Hamilton and Rosberg are now officially members of the last chance saloon, having been issued a final warning to buck up or butt out.
Both drivers emerged from the much-dreaded meeting at Mercedes’ Brackley headquarters with the F1 equivalent of a yellow card. If history repeats itself at any point moving forward, it’s no more second chances for them, according to a grim Toto Wolff.
“If it happens again, it will have a negative impact on their campaign. This is their final warning.”
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) June 27, 2016
He declined to say what the negative impact would be, exactly. This is entirely on purpose, of course.
“We decided not to elaborate on what the new rules are in public. It is like a contractual detail. We are speaking about possible sporting and possible financial consequences and I wouldn’t want to go into that detail.”
It seems that Mercedes would resort to team penalties like delayed access to car parts and second choice at strategy before it would to more drastic measures. So it could be a long time before either Rosberg or Hamilton has to face anything approaching a team suspension. No one at Mercedes is likely to admit this, but Christian Horner may have really hit the nail on the head when he spoke on the crash. As much of a headache as warring team members make, they’re a massive source of excitement for the fans. The competition between two such high-profile drivers at these two keeps us all engaged, rooting for a side and hanging on to Mercedes’ every move. Get rid of one or both and Mercedes just might not be able to hold our interest in the same way.