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The force is with Lewis Hamilton as he cuts "p**d off" Nico Rosberg's F1 points lead

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The force is with Lewis Hamilton as he cuts "p**d off" Nico Rosberg's F1 points lead
Jun 13, 2016, 2:03 PM

Lewis Hamilton reckons Mercedes does not need to investigate the first corner incident between himself and his Formula 1 teammate Nico Rosberg the ...

Lewis Hamilton reckons Mercedes does not need to investigate the first corner incident between himself and his Formula 1 teammate Nico Rosberg the start of yesterday’s Canadian Grand Prix.

Both Mercedes drivers made poor starts and were jumped off the line by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who had started third. As the pack piled into Turn 1, Rosberg attempted to go around the outside of Hamilton and the pair made contact as the world champion held his line and the German was forced to cut across Turn 2.

The incident, which did not damage either Mercedes cars, dropped Rosberg to ninth and although he recovered to fifth by the finish it was Hamilton’s day in Montreal as he used a one-stop strategy to deny Vettel the win.

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton, who has now won the last two races and dramatically closed in on Rosberg in the title standings, explained that he would be surprised if Mercedes felt the need to investigate the pair’s latest collision as he had the racing line going into the corner.

He said: "I don't see it as something the team has to look at. You couldn't have predicted we'd be side by side going into the first corner. Nico was on the outside, I was on the inside, so I was on the racing line.

"Watching the replay, Vettel was close in front of me, so I couldn't have braked later if I'd wanted to. I don't know if I got a tailwind or a loss of downforce from being so close to him, but I just had understeer, and after watching it was the smallest tap.

"On my side I barely felt it, whereas he had to go another way, and sometimes you make it around the outside, sometimes you don't. On this occasion it didn't work."

Lewis Hamilton

Speaking to reporters immediately after the race, Rosberg admitted he had been “pi***d off” with his teammate in the moments after their clash, but the 30-year-old classed it as a racing incident.

He said: "Sebastian had a great start and I had a decent one and Lewis had a really bad one and my position was on the outside.

"In Barcelona, I gave it a go around the outside of Lewis and it worked out really well. I went for the same today and he did a really hard racing manoeuvre and we touched and I was off.

"I was very pissed off in the moment, but that's racing and it's my job to make sure I'm in front after a battle like that next time."

 Toto Wolff

Mercedes’ motorsport boss Toto Wolff described the incident as a “hard manoeuvre” on Hamilton’s part, but he agreed with the Briton’s assessment that understeer had played a part in the collision, which occurred just two races after the Spanish Grand Prix crash that eliminated both Hamilton and Rosberg on the first lap of that event.

Wolff said: "It was a hard manoeuvre. Lewis said that he had an understeer, that's what I would say [too].

"From the team's perspective, you are starting one and two, you come out of Turn 1 two and nine that is not pleasant. I have a deja vu, we are having these discussions after every race.

"Turn 1 in Canada is a difficult one, there is a concrete runoff area. If there would be a wall, probably we wouldn't have the discussion. But then if you are on the inside, you dictate the line."

Most paddock observers agreed that Hamilton’s move was hard but fair racing at a corner where the racing line naturally brings the driver on the inside out wide.

Nico Rosberg

What will be much more concerning to Rosberg is that Hamilton’s win has cut his lead in the world championship to just nine points. After the German had won the opening four races of the year to score a then perfect 100 points, he has taken just 16 in the three races since.

Although the resurgence of Red Bull and Ferrari’s engine upgrade raises the possibility of those teams taking points off Hamilton, the same applies to Rosberg and his lead has been reduced much quicker than many expected.

Hamilton: clutch problems “catching us out"

Although the poor getaway for both Mercedes drivers did not cost the German marque victory in Canada, it again exposed its weakness at the start of the race.

Canadian Grand Prix 2016 start

For 2016, F1 drivers now use a single clutch, rather than the previous double clutches, and cannot be told the optimum settings for the start by their engineers.

Mercedes’ starts have been inconsistent at best this season. Hamilton made poor starts in Australia and Bahrain but said he got the best getaway of any driver in China.

The triple world champipn explained that Mercedes is going to investigate the issue to understand exactly what was going on. The team has already conducted a similar study after its start problems earlier this year.

ahrain Grand Prix start

Hamilton said: "The clutch was warm, had low torque, so I let the clutch out and it didn't deliver the torque.

"Compared to Nico, his torque was not as expected, but he still had better torque. So my clutch was just slipping. I did the procedure exactly as I was asked. They're going to investigate and try to understand why.

"They don't quite understand it, so we're going to work on it. Having seen [the data], I'm happy I didn't make any mistakes, but this clutch is definitely catching us out."

What did you make of the first lap clash between Hamilton and Rosberg? How concerned should Rosberg be regarding his lack of points in the last three races? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.
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Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton Shop Now
Teams McLaren Shop Now