After re-taking second place from Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg tried to take first from Lewis Hamilton under braking into Les Combes, as the end of the 23s full throttle section of Sector One at Spa-Francorchamps. As Lewis Hamilton went defensive, Rosberg attempt to go round the outside, but failed to get out of the way quick enough when it became clear it was going to be difficult for him to make the pass work.
Hamilton took the racing line for the subsequent left hander, ending up with his left rear tire into the front right corner of Rosberg's front wing. The coming together led to a puncture and eventually a pointless race for Hamilton while Rosberg, as it would emerge later, threw away a chance for victory.
The incident, albeit by some considered a racing incident, was greeted with much disbelief by leading figures within the team.
Team boss Toto Wolff was clearly furious, saying it was a shame that his drivers took each other out as early as lap two of the race, in which it was entirely plausible for them to secure a 1-2 finish.
"You don’t try to overtake with the knife between your teeth in lap number two and damage both cars", Wolff said.
He continued by saying "it's going to be very intense" when asked how his team was going to handle the situation. The German later also said to RTL that Rosberg was likely facing an internal penalty for the incident.
Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda was even more clear on who he believes is to blame for the incident: "Very simple. It is unacceptable for me that in the second lap Nico hits Lewis. Unacceptable".
Hamilton continued to race until 5 laps from the end, when it became obvious his car was just too damaged to make any chance of points while Rosberg went on to finish second after getting a new front wing on his first pitstop.