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. Timo (@timo) said on 24th March 2013, 15:14

    Whether team orders are banned or not, they will always happen – just more or less obviously. I look fondly back on the memories of 03′ where BMW Williams allowed Montoya and R. Schumacher just to race until only one of them was a chance of winning the drivers’ championship.
    That said, it seems to be the assumption that Nico had significantly more fuel than Lewis; I’m not sure of that. Also, Nico did get past Lewis leading into the hairpin to go onto the main straight, only to be repassed under the second DRS zone immediately after. Strange tactical move by Nico to make the move there. If Nico had made that move stick, who is to say the team wouldn’t have done the same and told Lewis to hold 4th. Perhaps the team told Nico to give back the position, I didn’t hear any team radio on that though.
    Ultimately, I think Nico had chances to get past Hamilton and when he couldn’t make the move stick the team had to make a call at some point given the fuel situation and the fact RB were 10secs down the road, to get both cars to the end and secure the points. Rather than have both drivers fight it out to the end and risk running out of fuel, or not have enough to provide a sample at the end when the net result of points for the team could not have increased.

    • himmatsj (@himmatsj) said on 25th March 2013, 1:32

      This. Rosberg made 2 passes towards the end on Hamilton at the hairpin, but Hamilton would retake position along the front straight. So, they were given the license to race, but since Rosberg couldn’t make a pass stick, Ross Brawn decided to intervene and ask them to hold station to avoid and untoward incident.

  2. JUGNU (@jugnu) said on 24th March 2013, 17:38

    The team scored 27 points today, the most on a single weekend since the Silver Arrows returned to Formula One in 2010. So only in the second race Mercedes is doing better than the previous 3 years. I am sure Lewis and Nico will take Mercedes forward. Good job both of them.

    • f1anstuff said on 24th March 2013, 20:44

      Well said, Iam sure Ross knows what Hes doing…

      The pair of them could of raced themselves into running out of fuel, an Ross is a master of the long game…Look at the possible mayhem in the RedBull camp when you get it wrong.

  3. Ben (@scuderia29) said on 24th March 2013, 17:52

    Strange that Mercedes appear to have already picked their #1 driver so early in the season. So far Rosberg and Hamilton have been very close and should have let Rosberg overtake if he had the speed. But credit to rosberg for obeying the instructions unlike vettel.

  4. Brace (@brace) said on 24th March 2013, 19:38

    Well it’s easy. He should have just waved him past and then he would have been on the podium. I’m sick of this drivel and blunt lies that they are spewing.
    Do they really think people are that dumb or blind?

    You either let him through or you tell the press that podium belongs to you.

    Anything else is just a waste of breath.

  5. Akin Aslan (@hamfanatic) said on 24th March 2013, 21:07

    Hamilton is a bit harsh on hisself here. I mean: he was constantly putting pressure on the bulls by setting fastest laps but then he got caught by the tyres. He also splitted them so I think overall his pace was better than Nico’s. The team had to make a call after Nico failed to overtake and they did

    • DaveW (@dmw) said on 24th March 2013, 22:11

      Shall I say “+1″? Is that still a thing? Anyway, Hamilton was being very gracious. He out qualified Nico and stayed ahead of him until the team told him to back off. Nico was not quicker “all day.” 27 pionts is mighty heap of loot for that team and Brawn was well within his rights to shut down any kind of passy passy stuff before it got ugly. Nico had no chance of running down the RBRs and form the team’s point of view it didnt matter which one came home first. Nico needs to think about out qualifying Hamilton if he wants the shoe to be on the other foot.

  6. trophicip (@trophicip) said on 24th March 2013, 22:07

    I think that the whole team handled the situation very well. I am very proud of the entire team. The team agreed that the race between teammates end at the last pit stop. If Roseburg was faster than Hamilton, he should have passed on one of the pit stops–He stopped a lap after Hamilton on every pit stop, so he could have pulled off a fast lap to get ahead. Even when Hamilton lost precious time be entering the wrong pit and gave up a position to Red Bull, Roseburg didn’t get ahead. So obviously Hamilton was in fuel/car saving mode and the correct thing to do was to hold his place. I am happy with Ross Braun how he handled the situation. Roseburg needs more points for the WDC, but he doesn’t need to take points off Hamilton, he needs to take them off other teams. What would happen if he was allowed to pass and Hamilton then looses the championship by 1 point. The point could be made for the reverse but right Hamilton has been ahead so far this season and looks like a better bet to finish ahead. As Hamilton says, he needs to work harder to beat his teammate, Roseburg needs to do the same. I like the way Hamilton was magnanimous in his comments, and also Roseburg’s response. I see no reason for all the criticism here.

    • Brace (@brace) said on 24th March 2013, 23:24

      I knew it!
      Those Roseburg and Braun must be the puppet masters who are pulling the strings from Stuttgart. I wish they’d leave Hamilton, Rosberg and Brawn to go on about their jobs in peace.

  7. Ed Marques (@edmarques) said on 24th March 2013, 23:53

    Don’t feel sorry for Rosberg at all. When he had the chance he couldn’t make the pass, so when the end came and his teammate was in trouble he had to stay behind. If he completed the pass none of this would have happened.

  8. Jorge Lardone (@jorge-lardone) said on 25th March 2013, 0:38

    Good for Hamilton for his words! He is a great racer and a great sportman. Good for Rosberg also, another great soportsman and racer.

  9. Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 25th March 2013, 6:12

    I thought Hamilton and Rosberg handled a difficult situation with more tact than Brawn could muster, but everyone slagging off Ross, and then slagging Hammy and slagging Nico…come on, if you want a real situation to sink your teeth into, just look at the evil and reprehensible Vettel!

  10. Jason (@jason12) said on 25th March 2013, 7:41

    Nico tried a couple of times to pass Lewis and failed.
    He never threatened the Redbulls like Lewis did. He was also out-qualified.
    Lewis is mad to say Nico deserved the podium more!

  11. manu said on 25th March 2013, 9:31

    I don’t really see where the problem is, it seems that the team let Rosberg try to pass, Hamilton re passed him. The team saw that this fighting might kill the tyres and they both might end up 9th and 10th, yeah they were 15 seconds ahead of the next guy, but last year Kimi lost almost 10 positions in one lap, so when the tyres go they go so the team had to make a decision. Much like Christian Horner was trying to do at RedBull. Had Rosberg made the overtake stick the team would not have instructed him to move over. Anyway I feel Rosbergs chance went when he didn’t jump Lewis at the pits, Lewis was coasting for a lot longer but Rosberg, I guess because he was struggling with the Harder tyre, couldn’t bridge the gap and pass before the pits, that would have been the best way to pass. Anyway what happens in the reverse situation will prove their characters. Will Lewis hold position when his told to do so, will he be told to do so in the first place, we’ll wait and see.

    As for blaming Ross, I think thats pretty unfair, Ross has bosses who from whats been around want to get rid of him. So its very much unlikely that he anything he says is his decision. Much like Martin was handcuffed by Ron Dennis at McLaren, it seems Ross is handcuffed by Toto, and Lauda, after all its them who made Lewis signing.

    • pantherjag (@pantherjag) said on 25th March 2013, 10:06


      In every stop Mercedes pitted Hamilton first which is worth around 2-3 seconds at the beginning of each stint. During every stint Rosberg closed the gap to Hamilton only to lose all the hard work by being pitted second.

      • manu said on 25th March 2013, 11:29

        He did indeed, however for the third stop, he dropped back a bit after putting the hard tyre on. I’m assuming the hard tyre didn’t work as well for him, he (Rosberg) was very close to Vettel but then started dropping back so was not able to challenge at the next round of pit stops.

  12. pantherjag (@pantherjag) said on 25th March 2013, 9:56

    There’s a lot being made by people on here about Rosbergs being unable to make a pass stick and therefore he had his chance but couldnt take it. However on closer examination of the “passes” and “re-passes” something doesnt quite ring true.

    Firstly rosberg passing hamilton into the hairpin makes little sense as it would be obvious that hamilton would just DRS him down the main straight. Even if the first attempt had been on impulse surely rosberg would have learned his lesson and on the second attempt just used the first straight to close up and made the pass on the main straight.

    What i think was really going on was staged passes and re-passes in order to give hamilton DRS which would perhaps allow him to coast even longer down the main straight with the reduced drag and hence save fuel.

    The big giveaway is Hamiltons 2 re-passes both of which he completes before the start finish line around a 3rd of the way down the main straight especially the second one in which he re-passes quite a bit before the line. Even with DRS theres no way he would be able to pass him that soon down the straight if they were racing. I suspect the mercs were playing slingshots down the straights rather than racing.

    Other little clues also give the game away. Rosbergs laptimes on the laps in question were around 6-7 tenths slower, consistent with not giving it full beans on the main straight to allow hamilton to re-pass, Ross Brawn makes no mention of the overtakes when trying to talk nico down. I havent seen any comment from either driver in reference to the “battle” which i suspect is because there was no battle.

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