Mercedes non-executive chairman and former world champion Niki Lauda blamed Britain’s Lewis Hamilton for an “unacceptable” collision during the opening lap of the Spanish Grand Prix.
Teenager Max Verstappen, 18, became Formula One’s youngest-ever race winner with victory on his Red Bull debut, surviving the challenge of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who was within a second of him for the last 22 laps.
Mercedes’ involvement had long since ended after reigning world champion and pole-sitter Hamilton crashed into Rosberg at turn three. Race stewards scrutinised the incident but opted against any further action.
“Completely unnecessary I would say and for me the disaster is that both Mercedes are out after two corners, it’s unacceptable,” said Lauda. “Lewis was too aggressive to pass him and why should Nico give him room? He’s in the lead.
“It’s very simple for me, it was a miscalculation in Lewis’ head. I blame him more than Nico but for the team and Mercedes it’s unacceptable.”
Verstappen was only promoted to Red Bull from junior side Toro Rosso after Daniil Kvyat’s demotion last week following an error-strewn Russian Grand Prix earlier this month. He eclipsed Sebastian Vettel’s youngest-winner record, at at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix, by two years and 137 days.
Rosberg continues to lead the drivers’ championship by 39 points from Raikkonen.