Hamilton 'too aggresive'
Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton, left, and Nico Rosberg enter the first curve during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix. Picture/AP
It was a wild start at the Barcelona track.
"Completely unnecessary," former driver Niki Lauda, Mercedes' non-executive chairman, said from the pit lane. "That both Mercedes are out after two corners is for me unacceptable. Lewis was too aggressive, why should Nico give him room? He's in the lead. I blame Lewis more than I blame Nico."
Toto Wolff, head of Mercedes motorsport, didn't want to singularly blame one of the drivers.
"A very difficult situation for the team, we lost points," Wolff said. "We let the drivers race and sometimes this is what happens. In our opinion, there is not one to blame entirely. They are both pretty upset because they know about the effort. We need to look at the pictures, look at the data and avoid this in the future."
It was the latest setback for Hamilton, who is yet to win a race in a season in which he has been plagued by mechanical issues and unfortunate incidents. He hasn't won since the United States GP in October.
The crash also ended Rosberg's chance of winning his eighth straight race. He had already won the first four this year and could have become the first driver to win five in a row to start the season since Michael Schumacher with Ferrari in 2004. Nigel Mansell also won the first five races with Williams in 1992.
After another poor start, Hamilton got a good run off Turn 2 and was faster than Rosberg, who moved to the inside to defend his position and squeezed the three-time world champion onto the grass. Hamilton lost control and spun, collecting Rosberg's car in the process entering Turn 4.
Both cars came to a stop in the gravel and could not continue. Hamilton, yet to lead after Turn 1 this season, was visibly upset and threw his steering wheel from the car.
With their helmets still on, Rosberg and Hamilton entered the Mercedes offices to discuss the incident. A little later they were joined by Wolff and Lauda.
Stewards said they would investigate the incident.
Home crowd-favorite Fernando Alonso, who helped McLaren start in the top 10 for the first time since 2014, retired with a power unit problem with about 20 laps to go.