Devastating day for the Silver Arrows in Spain. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg both failed to finish the 2016 Pirelli Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya after a collision on the 1st lap. Stewards rule no further action will be taken against either driver after it was deemed a racing incident. Nico Rosberg leads the Drivers’ Championship by 39 points while Lewis Hamilton is in P3. MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS (P1) lead Ferrari (P2) by 48 points in the Constructors’ Championship.
Lewis Hamilton: I had a decent start from pole but got slipstreamed on the way to the first corner and lost the lead. Coming out of turn three, I was catching Nico really quickly and went for the gap on the right – I had part of my car alongside but then had to take to the grass. The gap was there and, if you’re a racing driver, you go for that gap. We saw what happened after that. I’m hurt and disappointed for the team most of all because we lost 43 points today. We’re all here working together towards the same result and the team give me the opportunity to race with the work they do. When I came to a stop in the gravel trap, all I could think about was how gutted I was for the team – that’s where I feel the pain. But we will move on together and come back stronger in Monaco.
Nico Rosberg: I had a great start and I was ecstatic after passing Lewis around the outside of turn one. At that point, it was my race to win. I came out of turn three and realised I was down on power with the wrong mode selected due to the engine mode switch being in the incorrect position. Lewis was closing in, so I decided to make a clear move to the right hand side as soon as possible, to close the door and show him that wasn’t an option. I was very surprised that Lewis went for the inside anyway. The next thing I knew, we were in the gravel trap. I’m gutted, not just for myself but for the whole team, it’s the worst feeling as a driver.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: After all the hard work we’ve put in over the past two weeks it’s deeply disappointing to come away with no points, but in my opinion this was a racing incident, with the drivers racing for position, and I don’t want to start blaming one or the other. Both Lewis and Nico are upset and we talked with them, looking at the pictures and the data, to determine exactly what happened. By letting the drivers race as we do, this kind of eventuality can happen but we won’t change our approach – we owe it to Formula One and the fans to let them race. But today, it was the work of the whole team that finished in the gravel trap, and this isn’t what we want to see happen – both of the boys know how much hard work goes into each race weekend and that they have the responsibility to bring that home. We have matured as a team over the past years, so we will be able to move on from this and, hopefully, fight back in a positive way in Monaco. I want to add a word for Max, too; on a bad day for us, he sprinkled a bit of magic on the sport, so big congratulations to him on what I’m sure is only the first of his Grand Prix wins.
Source: mercedes AMG F1