Nico Rosberg reveals ‘big consequences’ of Lewis Hamilton-George Russell crash

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton slides off after colliding with George Russell.

Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell collide in Qatar.

Nico Rosberg believes the “small mistake” of Lewis Hamilton in Qatar led to “big consequences”, and that “can’t happen” at Mercedes.

Hamilton accepted responsibility when he collided with George Russell at Turn 1 at the last round, apologising to his younger compatriot and burying the hatchet as they prepare to get going again in Austin this weekend.

Rosberg, who famously partnered Hamilton in a tempestuous partnership at Mercedes in the early years of their dominance, believes the tension may be “heating up” between the two drivers, and there were serious ructions from the incident.

Nico Rosberg: Lewis Hamilton ‘had to be aggressive’ with George Russell

Rosberg had multiple collisions with Hamilton in their time as team-mates, most notably at Spa-Francorchamps in 2014 and Barcelona in 2016, with both drivers racing on the limit as their relationship deteriorated.

Hamilton and Russell both say their rapport is unaffected by what happened in Qatar, but the 2016 World Champion believes his former team-mate “miscalculated” what it took to get past Russell last time out.

“There isn’t that much to discuss,” Rosberg said on Sky Deutschland.

“It’s relatively one-sided. Lewis was trying hard since he was on softs. He was fast enough to try to get past Verstappen, but I think he miscalculated and came a bit too early and they were three drivers there.

“He made a small mistake that had big consequences.

“Things like this can’t happen. One can argue that Mercedes gave the driver on the back soft tyres and that obviously lead to the issue.

“Lewis with the softs had to be aggressive, or he would have fallen back.”

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Team principal Toto Wolff will be back in the Mercedes garage this weekend having been absent from the previous two rounds as he recovered from knee surgery.

He had full access to radio communications, however, and was heard encouraging Russell in the aftermath of the crash with Hamilton – and has now commented on what happened between the two drivers.

The last round in Qatar was a case of what might have been,” Wolff said.

“As a team, you never want to see your cars collide. It was frustrating to leave a lot of points on the table, particularly as the pace of the car was strong.

“It was encouraging though to see how the drivers and the team reacted. Both Lewis and George know the team comes first and do not ever intend to jeopardise that.

“I am sure we will all grow from this moment. We’re now focused on Austin and making sure we get the most out of each upcoming weekend.”

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