Lewis Hamilton and George Russell narrowly avoided a major collision at the recent Spanish Grand Prix. During the Q2 qualifying session, the two drivers had a close call that brought back memories of a similar incident involving Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the same circuit in the past. Reflecting on that event, Rosberg shared his thoughts.
In Barcelona, both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell had a tense moment during qualifying before eventually finishing second and third, respectively, in the Spanish Grand Prix. While the incident had no lasting consequences, it evoked memories of the clash between Hamilton and Rosberg in 2016, which resulted in both drivers retiring on the first lap of the race.
“I didn’t see Lewis coming. How was I supposed to know he was behind me? It’s quite similar, actually,” explained Nico Rosberg,
“Initially, we witnessed an angry Toto arriving, which was understandable. He spoke the first few words with great coherence, but then there was silence. He couldn’t find any more words to say. Initially, it was extremely difficult, and there was absolute silence.
“We paid a very high price, a tremendously high price. Even the big boss, Dieter Zetsche, was present.”
“Niki did a very good job as mediator”
Rosberg went on to highlight the role of Niki Lauda as a mediator in resolving the conflict.
“On Monday, we had to go to Niki’s house in Ibiza, one after the other. Niki did an excellent job as a mediator. He always tried to find small concessions from both sides to bring us closer together. It was a gradual process until we reached a point where we could genuinely move forward. That was his approach, and it allowed us to continue the season without encountering any major obstacles,” Rosberg added.
“I had to give it to Lewis”
As the 2016 World Champion who retired after that season, Rosberg had to return the trophy to Lewis Hamilton, who went on to claim the championship the following year. Rosberg explained the process, stating:
“You have to return the trophy, which is a replica. It’s not created every year. You can only keep it for one year. I had someone pick it up from my house, put it in their car trunk, and drive it to Lewis’s house. It wasn’t a pleasant experience.”