Monday, 28 July 2014

Hamilton upset over team orders call

(Mercedes AMG F1 Team)

Lewis Hamilton has admitted to being stunned after he was told over the radio to slow and let team mate Nico Rosberg overtake him following the German's third pit-stop at the Hungaroring. The 2008 world champion who was on an alternate strategy to Rosberg who currently leads the Drivers championship ignored the call and went on to finish the race on the podium in third place while Rosberg finished the race in fourth place.

Speaking after the race Hamilton said:

'If I'd let him past he would have beaten me, Also, I would have lost points to Nico. Obviously I was in the same race as him, just because he had one more stop than me doesn't mean I wasn't in the same race. He would have had the opportunity to pull away and then I thought he would come back and overtake me. I was very, very shocked that the team would ask me to do that. He didn't get close enough to overtake, I was not going to lift off and lose ground to Fernando [Alonso] or Daniel [Ricciardo], so it was a bit strange.'

Following his final stop, Rosberg was catching the leading pack of Ricciardo, Alonso and Hamilton by three seconds a lap due to the fact that he he had a fresher set of the Pirelli Option tyre compared to Hamilton who was on the Medium compound tyre. 

However Hamilton managed to stay ahead of Rosberg and as a result has closed the gap to Rosberg in the championship. Hamilton, who following qualifying stated that he would find it difficult to score points admitted that he felt greater satisfaction in beating Rosberg then winning the race.

Last night Mercedes non executive chairman Niki Lauda admitted that the team were wrong to attempt to impose team orders on Hamilton. The Austrian said:

'Mercedes has been used to being in the lead and racing against each other, but this race, with the safety car at the beginning and the wet conditions, was a completely different race, So every minute you had to decide something different and in this stress the team told Lewis he should let Nico by because he was on softer tyres and has to come in anyway.'

Lauda went on to say that he felt Lewis was right and that the reason the call came was because the pit-wall panicked as the team were looking to make up for lost time.

Mercedes Motorsport boss Toto Wolff confirmed after the race that they will discuss the situation internally.

© Ben Johnston 2014

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