F1: Most controversial crashes of all-time
#3 Lewis Hamilton & Nico Rosberg (Spain 2016)
In that season they enjoyed a healthy partnership, but when the carrot of a driver’s title was dangled in front of them, they did everything possible to prevent the other from winning.
In 2014, Mercedes had by far the best Grand Prix car in the field and this irreparably damaged their friendship. In their 3 years together at the top, they had multiple collisions and seemingly endless spats on team radio and in the media, but the bitterness came to a head in Barcelona in 2016.
Rosberg had won the opening four races and Hamilton was desperate to make up ground in his bid for a third successive drivers’ championship. Lewis started from pole but it was Nico that went into Turn 1 first.
An incorrect engine setting, however, made the German’s run around the long Turn 3 slow and Hamilton saw his chance to overtake at a circuit where it is very difficult to do so. He saw a gap on the right and went for it but Rosberg squeezed the Brit onto the grass.
This caused Hamilton to lose control and he was powerless to prevent his silver arrow from spearing into Rosberg and taking both of them out of the race on the first lap.
Like Senna and Prost in 1989, opinion remains polarised as to who was at fault for this one. Some blame Nico for being too aggressive in his defence, while others (such as Niki Lauda) point the finger at Hamilton for going for a gap that was always going to close.
One thing is for sure though, they didn’t learn their lesson as they would come to blows once more, 4 races later in Austria.Published 21 Jan 2019, 00:02 IST