Lewis Hamilton hopes that Mercedes’ Formula 1 bosses do not invoke team orders following his clash with teammate Nico Rosberg on the final lap of Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix.
The two Mercedes drivers collided while battling for the lead at the Red Bull Ring, leaving Rosberg with damage that meant he could only finish the race fourth.
Hamilton managed to continue and pick up his third victory of the season, cutting the gap to Rosberg in the drivers’ championship down to just 11 points.
Rosberg was deemed to have caused a collision by the stewards, leading team chief Toto Wolff to suggest that team orders may be used in the future to prevent repeat incidents.
Mercedes has persisted with letting its drivers race despite previous clashes, but the latest incident appears to have gone down as one too many.
However, Hamilton told reporters after the race that he wants to be able to race Rosberg freely on-track, having seen the impact of team orders before.
“I grew up wanting to race, and to get to Formula 1 and race the best and be the best by out driving another individual,” Hamilton said.
“I think they showed a replay of maybe Michael [Schumacher] and [Rubens] Barrichello many years ago and I was disappointed as a fan back then. We never want to see team orders like that ever happen.
“The great thing is that Toto and Niki [Lauda] have been great these past three years in allowing us to race and that’s what racing is about. It’s not always going to be blue skies and perfect, but that’s motor racing.
“We’re driving at 200 mph and you expect us to drive around and never have a problem? I doubt it.
“So I hope that it doesn’t change and I hope that we can continue to race. That’s just my honest opinion from my love of this sport.”
Benny Bloss will race for the factory Beta Motorcycles team in 2024 as that manufacturer joins SuperMotocross as the ninth brand to compete in the series. Beta Motorcycles will make their debut in the Monster Energy Supercross opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California in January.
“The wait is over and we can finally share everything we have been working towards,” said Carlen Gardner, Race Team Manager in a press release. “It has been a great experience being a part of this development and seeing the progression. The only missing part was finding a rider that would mesh well with our Beta Family.
“After a one phone call with Benny, we knew it would be a good fit for him, and for us. We are happy to have him on board for the next two years and can’t wait to see everyone at Anaheim in January.”
Bloss has a pair of top-10 rankings in the division with a sixth-place finish in the Pro Motocross Championship in 2016 and a seventh in 2018. His best Supercross season ended 15th in the standings in 2018.
“I’m extremely excited to join the Beta Factory Racing team,” Bloss said. “It’s cool to see a brand with such a rich history in off-road racing to come into the US Supercross and Motocross space. I know this team will be capable of great things as we build and go racing in 2024.”
Bloss is currently 22nd in the SuperMotocross rankings and has not raced in the first two rounds of the Motocross season.
Testing for Beta Motorcycles is scheduled to begin in August and the team expects to announce a second rider at that time.
The family-owned brand adds to the international flare of the sport. The company was founded in Florence, Italy in 1905 as Società Giuseppe Bianchi as they built handmade bicycles, The transition to motorcycle production in the late 1940s.
Beta Motorcycles competed and won in motocross competition in the late 1970s and early 1980s with Jim Pomeroy and other riders.