Nico Rosberg disciplined by Mercedes for Hamilton collision

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Breaking news

Mercedes have taken disciplinary action against Nico Rosberg following his collision with team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the Belgian Grand Prix.

Championship leader Rosberg accepted responsibility for the collision, the team said in a statement.

The team met both drivers on Friday to discuss the incident and have agreed to let them continue racing free for the world title.

They have been warned another similar incident "will not be tolerated".

Rosberg clips Hamilton in Belgian GP

The two drivers collided on lap two of Sunday's race as Rosberg attempted to overtake Hamilton at the Les Combes chicane.

Rosberg's front wing hit Hamilton's left rear tyre, damaging the wing and giving Hamilton a puncture which eventually caused the 2008 world champion's retirement.

Rosberg recovered to finish second behind Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, moving into a 29-point championship lead over Hamilton with a maximum of 200 still available over the remaining seven races.

The incident was the culmination of ever-building tension between the two over the preceding 11 races.

It was a consequence of Rosberg wanting to prove a point to Hamilton that he would not be intimidated in wheel-to-wheel racing, after being forced to back out of passing moves in previous battles in the Bahrain and Hungarian Grands Prix.

But in the meeting on Friday Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff and executive director (technical) Paddy Lowe made it clear such actions were unacceptable and laid down strict guidelines for future racing between the two.

The statement said: "During the meeting, Nico acknowledged his responsibility for the contact that occurred on lap two of the Belgian Grand Prix and apologised for this error of judgement.

Remaining Races
Italian Grand Prix (Monza)5-7 September
Singapore Grand Prix19-21 September
Japanese Grand Prix (Suzuka)3-5 October
Russian Grand Prix (Sochi)10-12 October
United States Grand Prix (Austin)31 October-2 November
Brazilian Grand Prix (Sao Paulo)7-9 November
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Yas Marina)21-23 November

"Suitable disciplinary measures have been taken for the incident.

"Mercedes-Benz remains committed to hard, fair racing because this is the right way to win world championships. It is good for the team, for the fans and for Formula 1.

"Lewis and Nico understand and accept the team's number one rule: there must be no contact between the team's cars on track.

"They remain free to race for the 2014 FIA Formula 1 world championship.

Both drivers are expected to make personal statements later on Friday.