Contrite Rosberg: I was distraught after Spa

Thursday 04-September-2014 08:37

Nico Rosberg admits he was devastated after events at Spa a fortnight ago, but is confident everyone at Mercedes has drawn a line under the issue.

The German extended his lead in the Drivers' Championship over Lewis Hamilton to 29 points, but it was a far from happy day for him as he made contact with his team-mate on lap two.

The incident infuriated team bosses Niki Lauda, Paddy Lowe and Toto Wolff with all of them describing it as "unacceptable". Hamilton was also enraged and he claimed Rosberg admitted that he did it "on purpose" and to "make a point".

The Brackley squad then held a team meeting to clear the air and all involved apologised while "suitable disciplinary measures" were also taken.

In his latest column for the Daily Mail, Rosberg admits he felt down after the Belgian Grand Prix.

"In hindsight, the collision was my responsibility because I was the car trying to overtake, so I have to accept that I made a mistake and to apologise," he wrote.

"I sustained damage to my front wing in the incident and it had to be replaced which saw me finish second behind race winner Daniel Ricciardo.

"The result enabled me to extend my lead in the championship, but when I left the circuit I hadn't really thought about that. I was concerned and distraught about the situation; one thing is for sure: I wasn't happy.

"I was instead thinking about the criticism - the way Niki Lauda, for example, had been critical about my driving.

"I was also thinking about the team discussions we'd had at the track; the result of our collision meant that one of us didn't finish the race and the other one didn't win, so it had also cost the team a lot of points.

"Niki has since apologised for what he said and, in the heat of the moment you often say things that you regret - that has happened to all of us."

He added: "Last Friday, Lewis, Paddy Lowe, Toto Wolff and I met for talks at our headquarters in Brackley and it was very intense, but the outcome was a positive one: we have drawn a line under what happened in Belgium - we move forward and we can go racing again.

"It has always been clear from the team that Lewis and I must not collide with one another during a race. If it did happen, and one driver is more responsible than the other, then there will be consequences. I've accepted that."

The German was also on the receiving end of some boos on the Spa podium, which he initially attributed to British fans, but he now understands why the supporters reacted that way.

"The subject attracted a lot of media attention and sensation but I really hope my apology will be accepted by the Formula One fans who have been critical of me," he added.

"I was booed on the podium - which wasn't a nice feeling - but I understand that people had travelled a long way to see a great race between Lewis and myself, and they did not get that. I totally respect their opinion and I hope that in time they will accept my apology."

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