- Belgian GP - Race
Rosberg was trying to make a point - Wolff
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff insists the accident between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the Belgian Grand Prix was not deliberate, but that Rosberg was trying to make a point by not backing out.
The incident occurred on the second lap of the race as Rosberg attempted to pass Hamilton at Les Combes, only to make contact with his team-mate's left rear tyre. The resulting puncture ruined Hamilton's race and caused damage to his car that later led to his retirement.
Rosberg was behind Hamilton as the chicane switched back, but rather than take to the ample run-off he stayed on track and caused the clash. In a post-race meeting, Hamilton said Rosberg had admitted to causing the collision on purpose, but Wolff, who was also in the meeting, said that was not the case.
"Nico felt he needed to hold his line [in the corner]," Wolff said. "He needed to make a point, and for Lewis, it was clearly not him who needed to be aware of Nico. He [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 amongst ourselves, but it wasn't deliberately crashing. That is nonsense. It was deliberately taking into account that if Lewis moves or would open then it could end up in a crash.
"What we saw there was that Nico was not prepared to take the exit, and that caused the collision. That is not something we want to happen."
Wolff said the drivers would have to be managed going forward but that the team has not yet decided on how it will do it.
"There will be no knee-jerk reaction. We have to consider what will happen. We are going to sit down with everybody and decide what to do, when everybody is in a cooler, calmer frame of mind.
"I'm very disappointed with the whole situation, that it has gone so far. I thought with the two of them, with the way they have previously driven against one another, that it wouldn't come to this point. But we are at that point and it needs to be managed going forward."