Wolff: Rosberg, Hamilton apologetic and upset; neither fully to blame

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Mercedes Formula 1 chief Toto Wolff believes it is not possible to fully blame either Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg for their crash at the beginning of Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Hamilton and Rosberg crashed out at Turn 4 on the opening lap in Barcelona, ending Mercedes’ 100% record in 2016 and stoking the fire of their tenuous intra-team relationship.

Replays showed Rosberg trying to defend his inside line from Hamilton as the Briton attempted an overtake, only to lose control when he moved onto the grass.

In the immediate aftermath of the incident, viewers of the race were split on who to blame, although Mercedes non-executive director Niki Lauda pointed the finger at Hamilton.

However, after speaking with both Rosberg and Hamilton, Wolff said that both drivers were apologetic and that it was impossible to apportion 100% of the blame to either one of them.

“Of course they are both upset for themselves and the team,” Wolff told NBCSN.

“They were both apologetic to the team. We lost a potential one-two, lost 43 points. It was just thrown away.

When asked if either was fully to blame, Wolff said: “No. It was a very difficult situation and difficult to analyze. There was not a clear cut thing.

“Coming out of the corner, Nico closed up the door, and then Lewis went on the grass. Definitely not 100% for one and zero for the other.”

Michael Schumacher’s son to make F1 practice debut at Nurburgring

F1 Mick Schumacher
Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
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MARANELLO, Italy — Mick Schumacher, son of the legednary seven-time champion, will have an official Formula One drive during an F1 race weekend for the first time next week at the Nurburgring, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari said Tuesday.

Schumacher gets the practice drive in an Alfa Romeo on Oct. 9 on his home track in Germany as a member of Ferrari’s young driver program, taking over Antonio Giovinazzi’s car for the first session of the weekend.

“I am overjoyed to get this chance in free practice,” Schumacher said in a statement. “I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team and gain some valuable data for the weekend.”

The 21-year-old Schumacher leads the Formula 2 standings after winning races in Monza and Sochi. He won the European Formula 3 championship in 2018 and tested a Ferrari F1 car in Bahrain in April 2019. He also has done demonstration runs in his father’s old cars, most recently this month ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix in a championship-winning 2004 Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher holds the F1 record with 91 victories, which Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of tying.

Ferrari said two other drivers in its academy program will also get practice drives in Formula One.

Callum Ilott, a British driver who is second to Mick Schumacher in F2, will drive an F1 Haas at the Nurburgring on the same day as Schumacher. Russian driver Robert Shwartzman will drive in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Dec. 11, though Ferrari hasn’t said for which team.

The German round was added to the F1 schedule after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season and will be officially known as the Eifel Grand Prix after a nearby mountain range. The Nurburgring last hosted F1 in 2013.