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.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.