Asked during today’s press conference whether the team had ordered him to take responsibility for the crash Rosberg said “no – they can’t make me apologise”.
“Definitely it was a decision that came from me. After hearing people’s opinions and having looked at it myself again I felt it was my responsibility.”
Rosberg said he wanted to live up to the responsibility of being a championship contender.
“In Spa definitely I was not proud of the way it went because in general I really want to contribute to my sport – in inverted commas – because I want it to be the most entertaining sport in the world. If I am able to contribute to that in many ways throughout the season I’m very happy about that.”
However Hamilton resisted the urge to draw comparisons with past Formula One title battles.
“I don’t think I have a responsibility towards history,” he said. “History is created every day. I just love racing and I’m proud to be amongst all the drivers here and trying to enjoy every days as it comes.”
“Everything becomes history eventually. I personally don’t put us in the same ranking as the greats ‘back in the day’.”
“We always get a big slap on the wrist”
Asked whether, like Rosberg after Spa, he had been punished for refusing to let his team mate past in Hungary, Hamilton answered: “We have meetings always, we always get a big slap on the wrist. But as I said I’m moving forward.”
“In actual fact in Hungary I didn’t say ‘no’ to the situation, I said ‘if he gets close I’ll let him by’ so I wouldn’t hold him up. Afterwards I sat with Toto [Wolff] and Paddy [Lowe] and they said ‘you made the right choice’.
“As human beings we have the right to question things that are said to us, or orders, just to make sure that it is the right one and it turns out that wasn’t the right one and the team said that to me in the meeting.”
And Hamilton conceded it was unclear what precedent the collision set for future incidents between the pair, when asked whether the FIA should look more closely at incidents involving championship contenders.
“I think the FIA have a tough job and particularly over the last years they’ve done an exceptional job, I think, on the majority of the calls. I think the problem is that rules don’t always… the scenario is always different so the same rules don’t always apply exactly. Sometimes perhaps it’s difficult to say which rule applies to what situation.
“But I think it’s a very good question, to be honest, because how do we move forward from that? Does that mean that we can all now say OK, we can race a lot closer and if the guy in front comes off and is out of the race, nothing is going to happen, so then we will be more relaxed towards it? Does that mean if it happens again there will be a penalty?
“I think we’re always asking to be able to race. It’s very hard out there to manoeuvre a car at those high speeds without sometimes having contact. But it’s a fine line.”
2014 Belgian Grand Prix
- Rosberg says he chose to apologise for Spa crash
- Third win, second Driver of the Weekend for Ricciardo
- Spa serves up another race to remember
- 2014 Belgian Grand Prix team radio transcript
- Hamilton: “We both made mistakes”