Lauda blames Hamilton for Rosberg collision

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg crashed out on the first lap of the Spanish Grand ...
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg crashed out on the first lap of the Spanish Grand Prix, but Toto Wolff is yet to apportion blame. PHOTO/OmniSport

Toto Wolff refused to attribute all of the blame to either Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg for a dramatic first-lap collision which resulted in the Mercedes duo crashing out of the Spanish Grand Prix.

Hamilton started on pole at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Sunday, but dropped to second when team-mate and championship leader Rosberg passed him on the outside at turn one.

World champion Hamilton attempted to move back in front on the inside at turn four, but was squeezed onto the grass and made contact with the German.

Both cars went spinning off the track and out of the race, which was won by Max Verstappen, prompting Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda to point the finger at Hamilton.

But Mercedes head of motorsport Wolff told Channel 4: “Niki has the driver’s opinion and instinct reaction and that’s fair enough, but as a driver you see it black and white. As a team we have looked at the data and it is not a clear picture.

“Lewis tried to dive in, Nico closed the door. Let’s see what the stewards say.

“For us it’s not a situation where you can attribute 100 per cent of the blame to one of the drivers.”

Three-time F1 world champion Lauda said of the incident: “Completely unnecessary I would say. For both Mercedes to be out after one lap is unacceptable.

“Lewis was too aggressive to pass him, why should Nico give him room – he was leading. It was a miscalculation in Lewis’ head, I blame him more than Nico.”

Verstappen took advantage of Mercedes’ absence to become the youngest winner of an F1 race at the age of 18 on his Red Bull debut, having been promoted from Toro Rosso.

Report by OmniSport

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