Formula One: We look like idiots, says Wolff

Britain's Lewis Hamilton takes the chequered flag to win the Austrian Grand Prix yesterday, cutting Nico Rosberg's lead to just 11 points. The German sustained damage in their last-lap clash and finished fourth.
Britain's Lewis Hamilton takes the chequered flag to win the Austrian Grand Prix yesterday, cutting Nico Rosberg's lead to just 11 points. The German sustained damage in their last-lap clash and finished fourth.PHOTO: REUTERS

Mercedes boss furious as last-lap crash costs Rosberg victory, with Hamilton finishing first

SPIELBERG (Austria) • Lewis Hamilton was booed on the podium after a last-lap collision with Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg handed the triple Formula One world champion a dramatic first Austrian Grand Prix victory yesterday.

Championship leader Rosberg, who had been in front with Hamilton in his slipstream, nursed his damaged car over the line for fourth place with his advantage cut to 11 points after nine of 21 rounds.

"I am gutted, it's unbelievable," said the German, accusing Hamilton of turning in and causing the accident that broke his front wing.

Hamilton, however, disagreed. "I was on the outside, it wasn't me that had the crash," said the Briton, who now has three wins to Rosberg's five this season, over the team radio.

The stewards appeared to back that up by opening an investigation into Rosberg's actions.


  • 1. Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes 1hr 27min 38.107sec

    2. Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull +5.719sec

    3. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari +6.024

    4. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes +16.710

    5. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull +30.981

    6. Jenson Button (Gbr) McLaren +37.706

    7. Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas +44.668

    8. Carlos Sainz Jr (Esp) Toro Rosso +47.400

    9. Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Williams 1 lap

    10. Pascal Wehrlein (Ger) Manor 1 lap.


    1. Rosberg 153 points

    2. Hamilton 142

    3. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 96

    4. Raikkonen 96

    5. Ricciardo 88.


    1. Mercedes 295

    2. Ferrari 192

    3. Red Bull 168

    4. Williams 92

    5. Force India 59


The German was summoned to answer charges of causing a collision and failing to stop with a seriously damaged car.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff reacted furiously to the collision.

"At the moment I don't know what I will say to them. It could easily have been a double DNF (did not finish)," he said. "Cars colliding seems a deja vu. It's absolutely not what we want.

"We are looking like a bunch of idiots and it's disrespectful to 1,500 people who work so hard to prepare the cars and this is why it needs to end.

"It seems that talking doesn't bring us any further so we need to think about all possible solutions and go as far as implementing the not very popular team orders."

The team revealed Rosberg had suffered a problem with his brake-by-wire system which went into "passive mode" at the end of the penultimate lap as Hamilton closed in.

The crowd, small in comparison to the previous two years with rows of empty seats in the grandstands, made their disapproval evident with whistles and boos as Hamilton was interviewed on the podium.

"That's not my problem, it's their problem," the surprised Briton, who started on pole, said when asked about the noise.

"I left a lot of room on the inside and I guess he locked up and crashed into me. I think he had a problem with his brakes potentially. I'm here to win. That's all."

Dutch teenager Max Verstappen finished second for Red Bull at their home track with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen third after team-mate Sebastian Vettel crashed out on his 29th birthday when a rear tyre exploded.

Hamilton's victory was the 250th in Formula One by a British driver since the championship started in 1950 and the 46th of his career.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo was fifth for Red Bull with Britain's Jenson Button sixth for McLaren.

Frenchman Romain Grosjean was seventh in a Haas ahead of Spaniard Carlos Sainz in a Toro Rosso and Finland's Valtteri Bottas for Williams. German rookie Pascal Wehrlein scored his first point in Formula One, and his Manor team's first of the season, with a remarkable 10th.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2016, with the headline 'We look like idiots, says Wolff'. Print Edition | Subscribe