10:06 – Mercedes Non-Executive Chairman Niki Lauda says the outfit threatened to bench Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg in the wake of their infamous first-lap collision at last year’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Hamilton joined Rosberg at Mercedes for 2013 but their relationship soured over the course of the following campaigns, as Mercedes’ dominance left the pair as the sole title protagonists.

A series of flashpoints reached their peak on the opening lap at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in 2016, when they made contact on the run to Turn 4, leaving both out of the race.

In an interview with Graham Bensinger, Lauda has revealed that, during the fall-out from the Barcelona clash, Mercedes warned the pair that they could be released from their contracts.

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