As the rhetoric ratchets up over the incident between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton during the Belgian Grand Prix, the team have expressed to the media (hat tip AUTOSPORT) over just what Rosberg said in the team meeting.
Lewis Hamilton exited the meeting and told the press that Rosberg “basically” said he did it on purpose and that the reporters go ask Toto Wolff, team boss, who would corroborate the sentiment. That’s not exactly the way Wolff recalls the conversation as he told reporters:
“Nico felt he needed to hold his line. He needed to make a point, and for Lewis, it was clearly not him who needed to be aware of Nico,” said Wolff.
“[Rosberg] didn’t give in. He thought it was for Lewis to leave him space, and that Lewis didn’t leave him space.
“So they agreed to disagree in a very heated discussion amongst ourselves, but it wasn’t deliberately crashing. That is nonsense.”
Refusing to back down from a scarp at the corner while racing is a bit different than deliberately crashing into someone. At least that’s how the team boss sees it.
According to the report, Wolff is still angry that the incident happened and suggested that Rosberg wasn’t prepared to take the exit in the corner so the incident could have been avoided but he did suggest that Nico’s point was that he wasn’t going to simply give in. Would Nico do it differently if time was turned back? Wolff says he most likely would.
AUTOSPORT also reported that the stewards at the race reviewed the incident and didn’t find anything deliberate in Nico’s actions. As for Nico, he feels the incident was simply a racing incident saying:
“I didn’t see any risk in overtaking, or trying to overtake, so why should I not try? The opportunity was there even without DRS because I was so much quicker, so I gave it a go.
“Inside was not possible, so I tried around the outside. Should I have waited? That is very hypothetical. Who knows what happens afterwards?
“The opportunity was there and, for me, it wasn’t a risky situation.”
So the team, having had their “heated” meeting between drivers are now suggesting that this was a racing incident just as the stewards saw it and not a deliberate attempt at taking Lewis Hamilton out of the race. IS that how you still see it or is this a conspiracy against Lewis as Twitter comments suggest?