Hamilton says Rosberg should have been on podium

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sepang, 2013Lewis Hamilton said he felt his team mate should have been on the podium instead of him after the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Hamilton finished third with Nico Rosberg close behind him. But Rosberg repeatedly lobbied his team to be allowed to pass Hamilton, who was backing off to save fuel.

Hamilton was quick to pay tribute to his team mate on the podium after the race: “If I’m honest I really feel like Nico should be standing here, generally he had better pace than me throughout the race. But he’s a great team mate and did a fantastic job today.”

“I can’t say it’s the best feeling being up here but racing is racing and I really just got to keep looking forward,” he added.

Rosberg said Hamiltons’ words were “nice to hear” and added he didn’t feel like the team owes him payback for his obedience:

“I understand I drive for Mercedes, for you guys at home who put your life into building this car over the winter and doing such a fantastic job. I’m pleased to be able to do such a great result for the team.

“But of course there’s a small side of me where I want to go flat out all the way to the end and we up on the podium myself. But the time will come for that.”

Team principal Ross Brawn repeatedly denied Rosberg’s requests during the race to be allowed to race Hamilton. He said the team were holding position after dropping back from leaders Red Bull:

“I think we obviously lost the race around the last pit stops,” said Brawn. “The prime tyre didn’t work so well for us in the third stint of dry tyres. Having lost it initially it was a question of bringing the cars back in the safest form.”

Brawn added they have cut it fine on fuel with both cars: “We were tight on fuel, the pace was a lot stronger in the race than we anticipated and we were tight on fuel and we needed to make sure we didn’t overdo it. Once the opportunity was gone there was nothing to be gained.”

He said Rosberg understood Hamilton would be expected to do the same under similar circumstances: “It works both ways, the drivers know that. We discuss these things before the race. Of course he’s very competitive and he’ll be a bit frustrated but it works both ways.”

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144 comments on Hamilton says Rosberg should have been on podium

  1. PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 24th March 2013, 11:38

    I think really what is needed is for team orders to be banned until a clear championship picture has evolved. There was no need for team orders from either team in the race today, the drivers know how to race each other. However, regarding the orders, a team order was actually given, and like it or not, that should effectively become the law. Rosberg heeded the call, Vettel did not. Whilst I understand he wanted to go for the win, he did so against orders not too.
    As I say, orders are orders. Whilst the orders weren’t needed, they were there and therefore should be followed.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 24th March 2013, 13:33

      We tried that, but banning team orders is practically impossible due to ‘codewords’ and the suchlike. Besides, it certainly gives us something to talk about today! I find the driver/team conflicting interests really intriguing, giving F1 a certain uniqueness among sports.

      Vettel may have got the points today, but the respect he will have lost inside his own team will come back to haunt him at some point I’m sure. Not so much the action (because Webber actually did a similar thing when not ‘maintaining the gap’ a couple of years back), but the fact he seems to lie about it to the media afterwards, saying he did not know until after the race. Did he not hear any of his team radio? Of course not Seb…

  2. Pinaki said on 24th March 2013, 11:39

    Hats off to both the mercedes drivers for their loyalty

  3. SD (@sd) said on 24th March 2013, 11:44

    Can someone please tell me y Nico was not allowed to overtake Hamilton? I read all the comments about how humble Lewis was to acknowledge what Nico did but what I dont understand is y was this necessary? Nico fully deserved the podium, his side of the garage had fuelled his car properly, y should Lewis take podium?

    • nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 24th March 2013, 11:50

      Blame the game, not the players. Ross is the key. If he see a chance he grabs it. That is his way. Lewis had 10 points, Nico had 0 prior to this race. It simple as that. If you remember how Michael won his titles.

    • Raul (@sennahakkham) said on 24th March 2013, 11:56

      I think Nico had a little more fuel than Ham but not much. If they were aloud to race the cost of racing each at that point would have exhausted their already depleteing resources and risking a shure third and fourth place for the team. The general assumption people are doing is assuming that Rosberg had much more fuel even though both where on the same strategy.

      If a fair teamorder would be issued then that order would have been race eachother not “Lewis Nico is much faster than you!

    • Lets not forget Hamilton was the guy that had the pace to push the Redbulls for 2 thirds of the race, not Nico. he was the one able to apply the pressure until it became apparant the amount of fuel they put in his car wasnt enough. Nico did a Button today and trundled along behind his teammate, sure, he had fuel at the end, but for a reason, because his overall pace was slower.

      • AlokIn (@) said on 24th March 2013, 12:48


      • SD (@sd) said on 24th March 2013, 18:34

        Well, he was able to come back at the pack, and he could easily have overtaken Lewis. Just because he was behind his teammate for most of the race shouldnt mean he should finish behind Lewis.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 25th March 2013, 4:47

        NR’s overall pace was not slower. He started behind LH, did several fast laps throughout the race, and in the end had reeled LH in and was obviously able to pass and go faster were it not for the team’s decision. That is why LH said it was NR that belonged on the podium, not him.

      • panache (@panache) said on 25th March 2013, 23:58

        Rosbergs pace was evidently NOT slower across a race distance. At the end of the day completing the race in the shortest time possible is what counts.

        If we are to assume that both cars were fueled equally, then it’s apparent that Hamilton tapped into extra fuel in the first part of the race to go faster than Rosberg but it made him considerably slower towards the end of the race when he had to save fuel. Hamilton didn’t pull away from Rosberg enough during the phase when he was using more fuel.

  4. Eggry (@eggry) said on 24th March 2013, 11:45

    I think this is team’s fault. Hamilton is not clear number one yet and Nico also closely matched since day one and today he was faster. Brawn should respect his longtime mate. Also I don’t think it’s gonna be dangerous since Hamilton was clearly slower. Too bad.

    • I dunno, Rosberg tried about 5 times laps after lap to pass Hamilton on the back-striaght, only to have Hamilton re-take the position on the pit-straight. Maybe this is why Brawn said to Rosberg that Hamilton does have the pace to be quicker but is being slower on our orders.

  5. Larreal said on 24th March 2013, 11:46

    For the red bull guys, it is obvious that Vettel is the number 1 and Mark has to deal with it, and whoever is in that second red bull would be in the same position as long vettel is in the team.

    For the Mercedes guys, hopefully both drivers will get equal treatment, however for this race I believe this was necessary to please PETRONAS sponsors. It really would have been disastrous if both mercs were out in PETRONAS territory.

  6. Aldoid said on 24th March 2013, 11:52

    So many people in here lauding bad behavior, us-sportsmanlike conduct & blatant disrespect… it’s sickening & ridiculous. Here we have two drivers actually doing what their boss instructed being criticized & berated by some people, who simultaneously laud another driver for basically giving his team the middle finger, putting his own selfish agenda ahead of his entire team, even risking contact & a double DNF! And this is the guy you like? A guy being PAYED millions to do a job… not asked to do a favor, mind you, disobeying his bosses and risking his team & teammate’s results by acting out his own selfish play? Is Formula One not a team sport anymore?

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 24th March 2013, 12:42

      Any overtake has the chance to end in a DNF. And Mark Webber knows all about disobeying team orders, so why did people hail him for his actions then, but criticise his teammate now, in the same scenario?

  7. himmatsj (@himmatsj) said on 24th March 2013, 12:00

    Please understand that Nico did in fact overtake Hamilton one 2-3 occasions along the back straight. However, any intelligent driver would instead wait to make a move along the front straight. As a result on each occasion Hamilton came by Rosberg.

    Seeing this, I think Ross Brawn has every reason to step in and put an end to the duel as it could have ended ugly for the team.

    Moral of the story – Rosberg was given the chance and license to overtake Hamilton but never could make a pass stick.

  8. Nigelstash (@nigelstash) said on 24th March 2013, 12:10

    I guess we will never know the exact fuel loads, but I do wonder if they were fueled a bit differently and if so, why. Rosberg was quick right through the weekend, and may well have been in front of Lewis anyway had their cars been the same weight.
    Still, great to see Mercedes competing at the front.

    • I dont think their fuel loads where different, i think Hamiltons pace was just quicker through the race, he was pushing the Redbulls, Rosberg wasnt, you could hear from his onboards that he was lift before braking zones quite early in the race.

      If you wanna drive that way thats fine, but if the team have a pre-arranged agreement that whoever is leading by x laps in the race gets to keep that position, then Rosberg cant blame anyone.

      It was Hamilton who pushed the Redbulls today, thats why we all watch isnt it? not to see drivers fuel save from lap 5 and coast around.

      • pantherjag (@pantherjag) said on 24th March 2013, 13:20

        Rosberg was consistently quicker than Hamilton the entire race. Hamilton benefited greatly by being pitted first in each stint. Hamilton may have pushed the Redbulls but Rosberg could have beat them if Mercedes had swapped the cars mid-race when it was clear Rosberg was the quicker car

        • No he wasnt ‘consistently quicker’ than Hamilton the entire race

          “Hamilton benefited greatly by being pitted first in each stint.”

          Poor Rosberg that his new teammate out qualified him and was beating him in race conditions an therefore gets first pit stop shout…

          Rosberg was sat at around 5 seconds behind Lewis for the first 3rd, while Hamilton was right up on the Redbulls gearbox trying _make something happen_.

          • pantherjag (@pantherjag) said on 24th March 2013, 13:50

            At the end of lap 10 after the start, intermediates and change to slicks had all shook out Rosberg was 4.447 seconds behind Hamilton. By the end of lap 20 before the 2nd pitstops started he had cut that to 1.458 seconds.

            In order to gain 3 seconds you generally have to be faster which is why in from lap 10-20 nico was faster in 9 of them.

            Oh and for the record the closest Hamilton got to a Redbull gearbox over those laps was 2.5 seconds so he wasnt being held up

          • “At the end of lap 10 after the start, intermediates and change to slicks had all shook out Rosberg was 4.447 seconds behind Hamilton”

            It was estimated Hamilton lost around 5-6 seconds after entering the Mclaren pit stop. So make that ~10 seconds on pace.

            “In order to gain 3 seconds you generally have to be faster which is why in from lap 10-20 nico was faster in 9 of them.”

            Yeah, you can be a fraction of a second quicker per lap when your sat seconds behind someone in clean air, trundling along. Ala Button-style.

          • pantherjag (@pantherjag) said on 24th March 2013, 14:50


            Hamilton’s pit lane time for his stop on lap 7 was 24.9 against Rosbergs of 22.1 so he lost 2.8 seconds all of which he gained back by having the benefit of changing onto slicks at the optimum time.

            Dont go listening to ted kravitz and his 5-6 second estimate

          • It’s still 6+ seconds Hamilton was infront of Rosberg who was ‘consisently quicker the entire race’..

            It was not obvious at all ‘half way through the race’ that Rosberg was quicker, there was even a point about half way through the race where Hamilton had the pace to get the jump on Vettel..

            Rosberg couldnt even make his passes stick with Hamilton with just 10 laps to go in the race when he tried to pass him like 3 times, Hamilton still had the pace to re-take the positions on the pit-straight, it was only about 5 laps to go in the race where it became obvious that Hamiltons fuel was far too marginal to keep the pace, by which time Rosberg was never going to catch Webber.

          • pantherjag (@pantherjag) said on 24th March 2013, 20:16


            Well its not a 6+ gap on pace because over the first 3 laps Rosberg had to pass button and Massa and also started further down the grid. by the time he had passed those 2 he was already 3.2 seconds behind he then went faster than Hamilton on laps 4, 5, 6 and was going quicker on lap 7 when Hamilton was pitted for slicks. Even with his mistake the benefit of changing to slicks a lap earlier than Rosberg cancelled it out and he was even able to extend the gap such was the cost to Rosberg of doing an extra lap on intermediates

            To highlight the cost of that extra lap Rosberg did he set a 155.8 on lap 7 on intermediates, on lap 8 now on slicks Bianchi did a 1.51.5….Over 4 seconds quicker in a Marrusia. The other thing that highlights the cost of that lap is that before the stop for slicks Rosberg was over 10 seconds ahead of button and after less than 5, given that button stopped on the same lap as Hamilton the advantage gained is obvious to see.

            Finally in the 40 laps before the final pitstops after which Hamilton held Rosberg up the split of faster laptimes was 28-12 in Rosbergs favour

            As i said Rosberg was consistently faster and the laptimes prove it

  9. mikkomixxx (@mikkomix) said on 24th March 2013, 12:33

    Team orders are allowed. Drivers have to accept it and spectators have to deal with it.

    That being said, we can see how the drivers handle those orders. We have Hamilton and Rosberg handling it like mature team players. On the other side is Webber and Vettel (with Red Bull) handling it unbecoming of 3 time Constructor and Driver champions.

  10. wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 24th March 2013, 12:46

    If Hamilton honestly thinks that Rosberg should be on the podium, then he should’ve slowed down to let him through…

  11. SPIDERman (@spiderman) said on 24th March 2013, 13:00

    the thing is roseburg wanted to pass hamilton and chase the redbull pair. the team knew they had underfueled both cars.. so such a chase could have ended in grief for roseburg and team loosing valuable points by him not finshing the race somewhat. i think the team was right to demand he cools down.perfect sense from brawn.

  12. pantherjag (@pantherjag) said on 24th March 2013, 13:13

    My problem with the Hamilton/Rosberg situation is not so much what happened over the final stint but more that the whole race was manufactured to keep Hamilton ahead of Rosberg and when you add up all the numbers Mercedes cost Rosberg a genuine shot at winning the race today.

    Let me explain

    After the start, intermediate period and change to slicks Rosberg was 4.4 seconds behind Hamilton at the end of lap 9(having lost 2 seconds to Hamilton during the change to slicks) Over the next stint he closed that gap to 1.4 seconds before Hamilton pitted again and Rosberg the next lap, despite a net gain on Hamilton of 3 tenths over the in/out laps Hamilton switch a lap earlier blew the gap out from 1.4 to 3.4 seconds between the Mercs such is the beneifit of new rubber.

    Again Over the next stint Rosberg closed the gap from 3.4 to less than a second when Mercedes again pitted Hamilton 1 lap before Rosberg. Again despite having in/out laps that balanced Rosberg emerged from the stops from less than a second behind Hamilton to once again over 3 seconds behind.

    Once again Rosberg slowly cut into that gap and by the time of the final stops was sitting on Hamiltons gearbox around 0.7 seconds behind however Mercedes again pitted Hamilton a lap before Rosberg. This time Rosberg was considerably quicker than Hamilton over the in/out laps and emerged in exactly the same position on Hamiltons tail. From here he was condemed to remain their despite looking considerably quicker.

    In essenece pitting Rosberg a lap later in every stint cost him around 8 seconds on the track, if we consider that Rosberg lost at least 6-8 seconds behind Hamilton in the final stint that’s 14-16 seconds Mercedes strategy cost Rosberg and given he was only 12 seconds behind Vettel at the finish he clearly had the speed today to win if allowed to unleash it. instead it seems Mercedes did what was needed to keep Hamilton happy.

    Now of course its never that simple, Hamilton had qualified ahead and had track position and so its understandable that he got the optimum time to stop over the first 2 stints but having closed up on Hamilton over the first 2 dry stints it was clear Rosberg had the edge and so Mercedes should have recognised and took advantage of this. Had Mercedes pitted Rosberg first during the 3rd pitstops he would have jumped Hamilton(possibly vettel) and been less that 4 seconds behind the bull(s) and been in position to attack during the 4th stops and mount a challenge for the race win.

    Cant say im surprised though, having followed mercedes over he last 4 years iv grown used to James Vowles being unable to adapt a strategy on the go.

    • John Well said on 24th March 2013, 14:04

      If you theory is correct. Why did he not pass vettel when vettel was behind hamilton?

      It is all good to speculate after the race but roberg passed hamilton more than once and each time Hamilton re-took the place.

      If he was that fast, Hamilton would never have re-taken the place. If he cannot pass hamilton and make it stick, how exactly did you expect him to pass the redbull?

      • pantherjag (@pantherjag) said on 24th March 2013, 20:39

        @John Well

        When the cars were running Hamilton, Vettel, Rosberg between laps 33 and laps 38 Rosberg would have been unable to pass Vettel for 2 reason. One is that during those laps they came across 4 lapped cars which mixed things up a little and didnt quite work as favourably for Rosberg and secondly when he did have DRS behind Vettel invariably Vettel also had it behind Hamilton.

        Had Rosberg been able to get by Hamilton and chase the Redbulls i suspect DRS would have been enough to do the job.

        As for Rosbergs passes on Hamilton and then the re-passes well that is the crux of double DRS zones, i suspect and this is just my own theory is that when Rosberg made those moves the fight was already called off and that they were a message to the team that he was faster. It makes no sense to pass in the first DRS zone to inevitably get re-passed in the next. His lack of defence when Hamilton re-passed each time made it look to me like he was yielding more than being re-passed

        • John Well said on 25th March 2013, 10:50

          At the end of the day he didn’t have to ask for permission. If he could he should have done it on the track. The proof is he tried and couldn’t make it stick. Then wanted the team to tell Hamilton to let him pass.

          What most people are forgetting here is that Hamilton wasn’t slow, the team asked him to slow down to conserve fuel with the guaranty that Nico won’t attack him. Now how do you expect to then tell him to let Nico pass after that.

          For Nico to go and complain about that does not make any sense as both were told to conserve fuel. He has the first 40 laps to pass his teammate before the last stop. Same happened with Button and it ended without so much noise. How is this different?

        • panache (@panache) said on 26th March 2013, 0:07

          It makes no sense to pass in the first DRS zone to inevitably get re-passed in the next. His lack of defence when Hamilton re-passed each time made it look to me like he was yielding more than being re-passed

          @pantherjag Great job breaking down the competitive of Rosberg in these posts. It’s an interesting point you make about Rosberg yielding in the second DRS zones. I suspected the same thing when watching it. Perhaps Rosberg was just posturing to demonstrate that he could easily pass Hamilton in the DRS zones if he wanted to.

  13. Ginola14 (@ginola14) said on 24th March 2013, 13:18

    As for Lewis’ pit-stop error, i think it did cost him 2nd place.

    (sidenote: would be triple LOL if the McLaren mechanics actually did have a memory trip as well forgetting he is no longer McLaren’s and help change his tires )

  14. Michael Brown (@) said on 24th March 2013, 13:25

    I think Nico was justified in his complaining, as Di Resta was in Australia. Although Nico complained a little too much, it reeked of favouring Hamilton. Rosberg was forced to run at the pace of Hamilton, who was saving fuel and having to conserve the tires. If Rosberg passed Hamilton, it still would have been Mercedes 3rd and 4th, as with Red Bull who finished 1st and 2nd. And I think that’s the most important part.

  15. Akona Maqashalala (@maqashalala) said on 24th March 2013, 14:22

    The bottom line for me people is that team principles are there to run the team. Just like coaches on a football field. If you do not obey what the coach says then you are no good for the team. F1 is a team sport even though there are on 2 drivers each driver is supported by 100 to 200 people. The team needs to take precedence over any ambition any driver should have. The team is what pays the driver to drive. That is what they are drivers, nothing more and nothing less.

    We need to understand this in the sport of F1 and not make out that the drivers are the ones that make the sport go round. The people that make the sport go round are the engineers, the team owners that invest millions of their hard earned money and the fans who pay good money enable the sport to happen. The drivers are merely 1 piece of the puzzle and they should know their place in the team…

    Well done Nico, you will get your day… Great drive and great team player. I believe that Mercedes are inline for the constructors this year purely because of their team ethic.

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