Mercedes’ motorsport boss Toto Wolff says that Nico Rosberg didn’t deliberately crash into Lewis Hamilton and that his comments during the post race debrief were misinterpreted by the latter.
Earlier today, Lewis Hamilton revealed that Rosberg has confessed the team that he deliberately ran into him to ‘prove a point’. While Wolff dismissed such comments as ‘nonsense’, he did admit that Rosberg deliberately didn’t back off when he should have, essentially holding him responsible for the accident.
Hamilton was the big loser from the accident, sustaining an immediate puncture that eventually forced him to retire from the race with five laps to go. Rosberg, meanwhile continued after changing his nose during a scheduled tyre stop to take second at the chequered flag.
"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."