Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda has given some insight into the tense relationship between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton last season.
“They had no relation, which is always bad,” Lauda told ESpn.
“They were so bad that they didn’t even say hello in the morning. I don’t expect them to have breakfast together if they don’t like each other, I don’t expect them to sit down and have breakfast, but the relationship was really bad. It affected Lewis mainly and Nico [as well], so it was fine but not easy.”
“The big question was whose fault was it?” Lauda said. “For me it was clear because Lewis was too aggressive going to the right, hit the grass, couldn’t stop his car and then hit him off.
“I said if I have to choose between the two it’s more Lewis’ fault than Nico’s fault. And Lewis did not appreciate that, because he was of a different opinion. He said, ‘Why do you criticize me?’ I said, ‘Excuse me. I cannot accept that you guys crash and then we have nothing and nobody’s fault. For me it has to be somebody’s fault.’ And then Lewis really got upset. Nico said, ‘Yes, it was your part too, you moved to the inside. Why did you not leave room?’ He said, ‘Why should I, I was doing the race’.”
“We put some regulations in, we told them — especially in Barcelona when the pushed each other off the track — we said this was unacceptable for Mercedes and one of you guys has to win you cannot push each other off.
“We had some rules put in, that you are not allowed to [do that] and you have to pay a penalty if you do it again or we will think of releasing you from your contract, because we are team players here and we cannot destroy each other. This was the thing. Toto came up with some good rules and we had peace again. We fought hard and the accidents got reduced between them.”