The FIA stewards in Barcelona have taken no action over the clash between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg on the first lap of the Spanish Grand Prix, deeming it to have been a racing incident.
Rosberg made the better start from second on the grid, sweeping around the outside of Hamilton at the first corner.
Hamilton fought back and lined up a move down the inside of Turn 4, with Rosberg shifting his car to the right-hand side of the track to block him off.
Hamilton refused to back down though, moving onto the grass and losing control. His car clipped the barrier before then careering into Rosberg ahead, eliminating both drivers on the spot.
Both made their way to the Mercedes motorhome along with team bosses Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe, where they were “apologetic and upset” as per Wolff.
Wolff himself said that it was impossible to apportion 100% of the blame to either driver, an assertion that the stewards agreed with when they issued their report after the race.
The stewards also confirmed that Rosberg was running in the wrong power mode, causing him to lose pace into the corner.
Here’s their verdict in full. For reference, Car 6 is Rosberg and Car 44 is Hamilton.
“The incident concerned started when Car 6 dropped into an incorrect power mode, as set by the driver prior to the start. This created a significant power differential between Car 6 and Car 44 at the exit of Turn 3 coming onto the straight, resulting in as much as a 17kph speed difference between the two cars on the straight. Car 6 moved to the right to defend his position, as is his right under Art 27.7 of the Sporting regulations.
“Simultaneously Car 44 as the significantly faster car with, at that time, apparent space on the inside, moved to make the pass. Art 27.7 requires the leading driver to leave room, if there is a ‘significant portion’ of the car attempting to pass alongside.
“Car 44 had a portion of his front wing inside Car 6 small fractions of a second prior to Car 44 having to leave the right side of the track to avoid an initial collision, which may have led him to believe he had the right to space on the right. Once on the grass on the side of the track Car 44 was no longer in control of the situation.
“Having heard extensively from both drivers and from the team, the Stewards determined that Car 6 had the right to make the maneuver that he did and that Car 44’s attempt to overtake was reasonable, and that the convergence of events led neither driver to be wholly or predominantly at fault, and therefore take no further action.”