Nico Rosberg has apologised for colliding with Formula One team mate Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes announced it would not impose team orders for the rest of the season.

Hamilton was left with a puncture while Rosberg managed to claim second spot despite a damaged front wing after the pair crashed at the Belgium Grand Prix on Sunday.

The incident happened on the second lap while Hamilton was leading but the Brit was forced to retire from the race.

The crash added more tension to the pair's already strained relationship as both drivers fight it out for the drivers' championship.

Mercedes has looked to draw a line under the incident after announcing it had issued a "suitable punishment" to the German, while Rosberg accepted his culpability.

"Mercedes-Benz remains committed to hard, fair racing because this is the right way to win world championships. It is good for the team, for the fans and for Formula One," a statement from the German team said.

"Lewis and Nico understand and accept the team's number-one rule: there must be no contact between the team's cars on track."

The decision to cancel team orders means Rosberg and Hamilton's rivalry can spill onto the track without contravening Mercedes diktats.

It follows the team's decision on Thursday to ask its Twitter followers how the team should react to the crash. A landslide 92% said Mercedes should allow their drivers to race free of orders.

Rosberg leads the drivers' championship on 220 points while Hamilton trails him in second on 191.