2016 Spanish GP: 'All-out war at Mercedes' declare Monday's papers
Fleet Street say Hamilton and Rosberg's relationship at 'a new low'
By William Esler
Last Updated: 19/05/16 11:25am
'It's all-out war at Mercedes' declared Monday's papers following Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg's race-ending collision at the Spanish GP.
The Silver Arrows team-mates crashed on the run to turn four on the opening lap, leaving both cars damaged in the gravel.
'Lewis Hamilton was left seething with arch-enemy Nico Rosberg after crashing out of the Spanish GP,' wrote Ben Hunt in The Sun.
'The warring team-mates, who sensationally clashed at Spa in 2014, will now be hauled in front of their Mercedes bosses and warned about their future conduct.'
Tensions between the pair have simmered beneath the surface since that infamous incident in Belgium and Hunt is unsure if Mercedes can continue to trust their two drivers.
'Hamilton and Rosberg's clash lit the touchpaper and this inter-team row sets up the Monaco GP perfectly after Hamilton's meltdown there last season,' he wrote.
'It also raises serious questions about whether Merc chiefs can trust them to race fairly in the future.'
In The Times, Kevin Eason declared that Hamilton's relationship with Rosberg was 'at new low' following their latest clash.
'The public faces were straight, but the inner turmoil was all too evident to those who watched Hamilton and Rosberg explain the circumstances of the incendiary accident that blew the Spanish GP wide open and detonated what was left of the pair's shattered relationship as Mercedes team-mates,' he wrote.
Eason described Hamilton's move as 'desperate' and suggested there could be more clashes to come.
'According to some astute observers, both drivers have acquired a new personality trait: in Rosberg, there is a streak of aggression not seen before and which may have emerged in spades here yesterday; the word applied to Hamilton was bleaker - desperation,' he added.
The Daily Telegraph led their sports section with a picture of Hamilton stricken in the gravel under the headline 'Hamilton's "stupid" move'.
'The stewards elected to punish neither driver, deeming it a racing incident. Tellingly, that was a verdict both Hamilton and Rosberg declined to endorse,' wrote Daniel Johnson.
'The debate will rage just as fiercely as the pair fought over an ever-diminishing piece of track to the point of calamity.
'It began as soon as a furious Hamilton threw the steering wheel out of his car, mangled and beached in the gravel not far from Rosberg's and will go on and on as Mercedes face the tall order of keeping their two drivers from colliding again.'
However, Johnson believes the situation will be handled differently to the 2014 clash at Spa.
'Although it was more visually spectacular, the consequences of this crash for their feud are perhaps not as extensive as when they collided in the Belgian GP two years ago,' he wrote.
'Then, Rosberg was forced to apologise and publicly humiliated. This time, the team will try to be more relaxed. What will define this season, however, is how both drivers respond.'
With both Mercedes eliminated, the F1 fans were treated to an exhilarating fight during the remainder of the race between the two Ferraris and two Red Bulls for victory in Spain.
'People here had seen enough Mercedes dominance to last them a lifetime and a change of pattern was welcome,' wrote Jonathan McEvoy in the Daily Mail.
In The Sun Hunt added: 'This race was a thriller, just what the sport needed.'
The Mercedes clash somewhat overshadowed a maiden win for 18-year-old Max Verstappen, with only The Guardian leading on the Dutchman's victory.
Under the headline of 'Verstappen's fairytale victory shakes up F1' Paul Weaver wrote 'the delivery of the prodigy Max Verstappen, who became the youngest winner of a Formula 1 race, brought and iridescence to a sport that for too long has laboured in the single colour of the silver of Mercedes.
'Everyone apart from the stricken people at Mercedes appeared to be joyous. Many sagacious voices said he was too young but there can be no doubts now'.
The Sun's Hunt declared Verstappen F1's 'newest superstar', while McEvoy described the Dutchman's drive as 'sure-footed precocity'.