Lauda: Hamilton goes too far and has only himself to blame
Lewis Hamilton caused a stir in qualifying, when he collided with Pastor Maldonado after the end of Q2. The next incident occurred in the race: Kamui Kobayashi tried to pass Hamilton in a scrap for fourth place.
The McLaren driver countered, and there was some contact resulting in him crashing into the barriers. Hamilton's retirement and deployment of the safety car were the direct consequence.
TV pundit Niki Lauda was unequivocal about the reasons for the collision: "He takes things to extremes. He only had to stay in the middle of the road, then he would probably have been third." Lauda called it a stupid and unnecessary incident, which the stewards were treating as a racing accident. "That was also quite right," was Lauda's comment about their decision. "Nothing actually happened, except that Hamilton failed to score any points. He's only got himself to blame."
Lauda was far more impressed by Michael Schumacher's charge at Spa-Francorchamps. The record-holding champion managed to move up from last place to finish in the points, placed fifth. "That was his best performance ever here. I take my hat off to him," said Lauda in praise whilst speaking to Autoblog UK.
Shortly before the end of the race, Nico Rosberg was told on the pit radio to save fuel – Schumacher overtook his team-mate shortly afterwards. Team orders from Mercedes as a present for Schumacher to celebrate twenty years in Formula One? "No, Michael was quicker on different tyres," thinks Lauda. "He took the position from Rosberg fairly and squarely." Former world champion Lauda thought that the MGP W02 had performed superbly: "The car was just perfect, and Nico had initially been in the lead for a number of laps."