After twelve races, the inevitable has happened: Mercedes teammates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton collided out on track whilst fighting for the lead of today’s Belgian Grand Prix.
Having started from pole, Rosberg made a poor start to drop to third place behind Hamilton and Vettel. The Red Bull driver fell back behind Rosberg after running wide, allowing the German driver to have a run on Hamilton.
He appeared to have the measure of him on the back straight, but Hamilton had track position, and defending well into Les Combes. Rosberg did not pull out of the move, though, and tried an opportunistic pass on his teammate around the outside of the corner.
The front wing of Rosberg’s car made contact with Hamilton’s left-rear tire, giving the Briton a puncture and costing Rosberg his front endplate. The German continued, but Hamilton was reduced to a crawl thanks to the damage to his car.
He did managed to get his car back to the pits to take on a fresh set of tires, but the damage to Hamilton’s race was done: he was already way down the order.
In one of the most fascinating championship battles in years, this is the latest chapter in an intra-team relationship that appears to be quickly souring.