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'Lewis, Nico can be team-mates'

Sky Sports Sky Sports 18/05/2016

Despite their clash in Spain, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg can continue as Mercedes team-mates according to the F1 Report guests.

The two Silver Arrows drivers crashed out of the race in Barcelona following an opening-lap collision while fighting for the lead.

Sky Sports F1's Martin Brundle described the image of both cars in the gravel as "possibly the defining moment of where the Mercedes team heads for 2017".

However, Williams co-founder Sir Patrick Head believes it would be "an overreaction" to change drivers.

"They are both fairly mature characters, on the track they have had a clash, but I don't see it as a reason they can't drive in the same team going forwards," he told the F1 Report, which airs at 8:30pm on Wednesday.

"It would seem an overreaction for that to happen. I think going forward it really depends what happens, if Lewis goes out and wins the next four races in a row and closes the gap then Lewis will be happy and everything will be fine. Nico will have to be focusing on going out afterwards and winning.

Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty "They have 16 races ahead of them and they will be looking forward at that rather than looking back. Yes, it will be an annoyance and they have to work out how they deal with it and how they avoid it in the future. But I don't see it as a reason why they can't be in the same team."

Former McLaren No 1 mechanic Marc Priestley feels even if Mercedes did change their line-up tension would soon return.

"In terms of swapping drivers at Mercedes for next year I think this is a consequence of whoever you put in that car, if they are both competitive drivers, in a car at the front of the field, battling for a world title, I don't think it matters who you've got there - they are going to fall out," he said.

"Their biggest rival is the guy sat a few metres away on the other side of the garage. This is a consequence of their success and it is something they have to deal with. I don't think swapping a driver out is going to allay that for very long."

Indeed, the first rule of racing is always to beat your team-mate and in his long career in F1, Head doesn't remember many team-mates being friends.

"The only time I've come across good friends within a team I've been involved with is when one is clearly head and shoulders above the other and the other accepts the other one is better," he said.

"I don't think anyone wants that." 

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