Mercedes has released a statement confirming that its drivers are still free to race following a meeting at its F1 headquarters today to discuss the incident during last Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.
After a dispute over team orders in Hungary, Rosberg went into the race weekend at Spa looking to “prove a point”, and refused to back out of an overtaking move on Hamilton on the second lap of the race. The two drivers made contact, leaving Hamilton with a puncture that ruined his race. Rosberg managed to recover to finish the race in second place, thus extending his lead to 29 points at the top of the drivers’ championship.
In a post-race debrief, Rosberg admitted that he could have backed out of the move and chose not to, leaving team bosses fuming.
The F1 community was then left to consider just how Mercedes could move forwards in 2014, and whether its drivers would remains free to race amid their title fight. However, this appears to have been resolved in a meeting today between Rosberg, Hamilton, and the team bosses.
“Toto Wolff, Paddy Lowe, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton met today in the boardroom of Mercedes AMG Petronas headquarters in Brackley to discuss the events of the Belgian Grand Prix,” a statement from the team reads.
“During this meeting, Nico acknowledged his responsibility for the contact that occurred on lap two of the Belgian Grand Prix and apologized for this error of judgement. Suitable disciplinary measures have been taken for the incident.
“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 1.
“Lewis and Nico understand and accept the team’s number one rule: there must be no contact between the team’s cars on track.
“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 1 World Championship.”
Although the team appears to have defused the situation, there will still be questions when Rosberg and Hamilton next go into battle on track. However, it has been made quite clear that a repeat of the fall-out from Spa will not be accepted by the team.
The two title protagonists will next enter battle at the Italian Grand Prix, which takes place on September 7th.