Right through this season, the friends who have raced together before have had their relationship stretched to the limit, from Monaco where Rosberg was accused of stopping the qualification early, so Hamilton did not score a good time, right up until the last race in Hungary, where team orders were delivered in a way that gave the impression to Lewis that they wanted him to move over to let Nico through.
Today at Spa the relationship fell to a new low, where Nico was deemed to be over aggressive and ended up clipping Hamiltons rear wheel, giving him a puncture on lap 2. The slow drive back to the pits, probably also added to the picture as more damage was done underneath. The result was, even though Lewis started racing again, his car was all over the place and at no point did Hamilton feel he would ever make up ground.
After a change of wing for Nico, the second Mercedes fought his way back up the field to eventually finishing 2nd, taking his lead to 29 points, Hamilton’s car was finally retired when it was clear no points would be scored. Up on the podium the boos from the crowd told a story, clearly fans of the British driver but little defence form other fans, even Eddie Jordan asked the crowd to respect the drives.
A very measured response from Lewis was evident within the press ring on both interviews from the BBC and SKY, stating it was not good for the team, where Nico was pretty defensive, stating he would have to see it on TV before making a judgement.
The defining moments came from Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda, who both said it was “Un-acceptable” to hit a driver only 2 laps into the race. Very strong public words, rather than the normal “we will talk in private” behind closed doors attitude often applied by racing teams. There was no doubt where they lay the blame and so Lewis may feel he us at last getting some support, but we will see.
Martin Brundle thought it was a bad move although not intentional, you can’t see your front wheel from the cockpit of the car. Questions on Twitter regarding Boos and would this situation have happened if Ross Brawn was still around.