Rivage, but got a penalty for pushing him off on a straight.

          So the “Normal racing line” is an excuse to ignore all cars around you because you’re ahead.

          • Dr. Jekyll (@dr-jekyll) said on 25th August 2014, 13:29

            @lite992
            unless there is a car there, then that “excuse” becomes irrelevant because that car has the right to be there too.

            That’s why there is no penalty from the stewards…

            I too agree that ROS could have avoided the accident entirely and so could HAM, but since HAM was in front the team-player would usually be the hind driver…

            The “fault” was mainly Rosberg’s, but it’s still a racing incident.

            HAM counted on ROS acting benevolently, and he didn’t… and now none of them probably will in the future (angry words from niki or toto won’t count in the heat of the moment I suspect)

        • Mr win or lose said on 25th August 2014, 8:11

          So Hamilton, who is already off the racing line should guess maybe Nico is to his outside. If Hamilton knows this, it doesn’t give him permission to head to straight to the next apex knowing Nico is there because that then forces Nico off the road. In Hamilton’s defense, the farther in to the right-hander they got, the more out of position Nico was.

          I completely agree with this. It is a really complicated situation. Rosberg’s move and timing were a little clumsy, but he only wanted Hamilton to compromise the next corner and I think that’s racing. Possibly Hamilton was right to shut the door, but I doubt it was the most sensible thing he could have done. In the end, I think it just was a racing incident.

        • JCost (@jcost) said on 25th August 2014, 8:37

          @warren2185 I think you aware of F1 cars being equipped with brakes, right?

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 25th August 2014, 10:42

          Hamilton, who is already off the racing line should guess maybe Nico is to his outside

          The trouble with this defence- besides the fact that you surely mean inside rather than outside- is that only having the front wing level with the other driver’s rear wheels does not nor ever has equalled ‘being on the inside’ in racing. If you do not believe that sticking only a wing up the inside of of an opponent going into a corner is both careless and entirely the fault of the driver behind, I find it hard to believe that you have watched much racing in the past, or at least understood it.

        • Lewis left him plenty of room to get out of it before the apex of the next corner. This is at the point of impact and you can see just how much room Nico had when he did finally concede. http://tinypic.com/r/2uizl7r/8

    • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 25th August 2014, 13:26

      but if I had to apportion blame, it would be to Hamilton

      Therefore, you are wrong. Hamilton’s rear wheel was in line with Rosberg’s front wheel at the corner, therefore Hamilton is the car in front. In being the car ahead and taking the racing line, not a tight line which you seem to have fabricated, he takes no blame whatsoever for the incident.

    • You may as well say Hamilton did not let Rosberg pass in the previous race when to do so Hamilton would have needed to back off 200 metres to let Rosberg catch up. Why should anyone who is racing give up distance for a teammate who does not perform himself for the team and cant catch the car in front?
      Rosberg has proved several times this season that he does not give a fig for the team but he has to learn that he cant buy a championship (or a seat next season) with unpopular tactics like taking out your teammate. Vetal did the same thing and took both Red Bulls off the circuit. I would be seriously looking at his contract if I were in Mercedes.

  7. VMaxMuffin (@vmaxmuffin) said on 25th August 2014, 0:45

    What a great race by Ricciardo, I really enjoyed that one and it was an excellent win.

    He wasn’t able to do anything about Rosberg, however, even as the Mercedes driver struggled with a loss of downforce.

    I thought Ricciardo was catching Rosberg at the time, which was why they chose to pit him early?

  8. Russ said on 25th August 2014, 0:47

    Hi,Who was the ex-driver race steward this weekend?It has not been mentioned in any article.

  9. Ed Marques (@edmarques) said on 25th August 2014, 1:25

    Rosberg was absolutely careless on that matter (with intention or not) so he should have been penalized. But instead, nothing happened to him. Apparently he can do whatever he wants. When Rosberg pushed Hamilton off in Canada, Lewis backed off, a thing that is completly different, since Lewis did absolutely nothing, he didn’t ran wide, he didn’t pushed Rosberg, he simply stayed on the racing line.
    But nothing will happen (Rosberg got his defenders and the ones that hates Hamilton. Would love to hear if Alonso was the one suffering…) and this may decide the championship.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th August 2014, 2:32

      @edmarques, ROS probably did deserve a penalty but I am happy for RIC as ROS has no excuse for not beating him this race, a penalty would have given ROS an excuse (not necessarilly a valid one) for loseing.

      • JCost (@jcost) said on 25th August 2014, 13:39

        @hohum he can pretend his big lock up trying to make a move on Seb did not happen and say he lost to Dan because he was forced to change his front wing after “being pushed by Hamilton” :)

        @edmarques Nico did defend his ground in Canada pushing Lewis out and still thinks he needs to “prove a point”…

    • Rosburg wont get a penalty while is Father is one of the stewards on race day.

  10. DaveW (@dmw) said on 25th August 2014, 1:32

    And what happened with Rosberg in Pouhon when he was passed by Bottas? Looks like he fat-fingered the pit limiter or something. What a hideous race by that guy. Also the team was saying he would be right on Danny on the last lap, every tenth is needed, they said. I think they were giving him some extra stick there out of frustration. In the end he was not even close to Ricciardo, which I’m sure will be the subject of some teeth-sucking reviews of his traces tonight.

  11. lawrence said on 25th August 2014, 1:38

    To quote a guy from another forum:

    Hamilton has on many occasions closed the door on Rosberg, expecting him to be the sensible one. Sooner or later Nico was going to become fed up with that. So today he did not go out of his way to avoid contact. And he was clever enough to pick a situation that would hurt Hamilton more than him. Clever man.

    I see the taste of the Ad revenue is too much for Keith to resist, so he decided to put this nonsense of a title to the article. “Rosberg hits Hamilton”… Hamilton ran over Nico’s front wing when it was completely avoidable. It’s not like Nico just put it there on the entry of the corner. When they entered the first right-hander, they were side by side. Nico was actually backing out as they were edging towards the next left-hander but Hamilton did what he was doing all year long – tried to cut off Nico and try to make him be the sensible one who pulls out in order to avoid contact and save the points for the team. Little did he know that Rosberg won’t be pushed any more. Rosberg made a point of holding his ground, while Lewis unnecessarily attempted to bully him out of the move, instead of sensibly taking a bit more cautious line. It backfired for both Lewis and the team.

    I can’t believe anyone is still buying Lewis’ nonsense. Guy did his best to inject toxic atmosphere in the team with his nonsense interviews all year long, and did his best to put Rosberg in the situations where they would crash if Rosberg doesn’t pull out of the move, even if it was always at the expense of the team.

    I think Lewis actually got served his own medicine today by Nico, and Nico being the smarter one, did it much better than Lewis ever did.

    I know that unlike some people who are still buying whiner’s drama, I am getting more and more respect for Rosberg. When he is racing for the team, he is really racing for the team. But when he is racing for himself, he is lethal. Lewis can’t even pull off a real killer move, but he for sure can talk about being hungry and what not for days on end.

    • Bookgrub said on 25th August 2014, 1:53

      To date in the season I have felt that Rosberg has, overall, outperformed Hamilton. I feel that Hamilton has been a more forceful driver on track, and that given heightened tension within the team Rosberg probably felt he did have to make a point and push back.

      But doing it in that corner, that early in the race, when Hamilton had the line and track position, was careless. Rosberg caused the collision by putting his car where it didn’t belong. Hamilton gave him all the room he deserved, because Rosberg did not deserve any of the track his wing was occupying when they collided.

      Keith’s headline, in my view, is accurate and a fair representation of the race.

      Still hope Rosberg gets up over Hamilton for the WDC, though.

      • “To date in the season I have felt that Rosberg has, overall, outperformed Hamilton.”

        I’m just going go ahead and say ‘lol’.

        Nico would be nowhere close to Hamilton this year if he wasn’t given full access to Hamiltons data after Hamilton smashed him in Malaysia and China. That combined with poor reliability, and a pinch of cheating on Nicos part, is whats kept him even close to Hamilton.

    • evered7 (@evered7) said on 25th August 2014, 1:54

      I think Rosberg kept his car almost to the side of Hamilton’s sidepods before backing off. But Hamilton probably should have exercised caution before trying to take the racing line into the corner. He assumed Rosberg would back off significantly which has happened before, but this time Rosberg stood his ground.

      I initially didn’t like the way he complained about wanting to retire but on the hindsight concerning reliability issues, he could be right in his approach. But his comments to the media about Rosberg accepting that he hit him was bitter. Rosberg said he did not back off wanting to prove a point but that doesn’t mean he deliberately hit him. Which is what Hamilton is implying to the world in his comments.

      Wolff has confirmed what was originally said by Rosberg. If it is a meeting behind closed doors, I assume it would stay that way. I am not sure Mercedes are going to happy with Hamilton washing dirty linen in public.

      • Maybe Rosberg thought Hamilton should have let him pass because he had more points due to Hamiltons past mechanical unreliability. This time he was closer than 200 meters.
        Somehow I dont think Rosberg will get any favourable treatment from Red Bull and his credit may have run out at Mercedes. Exciting season.

    • Guy (@sudd) said on 25th August 2014, 2:38

      @lawrence, you’re hopeless man. You couldn’t be more wrong. BTW, those claiming Hamilton didn’t leave Rosberg room, what exactly does that mean? Hamilton was on the inside line just at the edge of the curb. Is it his responsibility to jump on the curb or into the grass so Rosberg could make a hail marry attempt from the outside on lap 2!

      Or maybe you’re asking for space in the subsequent left hander. Is is Hamilton’s responsibility to run wide right into the “marbles” or dirty side of the track with very little grip so Rosberg could complete his hopeless attempt? That complex of right-left corners is basically a chicane, so from Kemmel straight its hard on the brakes than immediate right-left. Once you turn right, you immediately have to turn left to make the apex. Very simple stuff really. When you ask for space, what you’re actually asking for is Hamilton to yield his position to a guy who is on the outside and behind him? Unless you think he can make his car vanish, there is no space to be given up unless Hamilton runs over the curbs on the right side, into the dirty section of the track and possibly end up in the barriers due to poor traction.

      Watch these videos if its not clear to you:
      http://blog.axisofoversteer.com/2014/08/hamilton-and-rosberg-crash-whos-at-fault.html

      • evered7 (@evered7) said on 25th August 2014, 2:46

        Nice link BTW :)

      • Warren2185 (@warren2185) said on 25th August 2014, 2:58

        Guy, Formula 1 has the rule you can’t force another driver off the track, just because Hamilton is heading for the racing line, doesn’t give him automatic permission to force Nico to drive off course to avoid him. if Nico was beside him under braking, where does the rule allow Hamilton to drive him to the edge of the road, racing line or no racing line. So then the argument is when did Hamilton realize Nico was beside him and when did Hamlton decide Nico wasn’t beside him any longer, and then run to the edge of the track?

        How is this different than the “cannot force driver off track rule”? As interpreted, if a driver is beside, but on the outside, of another driver, are you arguing the inside driver shouldn’t have to lift to leave room on the outside so he doesn’t push that driver off, after all, it’s the inside drivers racing line to drift to track-out. Or in this situation, should he lift, loose speed, leave room on the outside and thus, “yield his position”.

        I don’t really want a response, I’m just saying in my opinion, there are many ways to apply the “cannot force another driver off rule”. Nico was beside him briefly, doesn’t that count? Hamilton never “cleared him” before turning back left.

        • Guy (@sudd) said on 25th August 2014, 5:08

          @warren2185, well guess what buddy? You’re getting a response!

          1. You dislike Hamilton so much that you can’t see the situation straight.
          2. At no particular point was Rosberg forced off track. So please stop fabricating things that make absolutely no sense. Mag on Alonso is forcing someone off track, which he was penalized for. If you think that incident is in any way similar to the Ros/Ham collision, you need help and a better understanding of racing.
          3. Nico was never alongside. Hence his FRONT wing made contact with Hamilton’s REAR tire.

          A guy from behind runs his front wing into the rear tires of the car in front, and you some how blame the guy in front. Unbelievable! Not a single person from the F1 community(reporters, journalists, drivers, commentators, etc) has defended Rosberg on this collision, I wonder why? Because it was his fault. If the stewards had punished Rosberg, I could see people defending him and saying a penalty was not merited. There would be people for and against a penalty. That I can understand. But people like you claiming Hamilton was at fault for the collision is just absurd!

          Rosberg committed what is considered a cardinal sin in motorsports towards his teammate and his team, and yet you try to convince us he was the innocent one. GET A CLUE!

          • Wil-Liam (@wil-liam) said on 25th August 2014, 10:28

            +100

          • Chris Jordan said on 25th August 2014, 16:51

            +1000

          • USRacer said on 25th August 2014, 18:41

            Nico was never alongside. Hence his FRONT wing made contact with Hamilton’s REAR tire.

            You contradict yourself. Front wing to rear tire contact, but not from the side? So he hit him from behind? They were side by side entering and Hamilton just missed clearing him on exit.

        • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 25th August 2014, 13:50

          How is this different than the “cannot force driver off track rule”?

          Because Hamilton didn’t force Rosberg off the track. Rosberg wasn’t far enough beside Hamilton to need to take such evasive action, and Hamilton is well within his rights to take his line being that far in front. Rosberg could’ve stayed on the track and avoided contact.

          Nico was beside him briefly, doesn’t that count?

          Rosberg wasn’t beside Hamilton. If Driver A’s front wheel is alongside Driver B’s rear wheel this means Driver B is in front, and therefore it is for Driver A to lift off or brake because he is the driver behind.

          Hamilton never “cleared him” before turning back left.

          That is irrelevant, Hamilton was far enough ahead to be considered the one in front going into the corner.

      • Todd (@foxxx) said on 25th August 2014, 8:37

        be an armchair expert all you want, if you watched the GP2 race you would have seen plenty of overtaking through those corners, no different to where rosberg was, the car in front just didn’t attempt to make the second apex like hamiton did in order to leave room for the car trying to overtake. by not going for the second apex you’re still on the inside for the 3rd, and both cars can survive without accident through the corner.

        hamiton pushed, again like he always does to his team”mate” and rosberg is sick of being pushed around (see bahrain) and jumping out of his way. it takes 2 to make a crash, hamilton had just as many options as rosberg.

        • John H (@john-h) said on 25th August 2014, 11:33

          So Massa was also to blame for Singapore 2011 then? @foxxx

        • Hamilton dear fellow was leading the race. Rosberg at no time was alongside wheel to wheel. They could have gone for a one two having let the race calm down but Rosberg was not prepared to wait for the straight run. He went looking for trouble.
          Taking out your team mate is unforgivable and the fans let him know. He spoiled the day of many racing fans. That is not racing in any formula.

      • Deb Luhi (@debeluhi) said on 25th August 2014, 12:01

        @sudd If you read the article on the link you provided, rather than just watching the clips you’ve notice that lawrence makes a valid point. The author of the article concludes “Both went for the same piece of road, neither yielded, classic racing incident.” or in other words, Hamilton has a role in this and that is what lawrence is pointing out.

        • Absolute rubbish. It was unnecessary and careless when Hamilton was leading the race. Why not wait until the straight if Rosberg was so fast? Hot headed attempt to overtake the lead driver on a corner. It was completely unnecessary on the part of Rosberg.
          He spoiled the Mercedes team effort. Those poor mechanics who work their backsides of for some rich kid (sorry but he is) to throw his toys out. It’s just not good enough.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th August 2014, 2:44

      Larry, I suspect you are the guy from the other forum. ROS lost position and was desperate not to let HAM build a gap so made a silly totally avoidable error which cost the team 25 points, he was lucky it was not 43 points, which is why Nikki and Toto are angry but you no doubt believe there is a conspiracy in MB to hand HAM the WDC.

      • Mr win or lose said on 25th August 2014, 8:37

        ROS lost position and was desperate not to let HAM build a gap

        And that’s why Rosberg didn’t even need DRS to get alongside Hamilton?

    • Todd (@foxxx) said on 25th August 2014, 8:34

      +1 agreed.

      hamilton keeps pushing rosberg around and rosberg for the good of the team keeps jumping out of the way, he decided to stop being pushed around, he wants to win the WDC just like hamilton and he being pushed around by a bully wont get him it.

      kudos to rosberg.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 25th August 2014, 13:53

      Sir, Lewis was clearly ahead. Seb had more momentum than Nico a lap before he failed to make the move in the very same corner and went wide. Seb did not complain about that. Nico defended his groung in Canada pushing Lewis out and nobody said he played dirty.

      Nico hit Lewis REAR tyre with his FRONT wing! How could him be side by side?

      Now it’s Lewis fault Wolff and Lauda did not like it? C’mon. Nico Rosberg didn’t even bother to say sorry neither to the team nor to his team mate after the race on the podium! When asked about the boos by a Sky reporter he said “fans should read regulations first” … very classy.

    • DMC (@dmc) said on 25th August 2014, 16:22

      My Thoughts exactly!

    • DMC (@dmc) said on 25th August 2014, 16:23

      spot on!

  12. Crackers (@crackers) said on 25th August 2014, 1:51

    One thing that all commentators seem to be missing is Red Bull’s unusual top speed at Spa. Almost every commentator is putting it down to Red Bull’s skinny wing, but it is deeper than that. In past seasons we have seen Red Bull cars bouncing off the rev limiter in 7th gear sometimes halfway down the straights (I especially remember this being the case in 2013 at Spa). In this way, their straight line speed wasn’t hampered by creating too much down force at all. This created problems for the Bulls in traffic, as their DRS was effectively useless, simply getting them into the rev limiter sooner.

    This year, with fixed gear ratios and engines barely used beyond 11k rpm, Red Bull aren’t hampered by a pesky rev limiter stopping them getting more speed out of the DRS, nor are they choosing gear ratios which run out halfway down the straights. Thus we’re seeing them breeze through traffic much more easily than in the past.

    • tezza (@terro55) said on 25th August 2014, 2:15

      g’day crackers . I don’t know mate i tend to think it’s mainly that tea-tray wing . the rb10 has been a ”cucumber” this year .

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 25th August 2014, 2:52

      According to what I heard (interrupted by ads. in Oz) from Sky team, RBR were using extra electric power to boost top speed, so I assume they have re-written the software to save boost for where it is really needed rather than useing it evenly across the rev range. More info please.

    • effone said on 25th August 2014, 3:57

      @crackers @hohum What’s also being missed is that as of Friday Aug 22nd, Red Bull have used their one time in 2014 right to renominate the gear ratio sets in their cars:

      A seal was broken on the gearbox of car numbers 01, driver Sebastian Vettel, and 03, driver Daniel
      Ricciardo, in order to replace all change gear ratio pairs and associated dog rings for re-nominated
      ones.
      This was done in accordance with Article 9.6.2 of the 2014 Formula One Technical Regulations
      .

      http://www.fia.com/sites/default/files/championship/documents/Doc16.pdf

  13. Guy (@sudd) said on 25th August 2014, 2:27

    @keithcollantine, thanks for confirming my suspicions at the start. I saw Hamilton went over his grid slot but they never showed him reversing back. I was so nervous at the start that he was going to get a drive through.

    • Homer said on 25th August 2014, 10:14

      David Coulthard on the BBC broadcast spotted Hamilton being out of position, and reversing into the proper position. He wasn’t sure that was allowed… but I guess it was.

      • IamSleepyWill said on 25th August 2014, 11:38

        He almost certainly rolled back, which is definitely allowed. The TV camera’s fail to capture just how steep that section of the grid is, and there is no way Ham would have had time to engage reverse then engage L1 in time for the start.

        Reversing is not allowed in the pits, that is for sure, it is not so clear cut on the grid – but we can say with some certainty that HAM did not reverse, he rolled.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 25th August 2014, 14:09

      He reversed, comentators said it.

      • He went backwards due to gravity. The start is on a hill.

      • Right before the start David said that the drivers have to put their foot on the brakes otherwise they will roll back to the chicane. It was assumed he reversed and the stewards have all the telemetry and since they love punishing Lewis they would have given him a penalty if he engaged reverse, if it was illegal. Alonso tried to reverse in Silverstone but didn’t because he said the lights started coming on so he had to go, so if he was going to do it then I guess its not illegal provided you do it before the guy flags off the race.

  14. Hemz Shaw (@hemzshaw) said on 25th August 2014, 4:28

    As much I would support ForceIndia being an Indian (sad we don’t have any active Indian drivers in F1) will be the support for Lewis. Nationality sometimes does obscure our vision. Sure there will be many exceptions and they will in all possibility be majority as well. But the fact remains that people would support teams/drivers belonging to their nationality. Massa/Checko could be something where Massa was more supported because Massa was driving a Williams?

    Booing of Nico (not a fan of either though I have met Ham personally) was not nice. It is just like booing RIC for beating Vettel, only that Vettel wasn’t challenging enough.

    Give it a break guys. Constant complaining by fans of both Nico and Ham is making it real boring.

  15. Luca Nuvolari (@nuvolari71) said on 25th August 2014, 4:56

    I don’t believe Nico hit Lewis on purpose, even if Nico himself tells me in my face.

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