Despite two of its star teammates bitterly feuding over a disastrous crash, Mercedes sees no need to make Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg reconcile over clear-the-air talks.
— Ross Spencer (@RossSpencer1) May 17, 2016
The two drivers have long had a contentious rivalry marked by engine mishaps and rumors of sabotage by Mercedes. It looks like Hamilton was feeling the pressure of Rosberg’s 43-point lead more than he let on and acted to even the score in the heat of the race. He tried to overtake Rosberg on the inside, sparking the German to counter with an aggressive move of his own, blocking Hamilton from bypassing him. This resulted in a collision that took both drivers out and sent tempers soaring at Mercedes, who blamed Hamilton. However, it seems that not much will result of this big flare-up, as neither driver is going to be punished and they’re damn well not going to talk about it either.
Niki Lauda, non-executive chairman on Mercedes, is going back on his heated condemnation of Hamilton’s conduct.
“The matter is over. There is nothing left for me to do. We do not need clear-the-air talks. We just hope for no mistakes in the future”
But is the matter really over for the two drivers involved? Nico Rosberg is understandably the more enraged of the two, having lost his chances at becoming Mercedes’ star driver. When asked if he really did need a heart-to-heart to mend things between himself and Hamilton, he was still too emotional to be sure.
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 16, 2016
“It is something I need to think about in the days to come. I can’t tell you now. I am just extremely gutted because it was my race to win and I’m not just gutted for myself.”
Lewis Hamilton, the established aggressor, was noticeably more nonchalant about the lack of planned pow-wows. He’s convinced that the mishap will not affect the existing dynamic significantly.
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 15, 2016
“It doesn’t change anything. We just keep racing, try to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
We think these words are a lot more ominous than they initially may sound. For such a momentous occasion to make little to no difference in their interactions, it seems that relations were already quite fraught between the two. Could Mercedes be giving up on the peace talks because they see no way to salvage the situation? When sweeping a huge conflict under the rug is seemingly your only option, you know to brace yourself for turbulent times ahead.