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GP Week : Issue 208
If it wasn’t already, it certainly is now. The fact is that Nico Rosberg is now out to a 30-point lead in the drivers’ championship and Lewis is angrier than ever. The media as evening wore on in Belgium was concentrating on Lewis Hamilton’s interpretation of Nico Rosberg’s debrief perspective – and across languages that can be interesting (see News pages). Needless to say, the management were saying the right things immediately after the race – Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda wasn't impressed: "Very simple, it is unacceptable that in the second lap Nico hit Lewis, completely unacceptable," he told BBC sport. " There is going to be a meeting at 16.45 but it is unacceptable. If these things happen at the end of the race, when they are fighting for the win then you discuss it but in the second lap to hand the victory to Red Bull ... "I thought they were clever enough to know that but obviously they aren't." And Mercedes Motorsport chief Toto Wolff: "Today we saw our worst case scenario when the drivers made contact on lap two – and that ultimately cost us a one-t wo finish today, because we saw that our car had that kind of performance in it. “It has been our clear policy to let the drivers race this year but rule number one is: don' t hit each other. To see that kind of contact, so early in the race, is an unacceptable level of risk to be taking out on track. It cannot, and will not, happen again. “After the collision, Nico drove the first stint with a significantly damaged front wing, changed it, then had to make an additional stop after flat-spotting his left front tyre to the point where it was dangerous. He then charged back through the field and was impressively close to taking the win in spite of a dramatic race. “As for Lewis, he was fighting with one hand tied behind his back after the puncture, which damaged the floor and cost him a significant amount of performance. We left him out there in case the safety Car came out, bunched up the field and allow us to gain some places, but it became clear that he had lost too much performance and was continuing to do so, so we retired the car before the finish.” The fuse is lit 32 GPWEEK.com // 32 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> BELGIUM PARTNERS: