F1: ‘It was a racing incident,’ says Rosberg

Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton of Britain, right, and Nico Rosberg of Germany steer their cars during the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.

Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP

Nico Rosberg is adamant the collision with Lewis Hamilton at Spa was a racing incident, and says that he didn’t believe he was taking any risks.

Speaking at exactly the same time that Hamilton told British journalists about the post-race Mercedes team meeting, Rosberg himself declined to elaborate on what had happened behind closed doors.

“We had a discussion, as is important after such circumstances, because obviously what happened cost the team a lot of points,” he said. “And that is the main focus and the biggest issue with such a happening as today. And so yes we have of course discussed. Unfortunately I don’t want to go into any details, that wouldn’t be the right thing to do.”

Asked if it was an emotional meeting he added: “It’s important for us in the more difficult times to really discuss and reason, and I think as a team we’re always managing to do that, because we have a really strong leadership with Toto and Paddy foremost, and then with Niki who’s helping out. That is the big advantage that we have, this strong leadership.”

Regarding the collision, he said: “It was a racing incident, that’s the best way to describe that, and that is also the way that the stewards saw it.

“I was quicker at the time and there was an opportunity, and so I gave it a go around the outside, because the inside was blocked.

“I didn’t see any risk in overtaking or trying to overtake, and I tried. The opportunity was there, without DRS, because I was so much quicker, so I gave it a go. The inside was not possible, so I tried round the outside. Should I have waited is very hypothetical, because who knows what happens afterwards? The opportunity was there, and for me it wasn’t a risky situation.”

Asked if he had a way of avoiding the collision he said: “There is always the way out of going off the track.”

On the podium Rosberg was booed by the crowd.

“In such an incident it’s natural for there to be varying opinions. That’s completely normal, I suppose, and I understand that the British people more often than not tend to be on the side of Lewis, and the Germans will be on my side more often than not, that’s the nature of the thing. To be honest I respect every opinion as long as it is made with proper preparation.”