Hamilton and Rosberg ordered to keep it clean
Mercedes losing patience with their drivers after Spa incident and warn they may change line-up
Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has warned Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg that their futures at the team could be at risk. Photograph: Jon Buckle/PA Wire
The duo faced the press yesterday and it seemed an uneasy truce had been struck following their collision at Spa two weeks ago which wrecked Hamilton’s race and led to his German team-mate issuing an apology.
Hamilton suffered a puncture to his left rear tyre on the second lap in Belgium after a collision with Rosberg’s right-wing endplate.
That prompted the team to take “suitable disciplinary measures” against Rosberg, who leads Hamilton by 29 points in the world championship race, but it was just the latest in a long line of improprieties perpetrated by both men over the course of the campaign.
It now remains to be seen whether they can keep it clean between themselves over the final seven races but Wolff has made it quite clear that any further indiscretions could have long-term repercussions.
“We have made it very clear this is an unacceptable scenario for us, actually for both of them,” he told BBC Radio Five Live.
“We don’t want this to happen ever again and the consequences are very easy.
“If we are not able to manage the two of them following the Mercedes Benz racing spirit then we need to admit that and take decisions and take consequences of having a different line-up probably.”
On the track, Hamilton wasted no time in asserting himself in practice as he lapped more than half a second quicker than anyone else at the fastest course on the calendar.
Jenson Button, his former team mate at McLaren, was second fastest on a dry track with Rosberg - who has never been on the Monza podium - pushed back to third on the timesheets.
Hamilton is 29 points behind Rosberg in the championship with seven races remaining and is determined to claw his way back against his German rival.