As we head into the next race at the legendary Monza Circuit, I feel as though I should share my thoughts on the Lewis vs. Nico teammate battle at Spa Francorchamps two weekends ago. Now that the air has cleared up a bit I feel as though now it is appropriate to weigh in.
The race was highly anticipated in Belgium two weekends ago. British F1 driver, Lewis Hamilton, was now only 11 points behind championship leader and teammate, Nico Rosberg. After the Mercedes duo had duked it out at the Hungaroring before summer break, fans were on edge. The race at Spa started off well for Hamilton, jumping into the lead at turn 1, Nico dropping to P3. After not even completing 2 laps Nico made a move on Lewis's outside for the lead. This aggressive overtaking move caused the two to touch. Subsequently, Nico lost a small piece of his front wing. However, Lewis got a puncture to his tyre, causing him to limp back to the pits to change the tyre. At this point, Nico had gained P1 where as Lewis had fallen into last place. The race went on and Lewis really struggled out on the track, he ended up retiring the car. The engineers found that there was more damage sustained to Lewis's car in the contact between him and Nico. Nico ended up finished P2 and extended his lead in the championship to 29 points.
Looking at the replay of the incident between Lewis and Nico on Lap 2, one can clearly see that Lewis Hamilton clearly keeps his racing line and hugs the curb as much as he can. It is Nico Rosberg that turns into Lewis's car, trying to go around the outside. There was no room for such a move and any form of contact like that between teammates is bound to hurt the teams result. After watching the replay I came to the conclusion that it was a racing accident and that this sort of thing happens. I was not upset at Nico, but disappointed that Lewis did not finish.
While I was not upset at Nico, I was curious to hear what Nico, Lewis, and Mercedes team members would say after the race. I was shocked and lost sympathy for Nico when Mercedes team members, including Lewis, said that Nico did it to "prove a point." Lewis states, "We had a meeting about it and he basically said he did it on purpose." Suddenly, all eyes were on Nico Rosberg and the Mercedes AMG Petronas outfit. Nico later apologized to Lewis, the team, the fans for his poor judgment in Belgium.
With tensions high, it seems that Monza cannot come soon enough. Racing fans across the world are anxious to see what will happen next in the Mercedes Rivalry. Many think that the championship is out of reach and that Nico has now secured himself the title. Can Lewis resurge to the top? Or will Red Bull rookie driver Daniel Ricciardo surprise all and come from behind and take advantage of the Mercedes woes? Monza will tell all.