Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2014

Rosberg is “not really German” – Hamilton

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2014In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says the upcoming German Grand Prix is not a true home race for team mate Nico Rosberg.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Hamilton: Rosberg is not German (The Guardian)

“He never stood by a German flag. He is German-Finnish-Monaco-esque, or whatever.”

FIA made right calls on Vettel/Alonso fight, says Horner (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“Charlie [Whiting] pointed out a couple of times track limits to Seb, and Alonso got a warning flag, which was for track limits. The problem is when you’ve got run-off like that, and it’s quicker, drivers are going to want to abuse it.”

Williams surprised by pace (Sky)

Rob Smedley: “My opinion of him is growing week by week. I think he’s a very, very good driver and he can become an exceptional driver. We’re lucky to have him.”

Massa wants crackdown on Merc’s formation laps (ESPN)

“The FIA say we can’t go so slow but they didn’t do anything or penalise anyone. I think if they penalise one car for that by giving them a five grid penalty for the next race, everything will change.”

Lauda critical of Raikkonen’s driving (Autosport)

“He went wide, so why does he come in balls out and then crash? Hopefully nothing happened [to hurt him], but it was unnecessary.”

France pursues Swiss firm over alleged theft of Schumacher’s medical records (The Telegraph)

“The email offers were signed off with the name Kagemusha – a Japanese term translated literally as ‘Shadow Warrior’ and the title of a 1980 film about a petty thief who stands in for a wounded samurai warlord. More recently the emails were signed off ‘Jeremy Martin’.”

Change underway at Ferrari, says Mattiacci (Reuters)

“Starting from here we need to prepare a different team for 2015. Do we need to do an announcement? No. Do we need to improve? Continuous improvement, yes. That is our position.”

Why Formula One Doesn’t Need To Change Its Social Media Strategy (Forbes)

“Very few if any other sports give as much access to the media and literally let them sit next to the superstar athletes as they relax and discuss the day’s events with their bosses in their locker rooms. F1 fans don’t have this luxury but social media does.”


Comment of the day

Adam takes issue with Niki Lauda’s view that the barrier Raikkonen hit didn’t need replacing but it was unlikely to be hit a second time.

As unlikely as it is for someone else to crash there, the chance cannot be taken. One hour of waiting (and Silverstone making tons of money off of extra beers being sold) is well worth helping to ensure the safety of both the drivers and the marshals. Just look at the BTCC at Thruxton this year, that could have been really ugly, especially the driver (I forget who it was) that used the damaged barrier to launch into the air.

An argument could be made for speeding up the marshals by having them practice replacing elements off the barriers, but who knows how hard it was to disassemble the damaged guardrail.

There is a reason F1 hasn’t had a fatality during a grand prix weekend since 1994, and that is because the FIA do a good job monitoring all of the minor details when it comes to safety. There isn’t much the FIA do right, but safety is certainly one of the few things they have right.

Except for the excessive asphalt run-off areas. If there was a gravel trap there, the accident wouldn’t have happened the way it did. And drivers would not complain about track limits as much either.
Adam Blocker (@Blockwall2)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ev!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

F1’s only race around the streets of Dallas was held 30 years ago today. In brutal heat the track fell to pieces, and Keke Rosberg emerged on top of a three-way scrap with Nigel Mansell and Alain Prost to give Williams their only win of the season, and their first with Honda power.

Mansell’s gearbox failed him just metres from the finishing line. He tried to push his Lotus across the line, but collapsed in the heat. He was classified sixth, three laps down, scoring one point.


Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

205 comments on “Rosberg is “not really German” – Hamilton”

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  1. I would be interested in hearing what question Hamilton was asked to elicit that response because it was probably pretty loaded, but I don’t suppose we ever will. The question of Nico’s nationality is an interesting one, and it is something I have often thought about. I was an expat kid and I’m living as an expat in the Middle East now, but nothing changes the fact that I claim and identify most with the nationality of my birth, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a soft spot for the nation I was raised in. I can see why Nico chose to race under the German banner, it is probably the one he most identifies with, even though he did at times call Monaco his “home” race this season. The world is a small place now, things like nationality are no longer as clear cut. Nico pinned his colours to a mast, so we should respect that.

    Oh, and I can’t not say: Another week, another “We know how what our problems are and we know how to fix them” article from Ferrari. :)

    1. I agree on that one @geemac

      Nico pinned his colours to a mast, so we should respect that.

      Interesting to learn that even Keke was not all that clearly finnish (comment above about his Swedish decent).
      Yeah, Ferrari. Believe it when they really show it on track.

    2. Interesting that the question being asked is under scrutiny with drivers, but hardly ever with teams. I’ve noticed this about McLaren and Red Bull too; it’s not as if they come storming in to the press office, yell loudly about solving their issues, then fly off like a bat in the night. Probably all that reporters are asking *any team that’s not Mercedes* right now is ‘why aren’t you beating Mercedes’.

      1. @npf1 True, I was just following a comment I made last week about the constant stream of Ferrari articles which follow that theme. Every time Ferrari answer question about their performance they give the same answer and it is getting a bit tedious. Mattiachi isn’t to blame, the press are I suppose for constantly asking the same questions. I do like his style, he is more Todt than Domenicalli when dealing with the press, which is probably what the Scuderia need at the moment.

    3. Total Precall
      8th July 2014, 8:18

      From the Telegraph:

      “The Briton then could not resist offering a slight dig at Rosberg when asked if winning at the German’s home race, in Hockenheim in less than two weeks’ time, would have any extra significance.”

      So presumably, the question was something along the lines of “Would winning Nico Rosberg’s home race in Hockenheim have any extra significance to you?”

      1. Thanks for that.

        1. I think that it doesn’t or shouldn’t matter how the question is asked. These guys should know by now a baited question vs a more genuine one, and either way there are diplomatic answers and there are petty ones. They don’t have to take the bait and can always take the high road.

          Anyway it should be neither here nor there. I’ve always loved JV’s answer (btw, raced as and has always claimed to be Canadian in spite of living in Monaco from about the age of 7 and going to school in Switzerland, and being Multi-lingual)…when asked to JV if he would get an extra boost from racing in front of his home crowd in Montreal he simply said ‘no…that would mean I wasn’t trying 100% at all the other tracks.’

  2. I don’t agree with Horner too often, but this is very accurate:

    “Charlie [Whiting] pointed out a couple of times track limits to Seb, and Alonso got a warning flag, which was for track limits. The problem is when you’ve got run-off like that, and it’s quicker, drivers are going to want to abuse it.”

    1. @bascb I tend to agree with Horner a fair bit, because I’ve found him to tell it from his point of view, ALL THE TIME, so I know exactly what his motives are. This really isn’t different than Ferrari, although Ferrari do pretend to say things for the good of the entire series, when it really only benefits them.
      However, back on topic, I also agree with the above comment whole heartedly, I think grass is often under utilised.

      1. True enough, with Horner you always know that he is speaking for the interests of Red Bull, and only Red Bull, no confusion there @dragoll!

  3. Lewis is as Monegasque/Swiss as Nico is. In fact, he’s probably more Grenadine than British, but eh…
    Grosjean used to be Swiss too, and in GP2, Marciello could have been Swiss, Leal could have been Italian, and Cecotto could have been German.
    Either way, Rosberg is essentially Swedish, if we’re condisering ethnic origins.

    1. Either way, Rosberg is essentially Swedish, if we’re condisering ethnic origins.

      Isn’t his mother German? He also never learnt Finnish, so I think this is why he probably identifies most as German. And I don’t think he is Monegasque – not so easy to get citizenship there.

      1. @mike-dee Yes that’s right, his mother is German. I was referring to Swedish because Keke is a Swedish-Finn, not a Uralic Finn like Kimi or Mika.

    2. he’s probably more Grenadine than British

      You’re getting into dangerous territory saying things like that (and not least because half of his ancestry is white British). I’m sure their are plenty of people in the UK born to immigrant parents or grandparents who, much though they appreciate their foreign heritage, would see the marginalisation of their Britishness as quite offensive. What matters should be more down to where he was born and raised.

      1. That surely applies to Rosberg too. Hamilton would do better to leave well alone.

        1. How? Rosberg wasn’t raised in Germany was he? That’s Hamilton’s point.

  4. Rosberg is not German

    So what?

    We do not live in stone age anymore, people often move from one country to another. Juan Manuel Fangio’s parents came from Italy. Adrian Sutil’s father is an Uruguayan. Alex Yoong’s mother comes from the UK. Romain Grosjean was born in Switzerland and now represents France. After all, Hamilton’s grandparents also come from Grenada, not the UK. These are just a few examples.

    Moreover, I am not German, do not have German relatives and have never lived in Germany. Still, I love the country and would not mind representing it in any competition. Surely, Rosberg has more reasons to be proud of Germany.

    1. Is it time to abandon national anthems at the end of the Grands Prix?
      It seems a little silly to have an anthem played (particularly for the constructor) that has little or no relation to the place where the car was actually designed, made or operated; viz Red Bull.
      With international sponsors appearing on virtually every car and overall, there seems little point in ceremonially tying the team or driver to a particular territory.

      1. @TimothyKatz I have thought about that as well. Totally agree about anthem for constructor, that should be scrapped. Drivers should be allowed to pick their favourite song instead of being forced to listen to the national anthem. Imagine Massa winning a race and then standing on the podium, while something like “…rise like a phoenix, out of the ashes, seeking rather than vengeance retribution…” is played. OK, that is probably just my wild imagination but I still feel we do not need national anthems in F1 anymore.

        1. Drivers should be allowed to pick their favourite song instead of being forced to listen to the national anthem.

          Hilarious. But someone, let’s say Mr. Lewis . . . no no, let’s just say Mr. H. Now this Mr. H started on pole, and wanted to play some version of “I came, I saw, I conquered” after his win. Then on the last lap, he runs wide and another dude, say Mr. R, beats him to the win. Will Mr. H still play ” . . . conquered”?

          1. Well, the national anthem is played only for the winning driver.

      2. Is it time to abandon national anthems at the end of the Grands Prix?


      3. Is it time to abandon national anthems at the end of the Grands Prix?

        No. The drivers still represent their country as well as their teams and themselves in sports @peterbaldwin

        Just for comparison, I saw a nice image of the Swiss football team showing who would be welcome in the country if they took on the new anti-immigration laws there (i.e. showing only multi generation Swiss born) and it had only 3-4 players.
        And look at other countries as well in many sports (Russia complained about Russians contesting for other countries “taking away” medals from Russia in Sochi), its long been pretty normal to “adopt” sporters for national teams.

        If Marussia can be Russian, Mercedes can be German, Caterham can be Malaysian without regards to where the team is based, why would we limit a driver to where he currently lives (suddenly the Swiss and Mongasque sports teams would get a big boost) or to where his parents came from (Rosberg has one Swede from Finland and a German mother but lives mostly in Monaco, compare Hamilton having one from the UK and one from Grenada but he lives in Monaco too).

        1. sorry, @peterbaldwin, I had wanted to include @timothykatz

        2. The drivers still represent their country

          Do they? They are random individuals, not chosen by their country and most of them have not chosen the respective country. I´m not entirely sure how many of the drivers would actually choose to have a nations flag shown as a symbol besides their name or a national anthem played on their wins if they weren´t made to.

          1. Well, sure enough Rosberg has chosen his country (Germany), Grosjean did the same (choosing French over Swiss), I am pretty sure that goes for others as well.

            Its not too usual for race driver to do so, but in other sports it far from uncommon to naturalize a player/athlete to have them defend the national team or compete for medals for a country.

          2. I’m not entirely sure how many of the drivers would actually choose to have a nations flag shown as a symbol besides their name or a national anthem played on their wins if they weren’t made to.

            Most I would guess.

        3. @bascb. I don’t think Caterham can be Malaysian, or Red Bull Austrian, or Maclaren half-AbuDhabi-ish (or whatever the owners are). They are international teams composed of a multitude of nationalities. Saying they are French or Italian or Russian ignores those facts and only recognises where the money comes from that pays for their existence.
          In days gone by, British teams raced in British Racing green, Italian teams raced in red and the French in blue etc. But that finally disappeared in the sixties and I think it’s time we abandoned the idea of pretend national domicile for teams as well.
          Turning to the drivers, the only reason that a nationality was chosen was to get the most advantageous FIA license. Let’s look at how other professional, individual sports present their stars; golf makes no reference to a winners nationality at the end of a tournament, nor does tennis. In these multi-million dollar sports, the appeal of the player goes beyond national borders and local allegiance and reaches out to a real worldwide loyalty – via the companies that sponsor them. So should it be in F1; concentrate on the player and their achievements, forget their nationality.

          1. +1
            Couldn’t have said it better myself. Djokovic is mentioned as being Serbian, but they don’t drape him in the flag and play the anthem at the end of Wimbledon. Nationalism is a bit ugly and outdated in the 21st century, much like religious affiliation.

          2. Or race for that matter…

  5. Take it yeezy with the Gold Trophy there Lewis….. :D

  6. Hamilton’s obsession with Nico is becoming disgusting…each week he has to take a dig on him…he lived in riches, F1 was granted for him, Germany is not his home race etc.
    The most entitled to say wether it’s his home race or not is Rosberg as he’s the only one who knows how he feels in Germany.
    I used to support Lewis in this year title fight but after reading all this weekly cr*p, not anymore. If he continues giving interviews like that, expect Vettel-esque booings on the podium by the end of the season, no matter how brilliant he drives.
    P.S Under which flag do you stand when you pay your taxes Lewis?

    1. I think its just funny. But hardly cutting it as for taking a dig at your competitors, we have seen far better ones in the past @klaas!

  7. Clearly Nico is not German.
    But why point out the obvious?
    But then again why not?

  8. The naivety of F1 Fanatic posters about the way journalism works never ceases to amaze me. A fuller version of Hamilton’s comments, reported by Ian Parkes of the UK’s Press Association can be found at, of all places, the Mail website.

    1. The quotes are the quotes no matter the spin the author wants to put on them, and no matter whether questions are baited or not it is up to the one being asked, how to answer. It’s a bit surprising to me LH would want to try to shade NR’s nationality when he too is driving for a German team that can enjoy some extra marketability with Nico at the next race. It’s not just Nico that should be busier media-wise next week, like LH says he was ahead of Silverstone, it is the whole team which LH is a part of that will be front and center particularly in Germany.

  9. Funny how Horner takes this kind of stance when his driver comes out on top. If it had been the other way around his tune would be different.

  10. Except for the excessive asphalt run-off areas. If there was a gravel trap there, the accident wouldn’t have happened the way it did. And drivers would not complain about track limits as much either.

    I get what he’s saying but, how many bad accidents would we have had if the run-off areas where gravel traps.. much more than we have had in recent history, so is it bad to have them? I don’t think so, safety first.
    It was Kimi who rejoined the track after cutting some gras, which he showed he was good at, but not with a Ferrari F1 ;)

    1. Its also important to remember that the new layout was originally designed for the MotoGp bikes, That tarmac runoff there & in other places around the track is there primarily for the bikes.

      Falling off & sliding across tarmac is far safer for the bikes/riders than hitting uneven grass or gravel & starting to roll uncontrollably.

  11. Lewis just can’t help it can he and he risks making himself look foolish to be honest, with another dig at Nico, or a comment that doesn’t come out right. I mean what’s the point of it? Nico was born in Germany, his mother is German, and he has a German-Finnish passport. He is a German national by most standards, races under that nationality and has done for years.

    His dad, Keke has had very little to do with Finland since the 1980’s, being was born in Sweden, but came to Finland when he was a toddler (as was common in those days) and lived in an area which is about as Finnish as you can get. But, Nico has had zero to do with Finland, doesn’t speak Finnish and has no connection with the country.

    Nico can’t really help the fact he was shipped to Monaco, where he grew up and went to school and lives today. Of course he regards Monaco as his home and he is certainly regarded as a local boy in the Principality. Half the F1 field could claim Monaco as their home race, as so many of them live there!

    To jut say Nico’s home race isn’t at really at Germany might have been better, but to say he isn’t German is just silly. On the week Nico is getting married, on the run up to the Grand Prix, Lewis isn’t doing very well in the PR department. It’s just makes a mess, it’s not even mind-games or trying to get a psychological advantage. Mercedes must be happy too.

    1. Read the full text of Hamilton’s remarks, and their jokey context, and calm down. This overreaction is the reason why journalists put topspin on their articles. It’s so easy to get fans frothing at the mouth over Hamilton. Just look at how many comments this thread has generated within a few hours! Can you imagine the furore if the schoolgirl spat between Alonso and Vettel had been between Hamilton and Rosberg???? God, it doesn’t bear thinking about …

      1. Jokey or not LH is not being very sensitive to the fact that he himself is driving for a German team that is about to enjoy the extra marketability of racing in Germany, and he himself should also be a part of the busier media week like he experienced ahead of Silverstone, not just NR. But rather in his ‘jokey’ answers he has chosen to make it about questioning NR’s nationality, again, while driving for a German team that may well see him with another WDC this year, to go along with the other WDC he won with a German powered car.

        What would have been wrong with answering the question, no matter how it was worded…’Nico has German heritage in his blood so this is going to be a great weekend for the whole team to be back racing in it’s home country.’

        1. Nothing is wrong with that, but we are not perfect all of the time.

  12. I was fascinated by the interview with Niki Lauda where he said the Mercedes drivers don’t come to him for advice. Hamilton would be wise to talk to Dr Lauda about head management.

    1. When did Niki Lauda become a Doctor?

    2. Given some of the stupid things Lauda said about Sunday’s race, it may have been wise from Hamilton.

    3. paul sainsbury
      8th July 2014, 13:20

      Dr Lauda?

      When do that happen?!

  13. Lewis might want to keep in mind that Rosberg is as German as Lewis is black..

    1. What does that mean?

      1. Hamilton identifies as a black driver. He is proud to be the first black driver in F1. But his mother is white – he’s mixed race. However I can’t see anyone, jokingly or otherwise, publicly questioning his right to describe himself as black. Why is it ok for him to question Rosberg’s right to identify himself as German?

        There are a large number of black people who feel very resentful about mixed race people identifying as black and claiming achievements on behalf of black people.

        1. You’ve just told me all I need to know to disregard any comment you ever make in future. Disgraceful.

          1. Er… ok? I don’t really understand your position. I’m simply pointing out that if someone like Rosberg (or anyone for that matter) were to publically question Hamilton’s right to identify as black, then there would (rightly?) be outrage. And yet Hamilton saying Rosberg isn’t really German on the basis that he’s only half German, is apparently fine.

            The question of whether or not mixed race people should identify as black is, in my opinion, one for black people to answer and not something I really have an opinion on.

        2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          8th July 2014, 14:00

          @MazdaChris Mixed race people??? Do you mean that my kids who are half Asian half Caucasian should not be allowed to identify with any of their parents races?

          I think you should issue an apology here to the many people that your post has offended.

          Read the article and you’ll see that Lewis concedes that Monaco and Germany are Nico’s home turf. He’s just pointing to the fact that he didn’t know that until recently as Nico would stand under the flag of Monaco always. He’s not saying anything that the Germans don’t already know – Nico Rosberg is as German as Pete Sampras is Greek and as Zinedine Zidane is Algerian.

          1. I don’t feel I have any responsibility for highlighting opinions of other people which I have made pretty clear are not my own.

            My wife is mixed race and her perspective is to take on board all of the positive things about her racial and cultural heritage. In the same way that I embrace both my Irish and my English background. But she doesn’t fully identify as either of her racial backgrounds, but sees herself more of an amalgamation of the two. My personal opinion is that people should take whatever they wish from their lineage, regardless, and that it’s something that’s personal to you and not something that people have any right to claim.

            But I can also understand specifically the reason why black people feel that they are disempowered by people who are not from a fully black background claiming ownership of achievements on behalf of black people.

            It’s an absolute minefield, and a hugely controversial subject which I find fascinating given my background. I’m just very surprised that Hamilton would take the stance that Rosberg shouldn’t identify as German because he isn’t fully German, while at the same time identifying as black when he isn’t fully black. The two viewpoints seem to be conflicting.

            But of course if you’d like to just have a kneejerk reaction about my post and make assumptions about me and my background. Go right ahead. I’m not apologising for offense you’ve conjured up out of nothing, however.

          2. I find your remarks offensive, Michael, and think you should apologize for them.

            Nico Rosberg is as German as Pete Sampras is Greek and as Zinedine Zidane is Algerian.

            Or as Hamilton is British.

          3. Chip on shoulder, anyone? Watch out or it will be handbags at dawn… I see where MazdaChris is coming from and agree about the inherent hypocrisy in Ham’s position, but surely you’ve hot to realise the “not really black” or “not really British” comments will be all some people see… The best thing to do us to stop using labels to describe people, as the lines have become rather blurred in the last 50-100 years as an inevitable result of European colonisation in the 18th century to present…

  14. Lewis is right. He is half Finnish and Half German that has lived many years in Monaco.
    But Lewis, you are not 100% British either.

    1. Nobody is 100% British, we’re all descendants of immigrants.

      Cpt Darling: I’m as British as Queen Victoria !
      Cpt Blackadder: So your father’s German, you’re half German and you married a German ?

  15. The British Monaco resident with an american twang suggesting his Monaco residing neighbour isn’t German. Superb.

    1. sums it up really. Good thing we can all take it as a joke though.

    2. “american twang”? you need to get out more if you think Lewis sounds american lol.

  16. What is nationality? Is it where you were born? Is it where you have lived for most of your life? Is it what your passport says you are? Is it where your father/mother/grandparents were from?

    It’s a strange concept.

    1. I’d say its based on a mix of the culture you grew up in/identify with, including language and where your family comes from/is based and passport that more or less confirms it.

  17. If Ferrari is so keen on improving the team I am curious if they are going to replace that terrible pull-rod front suspension with normal and adjustable push-rod suspension.
    It is horrible to see Rai struggling with the front of the car due to this. The Red Bull cars had the best aero package without such aerodynamic gimmick. So what is the reason to be the one team to use that if only 2 drivers (Alo and Ham, I assume) will be able to extract driveability from that?

  18. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    8th July 2014, 14:04

    Reuters make it pretty clear Lewis is joking though.

  19. LOL ! And what’s his problem with Rosberg’s nationality, under what flag he’s racing, playing football etc ? Just bla bla bla…

  20. this brings up a topic i don’t really lke. tax avoidance by drivers. don’t like it when drivers move to ‘tax havens’ like switzerland or monaco.

    as i’m swiss, i know how the system works for a normal person and also for celebrities. (i presume it’s the same in other countries, but i’ll give a quick explanation nontheless)

    for normal people: a person with a yearly income of 90’000 CHF will have to pay app. 7-8% of it, depending on the persons marital status, they’ll have to pay more or less. they say you always need to assume you’ll have to pay one monthly income for your taxes.

    celebrities: get flat-rate taxes, for example let’s assume bernie ecclestone has a yearly income of 500 million CHF (est.), for which he would have to pay 7-8% of it for his taxes. but since the town he lives in gets a lot of money from him anyway, they make themselves look good by offering him a unique tax-contract, saying he doesn’t have to pay the 40 million CHF a normal person would have to. instead he just haves to pay 15 million (est.) every year and bernie of course thinks “well, if any town wants to have my 15 millions, let’s have them fight for it and see how low the offers will get.” the town still gets 15 million CHF more than they would without bernie living there. that’s a definition of “tax haven”.

    this is how the system works and why switzerland has a lot of international celebrities living in it. that and a beautiful scenery, of course :)

    i think that’s wrong however. why do you deny your (so-called) home country the money they’d get from you? and what gives you the right to still race under that flag if you don’t even live there anymore? this is a problem i’ve been having for a long time, since i started watching f1 in 2001 and lead to the first driver i disliked because of the tax dodge, michael schumacher.

    1. I agree with you, but pretty much all the drivers do it. I’d like to think I’d stay in the Uk and pay 40% if I ever earnt what Hamilton does, but who knows. Even everyone’s best mate Jenson Button is a tax dodger, but you know its much easier for everyone to pick on Hamilton.

      It’s a shame that society doesn’t create people that feel they should pay something back. Nobody earnt it without some help from the state in earlier life, including Hamilton and Button.

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