Mercedes have made it clear that their drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg remain free to race wheel-to-wheel during the remainder of the season, despite the duo being involved in an infamous accident at Spa last weekend.
On the second lap of the Belgian Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg clipped the tyres of teammate Lewis Hamilton at Les Combes, resulting in a puncture for the Brit and a subsequent retirement later in the race. Rosberg continued after a change of front wing to finish only second, leaving Mercedes with just 18 extra points on a track where they should have easily scored a maximum of 43.
After their drivers broke the golden rule of Formula 1 of not running into each other, Mercedes F1 chiefs held a private meeting at their factory in UK and came up with a conclusion that their drivers should be allowed to race till the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
“Mercedes-Benz remains committed to hard, fair racing because this is the right way to win world championships. It is good for the team, for the fans and for Formula One,’’ read team’s official statement.
“It has been made clear that another such incident will not be tolerated. But Nico and Lewis are our drivers and we believe in them.
“They remain free to race for the 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship.”
The team also took ‘disciplinary action against’ Rosberg whom they believed was responsible for the accident.
“During this meeting, Nico acknowledged his responsibility for the contact that occurred on lap two of the Belgian Grand Prix and apologised for this error of judgement.”
“Suitable disciplinary measures have been taken for the incident.”
The German himself accepted the blame for the accident, calling it as an ‘error of judgement’ in a separate press release.
“I have already expressed my regret about the incident but, after meeting with Toto, Paddy and Lewis today, I wish to go a step further and describe it as an error of judgement on my part.
“The number one rule for us as team-mates is that we must not collide but that is exactly what happened.”
“For that error of judgement, I apologise to Lewis and the team. I also want to say sorry to the fans who were deprived of our battle for the lead in Belgium,’’ he added.