At the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend, the volatile relationship between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg may have sunk to an all-time low.
The German driver was leading his teammate heading into the final lap having driven impeccably to take control of the race after starting sixth on the grid due to a gearbox penalty.
But with just nine corners to go, it all fell apart for Rosberg. A mistake at Turn 1 – likely caused by a brake problem – left him exposed, giving Hamilton the opportunity to edge ahead approaching Turn 2.
The three-time world champion took a wide line as he tried to squeeze in front, but Rosberg refused to yield and – as the stewards later concluded – he caused the resulting collision which left him with a broken front wing and only fourth place to show for his efforts.
The repercussions of the incident could have permanent effects. Team boss Toto Wolff called the contact “brainless”, and confirmed that Mercedes were now considering whether or not to implement team orders to prevent such a disaster happening again.
Could it really be the final straw? The pair’s history suggests that there will always be drama, regardless of the instructions their team gives them…