F1 Fansite

F1 News

Mercedes to rethink team orders after Hamilton defiance

Posted on by
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W05 driving in Monaco
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W05 driving in Monaco
Mercedes to rethink team orders after Hamilton defiance

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes has moved to put the intensifying battle between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg behind closed doors.

“Corporate answer,” boss Toto Wolff smiled late on Sunday, when the extent of the potential controversy triggered by the Hungarian grand prix became clear.

In the race, after technical failures blighted his last two qualifying outings as he chases down teammate and enemy Rosberg’s points lead, Briton Hamilton was asked repeatedly to let the sister silver car past.

Predictably, team chairman Niki Lauda dismissed as “bullsh*t” any conspiracy theory about Mercedes wanting its German driver to prevail in 2014 over a Briton.

Indeed, the much more sensible reasoning for Sunday’s team order was that Mercedes had devised on the fly a new race-winning strategy for pole-sitter Rosberg, after the timing of the safety car period left him trailing Hamilton, who started the race from pitlane.

Even Wolff had to admit that, had Hamilton obeyed the order, “Nico could have won the race.

“It is a difficult situation now,” he added.

The team finds itself on a delicate line between letting its drivers fight freely for the drivers’ title, and handling situations like Sunday, where two non-Mercedes cars eventually crossed the chequered flag first and second.

Hamilton’s defiance probably cost Mercedes victory in Hungary, but it did help him narrow the points gap to Rosberg with eight races now to run.

2008 world champion Hamilton said immediately after getting out of his W05 on Sunday that he thinks his bosses issued the team order “for the right reasons”.

But the wheel-to-wheel title battle is something different.

“I was in the same race as him,” he said, “so I was very, very shocked that the team would ask me to do that, to be able to better his position.

“So that was a bit strange.”

Hamilton revealed on Sunday that, after his qualifying fire, he had lifted his spirits by sharing a pizza, some chocolate and “a prank” with Lauda.

Lauda said Hamilton was right to ignore the team order.

“I would have done exactly the same,” said the great Austrian.

“The team was under enormous stress because the race was a very difficult one, there is no question. The call was unnecessary but it was made.”

Even Wolff admits that Mercedes will need to use the three-weekend ‘summer break’, including a two week factory shutdown, to devise a better strategy for dealing with the intensifying championship battle between the two drivers.

“What we had at the beginning of the season doesn’t function anymore,” he acknowledged.

“Perhaps we need to have a new way. It’s getting intense and we need to sit down and discuss how to handle things.”

Book discounted tickets and reservate your hotelroom in on our F1 Tickets Shop.

Please share this article & subscribe to our FREE weekly F1 Newsletter

PinIt

Latest F1 News posts:

See older posts in our F1 News Archive »

Free F1 Newsletter

Early Booking Discounts on F1 Tickets

Buy F1 tickets cheaper at F1-Fansite.com '14 & '15 Formula 1 Season Early Booking Discounts are:
F1 Grand Prix
Discount

Book F1 Tickets British F1 GP British '15 Available Book Now
Book F1 Tickets Singapore F1 GP Singapore 15 -15%
Book Now
Book F1 Tickets Spanish F1 GP Spain 2015 -20%
Book Now
Book F1 Tickets Monaco F1 GP Monaco '15 Available
Book Now
Book F1 Tickets Canadian F1 GP Canada '15 Available Book Now
Book F1 Tickets Austria F1 GP Austria '15 Available Book Now
Book F1 Tickets Austria F1 GP Hungary '15' -25% Book Now
Book F1 Tickets Belgium F1 GP Belgium '15 -25% Book Now
Buy F1 MerchandiseBuy F1 Merchandise of your favourite driver or team.