apologizes, disciplined for crash
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[August 30, 2014]
LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One
championship leader Nico Rosberg has apologized for colliding with team
mate Lewis Hamilton during the Belgian Grand Prix and been disciplined,
his Mercedes team said on Friday.
Rosberg hit Hamilton on the second lap at Spa on Sunday and the
Briton later retired from the race with a damaged floor after
picking up a puncture.
Hamilton told reporters that Rosberg had admitted in a team meeting
to hitting him on purpose to "prove a point" although the German
later dismissed it as a racing incident.
"(Team bosses) Toto Wolff, Paddy Lowe, Nico Rosberg and Lewis
Hamilton met today in the boardroom of Mercedes Amg Petronas
headquarters in Brackley to discuss the events of the Belgian Grand
Prix," the team said in a statement.
"During this meeting Nico acknowledged his responsibility for the
contact that occurred on lap two of the Belgian Grand Prix and
apologized for this error of judgment.
"Suitable disciplinary measures have been taken for the incident,"
the statement read.
"Mercedes-Benz remains committed to hard, fair racing because this
is the right way to win world championships. It is good for the
team, for the fans and for Formula One.
"Lewis and Nico understand and accept the team's number one rule:
there must be no contact between the team's cars on track."
Rosberg was blamed by the team following the race for causing what
was an avoidable collision.
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No action was taken by the stewards or the world governing body FIA.
Mercedes said they would not change their policy of allowing the pair to
race each other freely.
"It has been made clear that another such incident will not be
tolerated," the team added.
"But Nico and Lewis are our drivers and we believe in them. They remain
free to race for the 2014 FIA Formula One world championship."
Rosberg holds a 29-point lead over Hamilton with seven races remaining.
Red Bull's Australian Daniel Ricciardo claimed his third victory of the
season at Spa.
(Reporting by Josh Reich, editing by Ed Osmond)
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