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Rosberg could be punished by FIA after Hamilton clash

2014-08-25 15:15:26

Nico Rosberg could face punishment from Formula 1 bosses after Lewis Hamilton said the German admitted to deliberately colliding with him.

In a Mercedes meeting reviewing their clash on lap two of Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix, Hamilton claimed Rosberg "basically said he did it on purpose".

Causing a collision is an offence under F1's sporting regulations.

Had the information come to light before the result was finalised, the stewards would have investigated.

An FIA spokesman said the result had been declared official, adding: "So for us, it's over."

Toto Wolfe
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Rosberg-Hamilton
clash unacceptable

The FIA has the power to re-open a case and reconvene the stewards of a meeting if further evidence comes to light, as it now has following Hamilton's remarks and Mercedes' admission that they were a "broadly accurate" reflection of the meeting.

Hamilton and Rosberg touched on lap two. Rosberg's front wing hit Hamilton's left rear tyre, giving Hamilton a puncture that ultimately caused his retirement.

Rosberg recovered from a damaged front wing to finish second.

After a meeting with Rosberg and Mercedes bosses Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe, Hamilton said: "He said he could have avoided it but he didn't want to. He basically said, 'I did it to prove a point.'"

However, Wolff said Rosberg's remarks had been misinterpreted.

Wolff admitted Hamilton had accurately represented what Rosberg said, but added: "Nico felt he needed to hold his line. He needed to make a point and for Lewis it was clearly not him who needed to be aware of Nico.

Great tussle between Alonso, Vettel, Button and
Magnussen toward the end of the race

"(Rosberg) didn't give in. He thought it was for Lewis to leave him space and that Lewis didn't leave him space.

"So they agreed to disagree in a very heated discussion among ourselves, but it wasn't deliberately crashing. That is nonsense."

Wolff said Rosberg was to blame and indicated that Mercedes could take internal disciplinary action.

FIA president Jean Todt must decide whether he wants to pursue what some will regard as a serious matter.

The Frenchman, in contrast to his dictatorial predecessor Max Mosley, has tended to take a non-confrontational approach to disciplinary issues in F1 since becoming president in 2009.

But if Todt takes further action with so much information in the public domain, some will feel it sets a dangerous precedent.

A senior figure in F1 with knowledge of the stewards' process described the clash as "a little incident with fairly profound consequences".

The stewards judged the clash between Hamilton and Rosberg on lap two of the race as a 'racing incident' and decided to take no further action.

But the senior figure added that had the FIA known of Rosberg's remarks before the meeting was declared over, "the stewards might have hauled him up and said we need to reinvestigate it because we need to look at it in a completely different way".

If the FIA starts an investigation, it has a number of options.

Hamilton has claimed Nico said he "did it to prove a point'."

These range from imposing a retrospective penalty on Rosberg's result in Belgium, through a grid demotion at a subsequent event up to the very slim likelihood of a disqualification from Belgium or a subsequent race.

The German now has a 29-point advantage over Hamilton with seven races remaining and a maximum of 200 points available as a result of the decision to award double points at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

Rosberg has issued a statement since the Mercedes meeting, but did not make a reference to his remarks.

He said he "regretted that Lewis and myself touched but I see it as a racing incident".

Mercedes replaced Rosberg's front wing after the clash which also caused a rear puncture to Hamilton's car

Rosberg added: "I was quicker at the time and there was an opportunity, so I gave it a go around the outside as the inside was blocked.

"I didn't see any risk in overtaking, or trying to overtake, so why should I not try? The opportunity was there even without DRS because I was so much quicker, so I gave it a go.

"Inside was not possible, so I tried around the outside. Should I have waited? That is very hypothetical. Who knows what happens afterwards?

"The opportunity was there and, for me, it wasn't a risky situation."

Full race results


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