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Nico Rosberg

Rosberg details uncompromising Mercedes crash policy

Nico Rosberg has revealed a policy from his time at Mercedes requiring him and team-mate Lewis Hamilton to pay for the cost of damage incurred from crashes with each other.

Rosberg Hamilton Spain 2016
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Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton's bitter rivalry whilst team-mates at Mercedes was one of the most fiercely fought intra-team battles in recent memory.

The pair came together on a number of occasions during their four years racing alongside each other for the Brackley-based team, particularly between 2014-2016, when the two were close competitors for the F1 drivers' title.

Hamilton would take the championship in '14 and 15', but Rosberg would exact revenge in their final year as team-mates, winning the crown at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and swiftly announcing his retirement from motorsport mere days later.

The 2016 season is well-chronicled, with multiple incidents or near-misses, including their first lap crash at the Spanish Grand Prix, which helped provide Max Verstappen the opportunity to take his maiden F1 win - at just 18 years of age.

Rosberg has since revealed there was a heavy price to pay for such indiscretions.

“Because Lewis and I crashed, eventually the team made us pay for the damage,” he said on a recent episode of the Business of Sport podcast.

'We definitely made sure not to crash after that'

It was already well known that Rosberg had to pay a six-figure sum following a collision between the duo at Spa-Francorchamps in 2014, with the amount believed to have been paid to charity.

However, Rosberg's recent revelation speaks to a wider policy at Mercedes to prevent the pair from colliding.

"We had to sign a contract that from now on, if we crash, it doesn't matter whose fault it is, we pay for the damage," he explained.

"I remember how much I paid: it was £360,000 that I paid for one of those crashes, so that was very painful."

However, the 38-year-old did indicate the approach employed by Mercedes did eventually work, adding: "So we definitely made sure not to crash after that."

Whilst Rosberg did not explicitly state which specific incident led to the heavy fine he mentioned, context suggests in was their final lap crash at the 2016 Austrian Grand Prix - the last major collision between the two and just weeks after the infamous accident in Spain.

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