Formula 1 championship leader Nico Rosberg’s hopes of an eighth successive win, and fifth of the season, disappeared on Sunday after a collision with Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap of the Spanish Grand Prix.
Triple F1 world champion Hamilton had started on pole, with Rosberg alongside on the front row at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Rosberg passed Hamilton round the outside of turn one and the Briton was then squeezed on to the grass as he tried to regain the lead at turn three. His car skewed sideways and hit Rosberg’s, with both drivers ending up in the gravel and the safety car was deployed.
Watching Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche shook his head in dismay, while Hamilton threw his steering wheel out of the car. With both Mercedes drivers out of the race, Rosberg leads the Briton by 43 points after five of the 17 rounds.
The stewards confirmed they will investigate the incident after the race. Shortly afterwards, Hamilton and Rosberg were seen walking into the team’s motorhome, followed later by team boss Toto Wolff and technical chief Paddy Lowe.