Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg, suffered a collision in the last lap of the Austrian Grand Prix. Though Hamilton managed to win the championship, the mishap resulted in some damage to both racecars. While many speculated that it was Rosberg’s fault, there was a reason the racer, who managed to come in fourth, wasn’t at fault.
After the collision with Lewis Hamilton in the last lap of Austrian Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg was handed a rather brutal 10 second penalty and fined two penalty points. Despite the setback, Rosberg still managed a respectable fourth place. Hamilton went on to win the race, reported the Telegraph.
It is a common consensus that it was Rosberg’s fault for causing the collision. Experts blame the German driver for forcing his Mercedes team-mate off the track while fighting to keep hold of the lead on the final lap.
Owing to some mysterious strategy by the Mercedes team, Hamilton was behind Rosberg. However, the former was rapidly gaining on the latter in the final stages of the race. During the nail-biting moments into the final lap, it appears Hamilton attacked Rosberg on the final run to turn two and went to the outside to overtake, reported Sky Sports.
Rosberg appeared on course to claim his sixth victory of the season, but crashed into Hamilton as the Briton attempted to pass his Mercedes team-mate around the outside of turn two, reported the Irish Examiner. While Rosberg suffered a detached front-wing, Hamilton suffered a broken rear-view mirror and a minor damage to the lower right side of his car.
Incidentally, Rosberg didn’t stop or intentionally slow down after the collision in which he suffered more damage than Hamilton. He was officially reprimanded for “failing to slow down with a damaged car.”
Subsequent to the collision, Rosberg was overtaken by Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen who were trailing him in the race. Interestingly, despite the 10 second penalty, the German still retained his fourth place as he was good 14 seconds ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, who came in fifth. Speaking about the penalty in a live Facebook video, Rosberg said the following.
“They gave me the blame, which sucks. I respect that, but I am of a different opinion. I was very surprised that Lewis turned in and that caused a collision.”
Meanwhile, Hamilton shrugged off any error or wrongdoing on his part by saying,
“I left tons of room for him to make the corner and I got to the white line and I began to turn and boom, big hit. I’m pretty sure he hit me, rather than the other way.”
Experts have concluded that it was indeed Rosberg, who collided with Hamilton. However, the German driver isn’t actually at fault because he suffered a major technical glitch in his car. Toto Wolff, who is the head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, shared that Rosberg’s car had suffered a brake problem. The team added that Rosberg’s suffered a “brake-by-wire” failure. This adversely affected the rear axle.
Apparently, the electronic connection between the steering wheel and one of the brakes didn’t perform as well as it should have, which resulted in a sluggish response. As a result, Rosberg’s car took a much wider turn than it was supposed to and this resulted in the sideways collision with Hamilton’s racecar.
Besides the collision, the race had other minor mishaps including Vettel’s right rear tire exploding on the pit straight on lap 27, reported BBC. This warranted the presence of safety car on the race track. Incidentally, Vettel was leading ahead of Rosberg at the time and was reasonably upset about another lost opportunity in the same season, which hasn’t been kind to Ferrari.
[Photo by Thomas Kienzle/Getty Images]