Rosberg: “I was faster, and I gave it a go”

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Nico Rosberg is refusing to be drawn into the debate about his clash with Lewis Hamilton during today’s Belgian Grand Prix until he has seen the TV footage, but is set to face the wrath of team bosses Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff tonight.

When trying to pass his Mercedes teammate and championship rival, Rosberg touched the Briton’s left-rear tire, leaving Hamilton with a puncture. He did manage to get the car back to the pits, albeit well down the order, and that is where he stayed until he retired from the race late on.

Both Wolff and Lauda have condemned the incident, and the team is planning to hold a meeting at 1645 local time today to discuss it. In the post-race press conference, Rosberg said that he would not comment on the clash until he had seen it.

“To be honest, I’m not in a position to comment yet,” he said. “I won’t comment on it at all because in the heat of the moment.

“Of course, very disappointing from the team’s perspective, because we could have done a lot better than just finishing in second place with the car that we had, because our car has really been special this weekend.”

Rosberg admitted that the incident was disappointing, but felt that he was faster than Hamilton at that particular moment.

“I haven’t heard it myself from these people you have mentioned, but of course I will respect their opinion,” he said with reference to Wolff and Lauda. “I myself don’t have an opinion until I see it on the TV.

“All I know is that I was faster, and I gave it a go, and the inside was blocked so I gave it a go around the outside.

“Of course, it’s very disappointing.”

This clash allowed Daniel Ricciardo to pounce and claim his third win of the 2014 season for Red Bull.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry. Time just published a brief piece by Wallace saluting Hamilton as a trailblazer.

The idea of Hamilton attending the NASCAR season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).