Nico Rosberg is adamant that he was not at fault in the last lap collision with Lewis Hamilton in Austria, despite the FIA stewards deciding otherwise.
Rosberg insisted that he had left enough space for his team mate, and that he was surprised when Lewis turned in.
“So, I am on the inside, I have the right to defend,” said Rosberg. “I don’t need to take the ideal line and I have Lewis on the outside and I wanted to keep him there. Of course always leaving him track space, that‘s clear, that is always the intention. That‘s it.
“It is a fact he had space. You can look at the on-board, and all the other cameras. Of course after the collision it may look like no, because I am airborne, and I lose grip, so of course it takes me further out of the track. And after that it may look like there was less space, but that‘s irrelevant because it was after a collision. I just want to repeat, at all times there was space, prior to the collision.
“I am just extremely frustrated because for me I had the win in the bag, and even in the moment I was sure that I’m in a good position here to defend and win this even, just instances before the collision. Because the collision completely took me by surprise, I didn’t expect Lewis to turn in.”
Asked if he could apportion blame he said: “I can say that for sure I didn’t drive into anybody because I had the car fully under control at all times, I didn’t lock up or anything. Completely under control. And him turning in completely took me by surprise. He apparently said in a TV interview that I was in his blind spot, and so maybe that is why he turned in. Maybe that is a possible explanation.”
Rosberg insisted that he wasn’t thinking about longer term ramifications for his relationship with Hamilton,
“I don’t think of a big picture like that. I am just thinking about today, I’m gutted, and that‘s it. Why think back or forward or whatever? I‘ve lost the race and he won it, I am the guy who suffered from the collision, and he didn’t. That is it. I was unlucky, he got lucky.”
Asked if he’d discussed it with Lewis he said: “I wanted to discuss it before but he didn’t feel the need to because I wanted to hear why he turned in.”