Hamilton, Rosberg free to race after talks

By on Thursday, July 7, 2016
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes has confirmed that Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg remain free to race for the 2016 championship after making contact for the third time in five races in Austria.

Hamilton and Rosberg collided at the start in Spain, eliminating both, and also brushed wheels on the opening lap in Canada.

Hamilton challenged Rosberg for the lead on the final lap in Austria and the pair collided once more, with Hamilton emerging at the head of the pack as Rosberg dropped to fourth with damage.

Rosberg was deemed culpable and handed a penalty while Mercedes intimated afterwards that it may have to impose team orders ahead of the British Grand Prix.

Mercedes confirmed on Thursday that its drivers remain free to race, but has warned the pair about future conduct.

"This morning at the headquarters of the Mercedes Formula 1 team in Brackley, UK, positive meetings were held between Toto Wolff, Paddy Lowe, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg," Mercedes said.

"Our drivers were informed that they remain free to race for the World Championship. We believe this is the essence of Formula One, including between team-mates. As passionate racers, we want to see them racing, and so do the fans of Formula One.

"However, this freedom comes with a duty for our drivers to respect the values of the team. In the past five races, there have been three incidents which have cost us over 50 points in the Constructors’ Championship.

"We have therefore strengthened our Rules of Engagement to include much greater deterrents to contact between our cars. With these in place, we will trust our drivers to manage the situation between them on track. Their destiny is in their own hands.

The drivers were also reminded that we may issue instructions during the race to protect against a potential loss of Constructors’ points, such as we did at this year’s Monaco GP when Nico was instructed to let Lewis pass.

"If the drivers do not honour the revised Rules of Engagement, we may impose team orders as a solution of last resort. Finally, we restated our belief in Lewis and Nico as the best driver pairing in Formula 1."

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