Andretti: Mercedes clash in Austria was “100 percent” on Rosberg

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As the Mercedes AMG Petronas teammates – and the rest of the Formula 1 circus – heads to Silverstone this week for the British Grand Prix, the drama of the Austrian Grand Prix finish between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg has also come to the U.K.

In a brief chat with 1978 World Champion Mario Andretti on Thursday, he made no hesitation about who was to blame for the clash at Turn 2 that left Rosberg’s car wounded, as Hamilton took the win.

“I think Nico just drove Lewis off the track,” Andretti told NBC Sports. “Obviously he made a mistake going into Turn 1; he protected the inside.

“The toughest way around is the outside, and he left him no room. He paid the price, and he should have.

“There’s no question in my opinion that the fault was 100 percent his as to what happened.

“This was coming down to a classic maneuver there. Nico was a little bit too ambitious.

“If he says ‘it’s the brakes,’ well he knew damn well what the brakes were. If he knew they were failing, it might have behooved him to back off.”

Mercedes issued a statement on Thursday saying there’d been positive meetings and the pair was still free to race, although tempered it by noting that within the “rules of engagement” any further clashes would bring consequences.