Nico Rosberg said he was “pissed off” with Mercedes Formula 1 teammate Lewis Hamilton making contact with him at the first corner.
After Sebastian Vettel jumped into the lead, Hamilton was on the inside line into Turn 1 with Rosberg on the outside into the left-hander. They continued round the corner but Hamilton understeered into Rosberg at the exit, forcing Rosberg to take to the runoff area and drop to ninth after rejoining.
“Sebastian had a great start and I had a decent one and Lewis had a really bad one and my position was on the outside,” Rosberg told the UK’s Sky Sports F1. “In Barcelona, I gave it a go around the outside of Lewis and it worked out really well. I went for the same today and he did a really hard racing maneuver and we touched and I was off.
“I was very pissed off in the moment, but that’s racing and it’s my job to make sure I’m in front after a battle like that next time.”
Hamilton blamed a lack of front-end grip in the left-hander for the incident.
“I got to Turn 1 and had understeer,” said Hamilton. “It was very close with me and Nico. It was non-intentional. Fortunately, neither car was damaged.”
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff agreed it was a hard move by Hamilton and was disappointed with the ground that was lost as a result.
“It was a hard maneuver,” said Wolff. “Lewis said that he had an understeer, [and] that’s what I would say.
“From the team’s perspective, you are starting one and two, you come out of Turn 1 two and nine that is not pleasant. I have a deja vu – we are having these discussions after every race.”
However, Wolff did add that the driver on the inside can dictate the corner.
“Turn 1 in Canada is a difficult one, there is a concrete runoff area,” he said. “If there would be a wall, probably we wouldn’t have the discussion. But then if you are on the inside, you dictate the line.”