UPDATE: The Spanish Grand Prix stewards have ruled the first-lap collision between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg was a racing incident.
MERCEDES were left red-faced and wondering what happened after Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg spectacularly collided in the very first lap of Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix, allowing Red Bull’s Max Verstappen the chance to make history as Formula 1’s youngest ever race winner.
Aged just 18 years and 227 days, Verstappen saw off the challenge of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, pushing them into second and third places respectively as he also became the first Dutchman to win the race
“It feels amazing. I can’t believe it. It was a great race. I have to say thank you to the team for giving me such a great car” said the youngster, who only became a Red Bull driver last month.
“To win in the first race is such an amazing feeling. My dad helped me a lot to achieve this, this is amazing. I couldn’t believe I was leading the race. I held onto the tyres. We had the right strategy. It’s a very big surprise. I had quite a bit of pressure from Kimi but it is difficult to overtake here.”
He led for the final 32 of 66 laps in Barcelona but only finished just 0.6 seconds ahead of Raikkonen, who was snapping at his heels throughout.
Meanwhile both stewards at the Circuit de Catalunya, and Mercedes, will be investigating the early exit of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, though early indications point towards over aggressiveness from both of the drivers, who famously don’t get along.
“It is stupid, we could’ve won this race,” said non-executive chairman Niki Lauda. “Lewis is too aggressive. I need to talk to them and hear their explanation and then we will see what happens.”
Head of motorsport Toto Wolff said: “Niki Lauda has the drivers’ opinion and instinct reaction and it is fair enough. From a teams perspective we have looked at all the pictures and looked at the data and it is not clear cut. Lewis tried to dive in, Nico closed the door so I would say let’s wait for what the stewards say. Both of them were upset about the situation and they know what effort went into building the car and there was not any finger pointing.”