Niki Lauda has blamed Lewis Hamilton for the collision with Mercedes Formula 1 teammate Nico Rosberg on the opening lap of the Spanish Grand Prix, branding the accident “unacceptable.”
Rosberg took the lead into Turn 1, passing Hamilton around the outside, but his teammate got a run on him on the exit of Turn 3. When Rosberg moved to the inside to defend, reigning world champion Hamilton ended up on the grass.
The Briton lost control of the car, spinning and collecting Rosberg, sending both into the gravel at Turn 4.
“It’s very simple for me,” said Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda (left). “It was a miscalculation in Lewis’s head – I blame him more than Nico. But for the team and for Mercedes it is unacceptable.
“Lewis was too aggressive to pass him and why should Nico give him room? He was in the lead. It is completely unnecessary and for me the disaster is that all Mercedes are out after two corners.”
It is the first proper contact between the pair since the 2014 Belgian GP, when the duo were fighting for the lead.
“There is always pressure and since Spa two years ago thank God nothing happened,” Lauda added.” “Why here? This they have to explain to me.”
The incident means Rosberg will retain his 43-point lead over teammate Hamilton the standings and brings to an end his run of seven wins in a row.