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Did Mercedes' crash reveal a 'new' Rosberg?

2016-05-18 15:36

NOT THE ONLY GUILTY PARTY: Figures in the F1 paddock are of mixed opinion as to who is to blame for the crash at the 2016 Spanish GP. Image: AP / Emilio Morenatti

Spain - The sensational clash of Mercedes' team mates and championship foes in Barcelona made clear a "new Nico" Rosberg will no longer be pushed around.

That is the view of three former Formula 1 drivers, commentating on the controversial crash between the German championship leader and Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis still to blame

Niki Lauda is steadfast in his view that the reigning triple world champion was to blame.

The Mercedes team chairman told Auto Motor und Sport: "I am annoyed at the question of who has what percentage of blame - 70% and 30% there.

Mercedes crash: 'I blame Lewis more than I blame Nico'

"It is clear that Nico tried to overtake on the wrong side. Why wrong? Because any professional driver at the front and suddenly feeling a power position will try to defend his position, logically on the inside."

Lauda said: "In 2015, Lewis' attack would have worked but those days are gone and the new Nico drives like Lewis or Vettel.  Therefore, the collision occurred."

New Nico

Christian Danner, a former German F1 driver, agrees that Sunday (May 15) was a sign of a "new Nico".

Danner said: "I am glad that Nico didn't wave Lewis past, demonstrating the new Rosberg. Lewis must understand he can no longer intimidate his team mate with such manoeuvres of 'Here I come, make room for me!

"As for who is to blame, I would say it's 50-50 - Nico a bit too hard, Lewis too trusting."

Nico a winning machine

Martin Brundle, now a respected F1 commentator, thinks Rosberg should have left Hamilton some room, but he also thinks the champion was in a hurry to re-pass him.

The broadcaster said: "Lewis was shocked that he lost the lead at the first corner, which is why he wanted to get it back at the first opportunity.

Read: 2016 Spanish GP crash: Lewis not the only guilty one?

"Nico was distracted by being in the wrong engine mode, which is why his defense was so hard.  But maybe that's the new Nico."

Brundle added: "Two years ago he would have settled for second place. Now he's turned into a winning machine."


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