30 seconds, just thirty seconds it took from lights out to both W07’s broken resting in the gravel, smoke settling and both drivers ruing what had just happened. Both Mercedes out of the race and once again the attention on the team and their drivers.
The number one rule in Formula One is that you do not take collide with your team-mate. That’s what’s happened today, the first time Mercedes hasn’t scored since USA 2012.
So spare a thought for all the people in the team have worked so hard this weekend to prepare both cars. Let’s not forget this a team sport and they have seen all their hard work go down the drain today.
As for apportioning blame for the first lap incident, the race stewards have all the data and will come to a conclusion later tonight. If a penalty is handed out to either or both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton then that penalty will have to be accepted.
As a fan, I’m annoyed at both Nico and Lewis for letting their heads get in the way and not use common sense. At that point there was 65.75 laps left of the race, the race isn’t won but it can be lost on the first lap.
But then there is the other argument that Lewis had the right to go for the space, had the right to make a move. That’s what he did, that triggered the events that followed.
Even though I am annoyed that we haven’t scored any points at all this weekend, these things will happen from time to time. In my opinion it was a racing incident and hopefully lessons can be learned from today.
This race will be a defining moment for the Mercedes team, more defining than Monaco 2014, Spa 2014 or USA 2015. Will the team decide that both drivers or either Lewis or Nico’s position is untenable? 43 points dropped, Lewis down to third in the drivers championship and a costly day all round.
From now on the team will be scrutinised, the drivers will be scrutinised, every sound-bite, every comment dissected and evaluated to put the pieces in the Mercedes jigsaw. But the manner in which the drivers and the team bounce back in Monaco, will show how quickly everyone has moved on from Spain.
UPDATE: Mercedes tweet that NO FURTHER ACTION has been taken against Nico and Lewis by the Stewards.
— MERCEDES AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) May 15, 2016
Photo Credit: Channel 4
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