Toto Wolff tells the media that Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have been warned about the possible consequences that another on-track collision could bring. One of those consequences is a race ban…
Could you imagine the fallout from Hamilton’s crazy fans if Mercedes were to actually pull him from a race? Report’s out that the Mercedes AMG Petronas team have given their drivers each a final warning that another contact and crash could see Hamilton or Rosberg suspended for a subsequent race.
Not sure if Rosberg has fans that would foam at the mouth if he ever got pulled, but seems Hamilton has that kind of support and the F1 world would be turned on its head over something like this. What would the Prost/Senna battle looked like if Ron Dennis had actually suspended one of them for blocking or crashing into each other as they fought to keep the other behind?
For a driver, F1 competition starts with your teammate, no matter which team you drive for. Beat your teammate and be favored amongst the team you drive for. Then you take on the rest of the grid. Suspending a driver for trying to stand their ground in an intra-team rivalry is a hard line to cross for any team, especially one that has completely dominated the last few seasons of the current engine regs in F1.
Teams can only go so far in telling their drivers “to behave.” But when they stick them in the corner to punish them while their teammate gets to drive (and gain a points advantage), I’m not sure if any team could justify that. Then again, perhaps these drivers will give Mercedes a reason to test this punishment as they duke it out for the top spot in the Drivers Championship this year.
Thanks to Autosport for the report.