Mercedes has vowed to “hit back hard” at its Formula 1 rivals after claiming to have closed the chapter on the Spanish Grand Prix collision between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
The Mercedes drivers took each other out on the opening lap of the Spanish Grand Prix last time out, in an incident that was deemed a racing incident by the stewards
Hamilton, 43 points behind Rosberg who has won the last three races around the streets of the principality, said: “Barcelona was the worst feeling. But, like I always say, the true test is how you get back up when you’ve been knocked down.
“It was a tough moment for all of us after the race, but it’s now chapter closed and looking ahead to Monaco.”
Rosberg echoed Hamilton’s sentiments, saying: “I was gutted after what happened in Spain – for myself, but mostly for the team. We’re in this together and I know how hard everybody works to make these amazing cars, so for us to leave them both in the gravel is the worst possible scenario. But we’ve talked it through and now it’s time to leave it in the past.”
WOLFF: TIME TO HIT BACK
What occurred in Spain was the first time since Hamilton and Rosberg became teammates at the start of 2013 that neither car finished a race. The incident allowed the team’s rivals in Ferrari and Red Bull to close the gap in the championship.
One of Red Bull’s drivers will have a new-specification engine in the car as the team and Renault continues to make strides.
“Clearly, Barcelona was tough to take,” Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said. “We came away upset at an opportunity missed – but this is racing. The drivers know how we operate. The team is responsible for giving them the best possible cars and they are responsible for getting the best out of them – and for bringing them home.
“When we let them down, we apologize to them and the same goes the other way. It’s a pretty normal culture. We deal with setbacks together and we move on.
“Now, we go to Monaco and a very different challenge. Again, we have seen our competitors make steps forward which have given us an even bigger battle on our hands.
“Red Bull came out on top in Barcelona after a close fight with Ferrari, so it’s clear we are under attack from more than one angle. We cannot afford to drop the ball, so we must remain united, remain strong and hit back hard this weekend.”