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So after an interesting win in Austria this weekend Lewis managed to take his 1st in Spielberg of the 2016 season so far, whilst Nico came home in 4th position. However, Nico currently (153) leads the Drivers' Championship by 11 points from Lewis (142) in P2.
I was in good position, head down and targeting as many points as possible today – the opportunity to try for the win came on the final lap when Nico ran wide out of turn 1. I was then able to get a good run on him and went down the outside, leaving as much room as I could. I was surprised to make contact with Nico and then from there I just tried to push as hard as possible, passing him ahead of the next corner as he slowed due to sparks coming off his car. This is motor racing and the team allow us to race and it’s the aim for both of us to win races – this was just an unfortunate incident today. I’m looking forward to getting to Silverstone to catch up with my fans and hopefully I can get another good result there
It was disappointing to lose
the race like that. It got quite difficult on the final few laps as I
had to manage my brakes and I was confident that I could bring the
victory home. I had the inside line and we both went into the corner a
bit long. I was surprised that Lewis turned in and it ultimately meant
that we came together – that’s how the sport goes sometimes but it’s
really difficult to lose the race in that way.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
It was incredibly frustrating for the team to see a one-two finish potentially become a double DNF on the final lap of the race – and to see us lose points again as a result of a collision between our two cars. We let our drivers race and we trust them to do so – but colliding team-mates is not what we want and this is something that needs to be stopped. If we need to reconsider our philosophy, and to take some unpopular decisions, then we must be prepared to keep that option open. It had been an intense race until that point: we tried the one stop with Lewis, anticipating that Ferrari would do the same, but converted early to a two-stop for Nico. However, as the race unfolded, our predictions began to show that Nico would come out on top, so we converted to a two-stop strategy with Lewis as well to give him the best chance of the win. Lewis was running our preferred tyre, the soft compound, in his final stint but Nico did not have any soft sets left, so took super soft to the finish. The drivers were also right on the limit with the brakes, having raced hard all the way through, and Nico’s brake by wire system went into passive mode on the penultimate lap. As for the collision, I am not going to try and put blame more on one side than the other; it always takes two to tango and, as we have said before, this should not happen between team-mates. We will now let the emotions settle before we sit down and discuss our next steps.