Mercedes warns of 'consequences' for Rosberg after Hamilton clash

Mercedes' Toto Wolff believes that a slap on the wrists may not be enough for Nico Rosberg after his Belgian Grand Prix collision with Lewis Hamilton, warning of larger consequences

Mercedes warns of 'consequences' for Rosberg after Hamilton clash

Rosberg clashed with Formula 1 title rival Hamilton in a fight for the lead at Spa-Francorchamps in a move that Mercedes chiefs say was unacceptable.

And although Mercedes wants to wait for the dust to settle on the weekend before holding a crisis meeting, Wolff has assured Hamilton that a simple telling off is unlikely.

"Today we've seen the limits of the slap on the wrist," he said. "Maybe the slap on the wrist is not enough.

"If Lewis has said that it's going to be a slap on the wrist, and that there's going to be no consequence, then he's not aware of what consequences we can implement."

When asked what the team could actually do to rectify the situation, Wolff said: "A lot. But I'm not going to comment on this right now."

NEW APPROACH MAY BE NEEDED

With the Rosberg and Hamilton incident leaving the door open for Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo to take another victory, Mercedes knows that it cannot afford to keep throwing away valuable points.

No decision has yet been made about whether or not the clash means that team orders may now be needed, but Wolff has said it is likely that a change of protocol could happen.

"The solution is that we're going to sit down and hear the boys' opinion, I think we owe it to them," he said.

"We aren't going to point the finger at Nico and say 'You messed it all up' because they're fighting very hard for the championship and it could have been the other way around.

"What we have to do is see it as a matter of principle, what has happened, and take the consequences and make sure it doesn't happen again.

"We had the conversation before, at the beginning of the season. It was an absolute no-go to crash into each other.

"We've had mega-exciting races where they were fighting fair and square with great excitement for all of us. And at that stage they were on top of the situation and we were on top of the situation.

"And now it's come to a point, in the second half of the season, where it's getting very tight, and probably we need to tackle that with more intensity to make sure we stay within the boundaries we've set at the beginning of the season."

NO SELF DESTRUCTION JUST YET

Wolff hinted it was possible that the policy of giving the drivers freedom to race may have to stop.

"It would be too early to elaborate in detail because the devil lies in the detail. We're all fans and we owe it to ourselves and everybody out there to let them race," he said.

"Today that philosophy has ended in Mercedes losing many valuable points and we don't want to end up in Abu Dhabi, with a season where we lost the championship, be it constructors' or drivers', because we're too much race fans.

"We've probably not hit the self-destruct button yet but there is a lot at stake, and if you don't manage this properly now it could end up at that point.

"It's one thing enjoying great races and letting them fight with each other, but if you look like a fool at the end of the season then you haven't won anything."

shares
comments
Belgian GP: Fernando Alonso reckons podium finish was possible

Previous article

Belgian GP: Fernando Alonso reckons podium finish was possible

Next article

Belgian GP: Raikkonen says season-best fourth down to clean race

Belgian GP: Raikkonen says season-best fourth down to clean race
Load comments
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model? Plus

Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model?

Formula 1 provided its clearest example yet of what the 2022 cars are set to look like when it presented a full-scale concept to the world during the build-up to last weekend’s British Grand Prix. Underneath the special shiny livery was a design that hinted at the future, but teams will be digging into key areas that may reap differing results

Formula 1
Jul 20, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021