Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014

How can Mercedes defuse the Hamilton-Rosberg row?

2014 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014The on- and off-track events at Spa-Francorchamps have left Mercedes with a external public relations nightmare and an internal diplomatic crisis.

Relations between their championship-contending drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton hit a new low after the pair made contact in the Belgian Grand Prix. If this is allowed to go unchecked, it could open the door for one of their rivals to beat them to the championship.

Such as Daniel Ricciardo, who has now beaten them to victory in half of the last six races. The surprising performance of the Red Bull in Spa-Francorchamps was a further indication they are narrowing the gap to Mercedes and may be a greater threat on tracks which suit them even better.

Mercedes have the reassurance of a comfortable points lead but no team will tolerate their drivers costing them points, as happened to them in the last two races. By hitting Hamilton at Les Combes Rosberg cost the team a likely 25 points, and before that in Hungary Hamilton’s refusal to obey an order to let Rosberg through may have cost them as many as 10 points.

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Following the Hungaroring incident Rosberg complained that “Lewis didn’t let me by, although he was ordered to do so” while Hamilton pointed out that “if I’d let him past when they asked me he would have beat me”. This left Mercedes’ management to plot a narrow course between justifying their tactics and not coming down too hard on either driver.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2014They eventually did so by saying Rosberg “never got close enough to Lewis to make the move” – although there had been no indication at the time Hamilton’s order was conditional on how close Rosberg was – and they were “ultimately comfortable with the decision Lewis made to hold position”.

It’s not difficult to imagine this might have rankled with Rosberg. Hamilton later noted that in a team meeting last Thursday it was clear Rosberg was still unhappy about the Hungary affair.

Mercedes find themselves having to walk an even thinner line following the events of Spa. One on hand, Rosberg has clearly broken one the inviolable law which exists within any team, that you do not crash into the other car. On the other, they need to address Hamilton’s eye-raising claim on Sunday that Rosberg caused the crash deliberately to make a point.

Fortunately for Mercedes the FIA continues to show no appetite for getting involved. Wolff quickly played down Hamilton’s claim on Sunday, and the FIA has since made it clear that in a case of Wolff’s word against Hamilton’s they believe the team manager. Recall also that following Rosberg’s accidential-but-beneficial error at Mirabeau, Hamilton remarked he had seen something revealing in Rosberg’s data.

But while the FIA’s indifference is a relief for Mercedes, soothing the tensions between their drivers will still take a tremendous amount of skill. The problem is they are limited in how far they can go to impose order on their two drivers. Once the cars are out on track the pit wall can shout and scream as much as they went but if Rosberg and Hamilton want to duke it out, it’s going to happen.

Although Rosberg’s error cost Hamilton more dearly in Belgium, were Mercedes to take any direct action against him it would surely be seen as a step too far. Forcing him into a number two role for the next race, limiting the performance of his car somehow or even substituting him for another driver – all these would be unprecedented in this context.

More realistically, Mercedes could act to limit the scope for aggression between their drivers during the races, at least until the constructors’ championship is decided and both are out of reach in the drivers’ championship.

An obvious approach would be to institute a ‘no overtaking after the first corner’ rule, as other teams have done in the past. This might be interpreted by some as favouring Rosberg over Hamilton, who has not been on pole position since the Spanish Grand Prix in May, but realistically he has as much chance of getting pole for the remaining seven races as his team mate does.

When Ross Brawn left Mercedes last year he said he had put everything in place for the team to cope without him. The next ten days will reveal whether the new leadership has got what it takes.

Over to you

How should Mercedes respond to the fall-out at Spa? Is it time to limit the racing between the two drivers? What should Wolff tell Hamilton and Rosberg? Have your say in the comments.

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282 comments on “How can Mercedes defuse the Hamilton-Rosberg row?”

  1. I actually think that there’s no need to do anything anymore. Now Lewis knows that he can’t push or cut off like that to close the doors any more, and they won’t be clashing again. He will simply leave more margin and all will be fine. Rosberg just needed to establish an equal footing by showing to Hamilton, that if he drives against others like that, others will drive against him like that.
    If Hamilton keeps doing the same thing, he will be the only one who learned nothing from all of this.

    1. Now Lewis knows that he can’t push or cut off like that to close the doors any more

      This presumes Hamilton did something wrong, which he didn’t. He was ahead, he was on the racing line, and he was not required to deviate from it to make way for Rosberg.

      1. But presumably the ‘point’ that Rosberg was making was this – If I go to pass you, I’m not going to yield. You yield and move out of my way, or we can have a crash. I’m ahead in the championship, and if we both crash out, it’s you that loses out. So don’t get in my way.

        I think that’s the message he was trying to send, and rightly or wrongly, it’s a message I think Hamilton will likely be heedful of in the future. Next time they go wheel to wheel in a corner, Hamilton will naturally give Rosberg more room, knowing that otherwise it could end in tears.

        1. If that’s the case “the point” should be addressed by the stewards with “if you deliberately crash into people who don’t move out of your way, then you will get a penalty”.

          The message most people received from Rosberg was slightly different. For me it was: “I’m willing to cheat, to get what I want”. And it’s not the first time he’s sending this message either.

          1. When was the first time he sent this message? Or are you assuming guilt with no definitive proof?

          2. The message most people received from Rosberg was slightly different. For me it was: “I’m willing to cheat, to get what I want”. And it’s not the first time he’s sending this message either.

            Indeed; I thought cutting the chicane in Montreal and then burying the throttle and setting the fastest lap after being pressured by HAM into a mistake and then ‘giving up his lasting advantage’ at a point on the racetrack when he knew that HAM wouldn’t be able to capitalise on it was a good example of this.

            Then there’s the question of Monaco – which I thought was simply a mistake by ROS at the time – but I’m not really sure about that now.

            Here’s what I would do if I were Mercedes:

            They will be allowed to continue to race each other – however if either ROS or HAM ignore team orders or have any contact then they will lose their ‘team benefits’ for the next race:

            – They will not allowed to see other drivers data or set-up and the race engineer is not allowed to provide that data over the radio (e.g. deltas to team mate or suggest engine modes for attack/defence, it should be down to the driver with the engineer only making sure that he doesn’t run out of fuel).

            – The other driver is given preference for qualifying strategy.

            – The other driver is given pit stop preference and a chance to undercut in pit provided this does not compromise the overall team result.

            – The other driver is given preference in overall strategy provided this does not compromise the overall team result.

            I would also make it clear that the team will only order one driver to let the other past if the following driver is demonstrably quicker on their current tyres and it is the responsibility of the following driver to catch up to the lead driver and be on their gearbox (e.g. within 0.2-0.3 sec) before the other driver is to facilitate the switch in order to minimise the cost of the order.

            Obviously a couple of those points will have to walk a fine line as determined by the team because ultimately they need the best result overall, but this would seem to be the only way to put in place some controls that actually mean something to the drivers for their fight in the championship.

        2. Agree with that. It doesn’t matter if Hamilton did something wrong or not. From now on Hamilton knows that it’s not going to be his way every time. If after Spa incident Hamilton will have at least some hesitation in wheel to wheel scenarios, then Rosberg indeed made his point.

          1. @toxic and Rosberg will not change his approach?

            Interesting. I’d say FIA will not tolerate another “prove a point” move from Nico after failing to investigate an incident fans, some pundits and some drivers thought was worth a penalty.

          2. Joshy Hamilton
            27th August 2014, 15:10

            So Rosberg is permitted to use ‘bully boy tactics’ to gain ground even when he’s out of position! Utterly mad! Rosberg simply isn’t Hamilton’s equal when it comes to wheel to wheel racing. The red mist descended when Hamilton took him at the start, he had no chance of overtaking Hamilton, who was ahead and on the racing line. In Italy drivers flash their lights when they’re coming through, perhaps Rosberg should lobby for the same when he nears Hamilton’s rear!

          3. @jcost I don’t say that FIA will do nothing if he really crosses the line. Maybe next time he will be punished but it all depends on the kind of incident. Maybe there will be none, will see.
            We actually don’t know if SPA will have any effect on Hamilton but I just wanted to say that it may have some as now he knows that Rosberg became quite unpredictable.
            Personally I don’t support any of them so it may push championship battle towards Ricciardo which would be great.

          4. I don’t think the FIA should get involved. This is a team issue. You hired the drivers, you brought the cars.Figure it out.

            If there is another blatant issue than I think Nico should be forced to sit a race and give Hamilton the chance to claw back the points that were taken from him. Unless Vettel’s form changes over the next 7 races I can’t see RRB stealing the constructors championship regardless of who drives the Mercedes.

            The FIA should be penalizing dangerous drivers and inter-team issues only.

        3. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
          27th August 2014, 13:20

          Except of course that they weren’t wheel-to-wheel: Rosberg’s front wing clipped Hamilton’s rear wheel. It’s not like Hamilton edged Rosberg off track (as in Hungary), he simply took the normal racing line.

          1. You guys are out to lunch on that “Nico’s proving a point, don’t push me around, and LW will learn his lesson”. That’s baloney crap! You no nothing of competitive driver mentality.
            If one driver tries to intimidate another driver to move or were gonna crash, then the weenie driver who moves over because the bad guy behind him scared him … well he may as well give up driving because he will forever be a panzi on the track. And Lewis may be a lot of things, but he’s no panzi.

          2. I think that exactly the thing for Nico, he has always been the one to back out of a move. I fully agree that the move he tried wouldn’t have succeeded and it was the wrong time to try and show some like-minded ruthlessness to Hamilton if he thought was really necessary. Here’s a comment (with a touch of context, original comment was trying to compare it to Red Bull Turkey 2010) I made to another back in April after Bahrain that has rung true for me:

            Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 8th April 2014, 17:25

            That is because one of their drivers miscalculated and clipped the front wing off the other . Nico and Lewis are another level. I admit Lewis pushes it right to the very edge sometimes but still as long as the carbon fiber stays on the car , it’s massive fun. That’s what racing should be about .
            Avatar Image

            reg (@reg) said on 8th April 2014, 21:15

            Lewis to me pushes past the edge and is willing to leave it up to the other driver whether they have contact. If it were two Lewis clones and not Nico/Lewis racing this past Sunday, it would have been tears for one or both.

            If Mercedes don’t get them under control, it will be Massa/Hamilton 2011 the rest of the season, I fear and then Red Bull won’t even need Abu Double to get Daniel to the front.

      2. @keithcollantine Hamilton did not do anything wrong this time, that was just a racing accident. But in the last couple of races (i don’t remember which, Germany and Barhain i think) he was too aggressive with Nico even pushing him out in Germany at the end which was clearly too much.
        Nico is simply saying now, push me out and i won’t move. That is his point for the rest of the season. I think Nico saying he made a point this time is a bit silly, but he is saying from now on don’t try and push me.

      3. When I look at the video replay , I see Rosberg alongside (dont care how much , just saying,)
        then I see Rosberg yield ? that’s what I see, Rosberg yields, and tags the sister merc of Hamilton ,

        all this nonsense about Nico not yielding ? the video to me show’s Nico yield , and then make a ham sandwich by tagging Lewis, Nico stuffed it up , imagine if both Mercs retired ?

        Holy batmans black tights , there would be a lynching at Merc HQ

        Is there any chance Nico is milking this for all its worth because he saw how upset it got Lewis?

        I think so.

        1. Plus one… Go Rosberg

      4. @keithcollantine, yes, in fact, neither Ham nor Nico did something wrong in Spa.

    2. I think you’ve misunderstood what happened. Lewis perfectly legally took the correct line. Nico either make a clumsy mistake, or deliberately caused an accident. If you believe the former then Lewis doesn’t really need to change anything. If you believe the latter, then Nico doesn’t have a place in F1.

      1. And for those about to point out that the great Senna deliberately caused accidents, that was in an era that ended with his own death. F1 simply isn’t a place for that kind of behaviour any more.

        1. There are plenty of examples of drivers deliberately crashing, long after Senna had died.

          1. @mazdachris An action that I feel is the worst crime in F1. I was just mentioning Senna as people often use his actions as a defence for it. What ended with his death was that safety was a largely secondary concern – F1 became a different sport after that.

      2. @fluxsource The most rational, succinct and correct summary of the situation there.

    3. Really? Did you not read and listen to every comment by commentators, and both team bosses that Nico was in the wrong and Hamilton took the correct line into the corner? So the net result is that you expect Hamilton to allow a cars width into every corner if Nico is behind him, just in case Nico does something stupid again.

      1. I think what Nico has done is perfectly acceptable risk from his point of view, he’s now made the point to Hamilton that he has a lead and can afford to take risks and Hamilton has more to lose, I think after Bahrain Rosberg felt he had saved the team a possible 45 points after Hamilton’s questionable defending, so he may feel that he doesn’t want to be the driver to back out when things get messy. Hamilton needs to realise he isn’t racing against the same driver he was in Bahrain, Nico now has the upper hand in both results and mentally seems the stronger driver.

        1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
          27th August 2014, 13:32

          Hamilton has skirted very close to the line of acceptable behaviour at several races – it’s what great racing drivers do, it’s what makes for great races.

          You can’t compare Bahrain to Spa, Rosberg did something which only a rookie driver would attempt: how many times has Martin Brundle made the point that you don’t leave your nose inside another car as it takes its line unless you want it chopped off? Experienced drivers don’t do that and don’t expect that from other experienced drivers; Hamilton is many things, but he is not a mind reader, how could he have predicted something so crass?

          Rosberg might indeed be a hopeless driver, but my guess is that he’s a cynic who calculated that Hamilton would come off far worse from such a stupid move than he would himself. If the championship is decided by this move it will be a disgrace.

          1. Although I should add, despite the very clear message from Rosberg I doubt Hamilton is smart enough to change anything.

            Let’s face it, he has more accidents to his name than any other driver on the grid and still continues to drive like it’s dodgem cars. How many people did he bounce off in Germany?

        2. Are we talking about the same Bahrain where Rosebud cheated by turning his engine power up above the max level ordered by the team. Rosebuds cheating caused LH to defend that way. If Rosebud wasn’t such a cheat we’d have a much different WDC standing.

          1. So what about Lulu turning his engine power up also, how convenient of you to forget that

        3. You people trying to defend Rosberg you know that he’s cheating. Otherwise you could simple tell that he just need to be in front of Hamilton, or, with other words, faster than Lewis. You don’t think so because you know that he’s slower than Lewis so he need to cheat (or “make a point”)…

    4. So you think by being completely out of order, as defined even by the team, Hamilton is the one who must learn? The anti-Hamilton lobby’s blinkers really do get bigger by the race.

    5. I understand, and its mirrored in Hamilton’s comments about ‘you need to be able to trust who you’re racing against’ [paraphrased]. It looks like Rosberg’s move has got into his head, and next time Lewis might not be as firm to take his line. Though the rules don’t require him to change his driving, logic does: if he’d let Nico have that bit of track, he’d still have been in the race at the next corner. Personally, I hope he doesn’t change, as long as they both get past Ascari (that’s where I’ll be sat!).

      1. Well said sir!

        The regulations say that Hamilton didn’t do anything wrong, but common sense says he did!

        All this bitching and moaning about terrible Rosberg and poor hard done by Hamilton are irrelevant.

        As I always used to say when an opposing team was bitching and moaning at us about the end result and how it wasn’t fair because of this and that – “Look at the scoreboard”.

        1. Shanghai John
          28th August 2014, 10:33

          I take your comment to mean cheating, playing dirty and bending the rules is ok as long as you win? Nice!

          As for common sense? Hamilton was on the racing line with Rosberg half a car behind when Rosberg made contact. Making that out to somehow be Hamiltons mistake takes some truly convoluted logic and not “common sense”.

        2. Bob, you continuously excuse what Nico did when everybody in the sport, every commentator, every driver, even the Merc bosses were saying Nico’s actions were completely wrong.

          I’m glad I don’t have to work with you or deal with you in my life because you clearly feel the “ends justify the means’ is all that matters.

    6. Now Lewis knows that he can’t push or cut off like that to close the doors any more, and they won’t be clashing again.

      In Monaco a few years ago Lewis tried to overtake Maldanado, Maldanado then turned in a bit earlier in Lewis’ opinion, and hit Lewis. Did this stop Lewis from racing hard, Nope. The next year Maldanado again collided with Lewis in Valencia, this did stop Lewis from racing hard, Nope. Lewis has made his name for being a very good overtaker and defensive driver and one incident won’t make him change his style. Like he said in Bahrain, and in the Nurburgring a few years ago, “you’re not going to overtake me around the outside”

      1. That just shows Lewis is incapable of learning anything. Only time he won a title was in 2008, when his only rival was similarly hopeless Massa. Those two made so many mistakes, it was a disgrace to call either one a champion. He messed up his 2010 campaign in much the same way.
        If he wants to win it this year, he’ll have to up his game.

        1. Nobody wants boring racing. The whole reason we’re all still talking about Lewis on Wednesday is because love him or hate him he makes F1 more exciting. I’m sure if it was someone else involved it would all have been forgotten by now.

      2. @manu Lewis isn’t going to stop racing hard, but I think that the purpose of Nico’s move was to prove to Lewis that he can’t easily intimidate him. Granted, Nico didn’t do it in a particularly good way, but it still sent an important psychological message to Lewis.

      3. I don’t like the way Lewis defends, barely legal. I prefer fair moves, if you aren’t fast enough to hold a position don’t block the whole track, not like moving away neither agressively blocking the move of other drivers. Also i find more satisfying to see a position well fought side to side on a clean maneuver.

    7. Actually the only thing changing if Hamilton is more wary to defend from Rosberg now, or while attacking, is that Rosberg would have an easier job. But I doubt Hamilton will really be that more wary and another accident it more likely than not to happen, although maybe we can take the case of Vettel and Webber to prove it doesn’t have to be like that.
      Although after Turkey 2010 the team seemed very reluctant to ever get them near each other in several races, using very differing strategies that often did hurt the one not leading, but when it came to an on track fight, these guys were careful enough to leave just enough room not to crash

    8. I think the next time Nico hit another rear tyre resulting in significant harm to someone’s race he will get a severe penalty.

    9. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      27th August 2014, 14:34

      I think you guys need to watch a sport called F1 – Rosberg runs people off like crazy. He’s run Hamilton off several times costing him positions. The issue is not with Hamilton – it’s with Rosberg’s inability to pass.

      Like thousands have said, Rosberg is an excellent driver and a poor racer. Even if he makes a decent pass out of 50 you can’t count it because he missed the other 49…

      1. @freelittlebirds: I agree with you, Rosberg can not overtake and Mercedes knows this. That’s why Mercedes don’t tell NR to overtake LH. By not doing so, Mercedes is creating unnecessary controversies. When Vettel refused to give way to Ricciardo in China Red Bull just told Ricciardo “OK close up to him and overtake him”.

        1. Rosberg wouldn’t be in F1 if you couldn’t overtake. Look at Hamilton at the German Grand Prix, how many people did he hit? i think it was 4 or more? Rosberg made one mistake which ended up ruining a good battle. Dont say he cant overtake, Hamilton can overtake but not always clean.
          And for those complaing Rosberg shoves people off the track all the time, open your eyes please, its racing your not going to willingly let someone past you. Look at Magnusen (think thats how you spell it) he did it to his team mate and Alonso! it got reviewed but there isnt a rule for pushing your cars wheel to wheel on the edge. What do you watch Racing for? to see great drivers battle or to watch them use DRS in a straight line to overtake, no brainer if you ask me.

          1. Hi hit 2. First was Kimi when they went 3 wide into the hairpin with Perez just infront on the outside forcing Ricciardo tight into Kimi which left Hamilton with very little room It was a light contact and later in the race Vettel also hit Kimi when overtaking with a larger contact. The second was Button when it appeared he was leaving the door open and Hamilton took the inside line only for Button to take the late apex. Button even admitted on twitter after watching a replay of the incident that he could see why Hamilton thought the door was being left open.

    10. Agreed, I have heard Hamilton say at least a couple of times
      in previous races “there is no way he was getting past”.

    11. That’s bullying dude, I don’t think Lewis or Mercedes would allow that kind of bullying…

    12. Dennis the menace (@)
      28th August 2014, 3:03

      I agree with your point although the entire thing has been blown out of proportion simply by Lewis’s constant whining to his team and the media. The front wing hitting a rear tyre and causing a puncture (or sometimes not) is as common as dogs ….. in F1. It rarely ever cops a penalty. It is just Hamilton and Hamilton supporters who are outraged but this is just sentiment and not point of fact. What would be an interesting study is to look back over Hamilton’s F1 career and calculate how many times he has run other drivers off or used aggressive tactics which far exceeded Nico’s little attempt to pass at Spa. If Mercedes were actually genuinely concerned about Ricciardo catching them then the logical thing to do is make it clear to Hamilton that he is the number 2 driver. Wouldn’t we see the dummy fly, the feet stamp and tears come forth from Lewis then.

    13. Fastest cars fastest drivers not a bad place to be. Merc won’t risk team orders because they might be disobeyed and that would make them look silly. The slyest thing they can do is to mix up the strategies so both drivers focus more on their own strategy for the race and less on their team mate until the closing stages of the race. Either way these two are going to have another major coming together and I hope they aren’t hurt…

  2. Imagine you’re Hamilton and you’re told you can’t overtake your teammate despite what’s happened to you not just in Belgium but over the whole season. He won’t do it. More to the point, Mercedes leadership has taken a massive battering in the media so they will want to give more than a “slap on the wrists” to Nico as Toto himself put it. So then they either have to do nothing, or they do something quite drastic like give Rosberg a 1 or 2 race ban for deliberately violating team policy by trying “to make a point” and causing the collision.

  3. Though it doesn’t seem at all likely any more, I would like to see Nico be replaced for one race (as a sort of internal ‘punishment’), purely on the basis that I’d like to see how someone else would fair in the Mercedes.

    1. I hope they stick with Nico, as I’m going to Monza next week and can’t wait to watch this soap opera carry on!

    2. Sitting out a race is really the only punishment I can think of that would actually carry any weight with a very highly paid driver. I presume what Rosberg is going to get is a stern talking to.

    3. IamSleepyWill
      27th August 2014, 22:20

      Expanding on this quite a lot, I would like to see drivers completely divorced from the team. I would like to see a situation where over the course of a season, every driver sits in every team twice. I’m sure each and every one of you could pick this idea to pieces, I probably could myself, but it’s what I would like to see!

    4. If they ban Rosberg from races to hand Hamilton the championship, I’d like to see the Mercedes heads banned like Briatore.

      1. Well if one puts himself above the team and costs team 25 points then the guys who hand out checks can and will do something about it. If it was a simple racing incident all would be well but if Rosberg really admitted that he was proving a point and by that broke the ONLY rule given to them then i guess sitting out one race would seem appropriate.

        1. The same one backed off two situations where the result would’ve been even worse: Bahrain and Hungary. You can’t lay blame solely on him for the whole situation this year.

          1. Rosberg backed off because he was not in a position to dictate the racing line. Just like Hamilton backed off at T1 in Canada because he was not in position to dictate the racing line.

  4. Since the problem started in Bahrain when Hamilton used higher engine setting than agreed, he is as guilty as Rosberg in this crisis. Therefore, as you suggested Keith, whoever gets pole wins (even if he loses the position at the start. This would prevent fighting over the first corner and allow the second car to protect the first one from any threat from behind.

    The only real competition between Hamilton and Rosberg would then be limited to qualifying.
    To make it even fairer, let there be no data sharing for Saturday practice and qualifying.

    Over to the F1 fanatics :)

    1. Rosberg used the higher engine settings in Bahrain. Hamilton did in Spain.

    2. Since the problem started in Bahrain when Hamilton used higher engine setting than agreed

      It was Rosberg who used the unauthorised engine setting in Bahrain, Hamilton did in Spain.

      1. According to a new report from the german version of Autosport, Totto Wolff has said Nico also used this setting in Monaco as well and refused team orders to change it. So this “good guy” image that some would like to paste on the face of Rosberg doesn’t fit.

        Also when talking of Bahrain, It’s amazing that at the end of the race everybody was shouting at how amazing the race was, with so much wheel to wheel action between the field, particularly between Lewis & Nico. Now all of a sudden the moves Lewis put on Nico were to much and Lewis has crossed the line. It’s the same in Hungary, even though Rosberg said himself he was too far behind to make that move stick.

        What is interesting though is that everytime Nico has a tough race, or a race where the result didn’t go his way, Spain & Hungary for instance, The next race Nico has an “Incident”. After Spain there was Monaco & after Hungary there was Spa. Seems for all the talk of “moving on” from Rosberg he doesn’t seem to be able to do so.

        1. @woodyd91 And the race after Bahrain was China, where he made a mistake in qualifying and was nowhere in the race, ended up 18 secs behind Hamilton.

        2. @woodyd91 Interesting – have you got a link to that German report?

          1. I hope you put it on your website that Rosberg used a higher engine setting in Monaco and he refused his team order so that everyone will know what this guy can do in terms of cheating.

          2. I can’t find the original article as they are in german but here is one that does mention it. http://www.autobild.de/artikel/formel-1-wolff-mercedes-hat-zwei-alphatiere-5269593.html

    3. My understand is that Lewis used the “forbidden” engine mode in Spain, only after Nico had previously done the same in Bahrain. I directly refute you claim that Lewis is as guilty as Nico.

    4. The idea of deciding it even before the first corner doesn’t make much sense. When under pressure from other cars, you can’t expect one to dawdle and allow the other through first. In that case they both need to take the start seriously. And if the 2nd place man on the grid (of the two Mercs) takes the lead there, asking him to give it up is a recipe for disaster.

      1. You can fight other over the first corner but as soon appropriate let the pole sitter back ahead and protect him.

        This will be the easiest to implement and most favoured by Hamilton (who thinks he is fastest qualifier) and by Rosberg (who wishes to show he is consistent) but above all, less headache for the management.

        In case one driver violates this rule at the Abu Double finale and deliberately overtake or worse crash the other driver out, then his contact is terminated and no pit service provided either if any pit stops left (Irvine’s 3 tyres springs to mind :))

        1. Like I said, a recipe for disaster.

          1. Why? They are team members and must behave as team players.
            If Mercedes instate a policy of “whoever gets pole wins” even if he loses the position at the start. This would limit intra-team competition to qualifying only which I am sure both drivers would relish as Hamilton thinks he is the fastest qualifier out there and Rosberg who knows he is more consistent and has a 29-point advantage and can afford coming 2nd few times still.

            This would give also the least headache for the management but must also come with an agreement that whoever violates this basic rule, his contact is terminated at year end for not being a team player. Existing contacts clauses allow for that I believe, especially for revealing details of internal meetings.

            I can only see one problem with that which is how genuine your would protect the lead driver if you were second AND the final stint in the final race of Abu Dhabi after which the team has no control over the race/championship outcome. A driver may choose to take the championship and be sacked which is still feasible indeed with the double points.

          2. Fight to the first corner ?
            Let pole sitter win ?

            What a load of crap ,

            How about fight to the chequered flag !

            Race bans
            Sanctions
            Are You Crazy !!!!!

            The best title fight since when ????
            And your talking about stopping it ?
            For What ?
            So someones fave driver doesnt have to face the challenge of a lifetime ?

            Last year Seb walked away with the trophy
            and twas a brilliant display of dominance , but , Boring !!!!!

            Now we have a battle royal !!!

            Yay!!!!!

            Let them fight ,

            I have made up my mind on what happened in Spa , and im probably wrong ,
            But im loving this , i cant wait for next race

            Bring It On

            ( steps down from soapbox)

          3. The article is asking what Mercedes should do, not what the fans want.
            Put yourself in their shoes and you will do the same thing over and over again.
            Two cars likely to take P1 and P2 or thereabout.
            Higher position is to lead the protector.
            Employee competition is limited to qualifying only.
            Data-sharing stop at Saturday practice start.
            Let the best employee WINs

          4. indeed @matt90

            Toto and Niki were upset because Nico risked too much too early.

            They can race, but respect the legal limits and observe some wisdom. Nico failed in both fronts, that’s why “clumsy” fits perfectly the description of his “make a point” move.

          5. The idea that an instruction to give up a position would go down well, even if agreed upon in advance, is ridiculous. Asking to hold station is one thing, asking to yield is quite another. Hence, recipe for disaster.

          6. If they are allowed to race for first corner and then not yield after taking the lead (rightly so from a driver point of view), this would make the start more competitive for both drivers and the risk of crashing each other out increases exponentially. If I were Toto, Quali-competition is allowed but NOT the race. Race is to race other teams not my own half of the team.

          7. You’re really not getting this, Ali.

        2. I dont think even Briatore in Ferrari would go that far.

          1. You made laugh so much :)

      2. The only way for Mercedes to do that is to decide on strongly diverging strategies for their cars. But that would more or less hurt one of their 2 drivers and make them vulnerable to chasing cars.

        1. Leading to inevitable and perfectly reasonable complaining about being put on a less optimal strategy.

          1. Defenitely, and rightly so.

  5. I think the problem you’ve touched on there is that the team has no authority over its drivers. They will simply choose to ignore any orders they want. I feel this goes right back to last year with Rosberg being told not to attack Hamilton when he had the faster car, and ever other instance of team orders the team has tried to impose since then has simply made things worse. Worse than that, by then justifying their drivers disobeying orders, they’ve created a situation where the drivers are effectively in charge of the team. It’s ironic really, since Mercedes seem to want to project the image of a team willing to let its drivers race, but then frequently tries to impose team orders. This sends out mixed messages, where it would have been far better to set the expectations from the outset and act in a consistent way. In a perfect world you wouldn’t need to impose team orders; the drivers would already understand what would be expected of them in most situations, and all it would take is a simple clarification of the situation over the radio.

    Do we as fans want to see this? Of course not; we want to see them duke it out. Hell we want to see flat tyres, smashed wings, fireworks, public displays of anger. We love the drama and excitement. But realistically this is a dreadful situation for the team.

    How do they recover from here? Difficult. Both drivers clearly feel like they have legitimate grievances. Publicly condemning one of the drivers as Wolff and Lauda did at the weekend will only make that situation worse, no matter how valid their frustrations may be. While I do love seeing the fireworks, I think for Mercedes the best thing for them is to take this all behind closed doors. No more public statements about it from anyone involved. Everyone needs to sit down together and genuinely thrash out all of the things that have bothered them, and have the very lengthy discussions required to make everyone understand why things went the way they did, and how to avoid it collectively in the future. Ultimately what everyone really wants is to know that things are going to be handled fairly, so fairness should be the foundation upon which they build the reconciliation. Both drivers need to feel like they’re being treated equally, and being given an equal opportunity to succeed. How they achieve that will be dependent on the expectations of the drivers, and how those expectations are managed. Maybe it means there will be no more team orders. Maybe it means there will be team orders in certain, predefined situations, with which both drivers have agreed to comply.

    But underlying all of that must be an assertion of authority on the part of the team. The drivers are contracted to work for them, and they are expected to do what they’re told and not to put their own self interests above those of the team. This means obeying the team even if you don’t personally see what the benefit would be. You’re an employee. And there needs to be a clearly defined consequence; this wouldn’t be a sporting consequence, but most likely a contractual one. Clearly, keep disobeying the team, and you will lose your job at the end of the season. It’s needs to be as clear as that.

    1. I for one hope that they don’t take it behind closed doors. I’m loving the level of honesty and information coming from Mercedes, even if it cases problems for them. If they’re not doing anything dishonest or shameful, then why not let the public know?

      1. If I have an argument with a friend, it only makes the situation worse if I go on Facebook and tell everyone how angry I am with him. This is all to do with the dynamic of the relationship between team and driver. The reason I believe this would be best handled behind closed doors is because of the effect that doing it in public has on that relationship. It’s damaging, and becomes a war of words between teammates, and between team and drivers. Look at the reactionary way that Wolff and Lauda told the world how they were angry with Rosberg’s ‘unacceptable’ actions. Those actions were a result of a breakdown of trust between team and teammates; that breakdown of trust will only be made harder to restore while dirty laundry continues to be aired in public. Especially when the media are so keen to twist and distort words, and to make such a big deal out of every little comment. Then look at Hamilton running to the press and telling the world that Rosberg admitted hitting him on purpose, and the feeble flip-flopping of Mercedes trying to handle the fallout. Without all of this public drama, the issues can be kept between those directly affected, and handled in a face to face environment.

        1. That’s because you’re not famous and no-one is interested in your squabbles. Conversely, I’m very interested in the goings-on behind the scenes at Merc and would welcome any tidbits of information.

          1. They are a sporting team, not a soap opera. You may like the drama, but they have no obligation to entertain you in this way.

          2. IamSleepyWill
            27th August 2014, 22:25

            @MazdaChris – their entire business is built on entertainment, in case you hadn’t noticed. Mercedes want people looking at their cars, they have plastered it in expensive adverts for businesses who demand exposure to Foumula one’s audience.

          3. Mercedes want people looking at their cars, certainly. But not while they’re embarrassingly crashing into each other. Not while one is running around near the back of the field moaning that he wants to give up. That’s not the way to sell cars or improve your brand identity. And if they want to avoid that kind of thing happening in future then I think the best thing is for them to deal with this calmly, and internally. Yes it deprives us fans of a bit of drama, but if the end result is them cruising to both championships then I’m sure it’ll be a price well paid.

          4. IamSleepyWill
            27th August 2014, 23:36

            Couldn’t agree with you more! But then I seem to be quite rare in that I don’t enjoy the drama at all. Once I stopped being a fan(atic) of any particular driver, some time in my teens, then suddenly Formula one got a lot better for me. I, personally am quite enjoying the season, I’ve been having a great time watching some amazing driving, and having no-one in particular to root for frees me up to root for everyone!

            I was just disagreeing with the “Merc are under no obligation to entertain” bit, but maybe we should meet halfway and say F1 teams are under no obligation to entertain through public arguments.

            I do hope we don’t go back to the days of everything happening behind closed doors and the PR filter separating the view from the inner machinations, but equally if I wanted to watch Dawsons Creek, I would!

  6. F1 must be thankful this battle is developing this way. It’s incredibly exciting !

    Kinda like McLaren in 2007 without the Spygate. It’s a proper racing rivalry, and one that will always be remembered.

    1. Its not exciting at all as Roseberg has got away with to much cheating and bad driving that if it carries on its obvious he will win wdc.

      Ive watched F1 since 1987 and this site has so many people (not aimed at you) who dont have one clue about f1 but would rather spat at a driver they dont like than stand up for whats true.
      I used to really like roseberg but now he should be thrown out of the sport!

      1. You’ve been watching F1 since 1987 and you think Rosberg should be thrown out of the sport because his front wing touched the rear wheel of another driver.

        Clearly you were referring to yourself when you mentioned people who don’t have a clue about F1.

        1. I think there’s ally more to Rosbergs actions this year than just that.

    2. I wholeheartedly agree with @fer-no65, let them make this one of the greatest rivalries in F1 history.

      It’s not like great drivers (especially champions) haven’t used dirty tricks or bent the rules ever before, Senna and Schumacher being the most obvious examples. Don’t get me wrong, sportsmanship is great to see, but what makes history is a ruthless rivalry.

  7. BTW, I think Mercedes has no way to fix this. Maybe control it a bit better, but not fix it. Others have tried and failed, so I doubt Toto, Lauda or whoever can do much.

    When there’s so much at stake, and specially in this conditions, when there’s absolutely no one else available to win the championship (except for a miracle), it was going to happen, it is happening and it will happen again.

    1. i a sure you if it happens again either driver will have their car de-tuned to the point they will not be able to win the championship…

    2. This is the best entertainment ever to read all these “I demand this and that” comments :)

  8. There are two views on this (or four… depending on whether you are Nico or Lewis). The spectator view point and the Mercedes board room.

    From a Mercedes point of view, the team must be World Champions in both championships. It is likely, although I’m not privy to their meetings, that they don’t care which of the two win the title. As such, it would be to their benefit if they employed a rule, as mentioned, specifying that the pole man wins, or similar. However, if they did that, how would it be perceived by the public? How would the Mercedes brand be viewed if they were allowed to take the fizz from the final races?

    From a neutral spectator point of view, I want to see drama, controversy and wheel-to-wheel racing. If that ends in contact then (assuming nobody is hurt) great!

    Let’s contrast two seasons in which the dominant car walked the Constructor’s Championship. 1988 and 2002. 1988, a classic season because of the duel and to-ing and fro-ing of Prost and Senna in the WDC. 2002, one of the most dull season’s in recent history as Barrichello wasn’t allowed to challenge Schumacher (whether he could have or not is neither here nor there!).

    To conclude, I sincerely hope Mercedes let the situation be and see what F1 history can be written as a result.

  9. I believe that there’s little Mercedes can do in reality! They can just hope that both drivers will be sensible enough from now on. The price a team has to pay when they don’t have a clear number 1 driver I guess…

  10. Just from the comments above made by Rosberg supporters, one can deduce how much they are concerned about facts. One then wonders what fuels their unrelenting accusations against Lewis Hamilton.
    To answer the question raised by the article, I would say it is too late for any of the drivers to listen to whatever decision comes from MercedesAmgF1. That bird flew away since Bahrain and Canada. It’s all man for himself now, if not, one would literally be handing the championship over to the other.
    I saw an article on crashnet that says Lewis Hamilton says he is going to be or is a “team player” (if I am correct). That to me is rubbish. It is too late for such.
    After all, there is a reason why there is a parallel drivers championship to a Manufacturers’ championship.

    1. This is why I think it would be wiser dropping the team orders and splitting the garage into the two sides. If anyone watched MotoGP you have seen it in the past with Lorenzo and Rossi at Yamaha, having two teams within a team is the only way to deal with two ‘Roosters’ in one garage. It is not ideal for the team/brand because ideally you would want the team mates to finish 1st and 2nd every race but as you said that bird has gone. Mercedes have the Constructors wrapped up anyway, the only way that wont happen is if both drivers DNF all of the last races (and this will not happen).

      1. in addition to what you said, I belive they should scrap the free flow of info between the two camps. Of course I never supported it because I have always believed it is cheating. Look at how very well it worked at Maclaren bw a relatively inexperienced Hamilton and an already established Alonso. It breeds a sense of entitlement and (in Nico’s case) a monster.
        When you make available to a weaker team mate the advantages of a better driver (which BTW makes them the stars they are) with no strings attached, you are encouraging a false sense of accomplishment.
        Nico having seen how far the team can go to elevate him therefore throws in everything when things don’t go his way. And MercedesAmgF1 having failed to penalise him from the word go -in Bahrain- have very little to do now, very little influence to exert now.
        Even the Germans are publishing -as I have read today amongst the many comments on this matter- are saying that Nico Rosberg also had his engine turned up high in Monaco as well according to Wolff and of course against team orders. That makes one wonder what more is being hiden concerning this cheat who some people are quick to defend and even have the temerity to say that Lewis Hamilton is at fault. How much is being hidden by MercedesAmgF1 about the actions of Nico Rosberg?
        This season no matter how it plays out will be remembered for the stunts pulled by an overzealous, dangerous and unscrupulous man who did everything even putting the lives of not just his team mate but that of others on the line to win a championship.
        Will he win the championship after all these stunts? Time will tell.

  11. It’s not difficult to imagine this might have rankled with Rosberg. Hamilton later noted that in a team meeting last Thursday it was clear Rosberg was still unhappy about the Hungary affair.

    This is the bit that poses me the problem – for all the will in the world (and with Team Orders or not), Hamilton was running his own race at that time and it was a fight for position.

    If Nico is simmering because he thinks Hamilton is going to destroy his race just to maintain a strategy for another driver (even if it is his team mate), he needs to have a think about how he’d handle the situation if the roles were reversed… Lewis said clearly that he would let Nico by (i.e. not hold him up) if he was near, but as it stands the whole situation was miss-communicated by the pit wall, but Nico seems to think it’s a slight against him by Lewis – did his race engineer tell him that Lewis would let him by if he could close up at racing speeds?

    Heck, if Nico lets stuff like this controlled by the pit wall hang over him, is he actually holding a grudge against Lewis for Malaysia 2013?

  12. I think the car is the team’s trump card at the moment. Red Bull built a very strong car in 2009 when there were serious changes to regulations and basically developed it over the following years and Mercedes have built an extremely strong car now. They will not necessarily win many championships in a row but it is very likely that the Brackley team will be one of the title contenders for years to come. If any of the drivers keeps damaging their relationship with the team, they might be forced to leave it, which is not a very bright prospect and might make them think twice.

    But I believe it will mostly depend on the strength of Mercedes management. The relationship between Vettel and Webber never really got out of control despite all the tensions, controversies and setbacks. So maybe Wolff should have a chat with Horner…

    It will also be helpful if one of the drivers establishes a healthy margin over the other one, like Bottas did over Massa after Williams’ infamous team orders in Malaysia.

    1. @girts The reason the Vettel/Webber relationship sort of worked in 09/10 was whenever Mark felt slighted, he dug his heals in, took the knock on the chin and came back stronger – no whining, no fuss, just performance if need be. He never got on with the planted rear of the ’11 and ’13 cars, so just accepted his place and did his best – he criticised the Pirelli tyres for various reasons, but never slated the car.

      Hamilton is starting to finally show this ‘just get on with it’ mentality this year because of his many setbacks – of course, he ends up looking like a fruit if he starts playing the politics/media/mindgames.
      Rosberg, meanwhile, doesn’t quite seem to get this yet – On the surface he’s as steely and unmoved as most Germans (plus he’s had the rub of the green this year), but really doesn’t seem to recover well ‘internally’ from knock-backs – I can’t imagine he’d have mastered Germany if a) he hadn’t had other positive things to focus on then and Silverstone and b) Hamilton hadn’t had a brake failure.

  13. Personally, I don’t think Mercedes are coming out if this that badly to be honest. I’ve read a lot of comments about poor management, but that could also be said of Ferrari and McLaren when imposing ridiculous team orders in the past, and that did their image far more damage IMHO.

    The man on the street is talking more about F1 (I even heard them debating it on talksport the other day, a radio station that talks about nothing but horses and football). Whenever they talk, they mention that Mercedes have the best car… That’s good PR for them to the non-F1 fan!

    As a self-confessed Hamilton fan, Spa was hard to take, but if Rosberg wants to win titles in this way then so be it. For all his talent, Schumacher will always be tinged with Jerez 1997 and this is a similar situation for Rosberg. For all his faults (and there are many), Hamilton has never stooped as low in my view and hopefully he never will regardless of whether he only wins one championship.

    1. Well said @john-h. To me the season so far has only done Mercedes favours:
      1. they clearly built the best car, and its not just 1 trick, its the whole package working together. Surely that is great PR for a luxury car maker
      2. The team has shown that they are serious with the racing spirit they have tried to show while working with McLaren, being the ones to jump in and enable Brawn GP to run (the engine) and they continue on the path of preferring the drivers to fight it out on track.

      Sure, the team order / no team order thing worked out clumsy, and now the (much anticipated by most, and almost inevitable) clash on track showed how intense the fight is. That makes it top sport, so kudos to Mercedes for letting us enjoy the fight.

      Hamilton has shown how great he can shake off setbacks so far this year and come back stronger, and Rosberg is starting to show a steely side from under the “Britney” image that Mark Webber cleverly put on him, all of which makes it even better to see the season develop.

    2. @john-h @bascb Couldn’t agree more. People like Eddie Jordan may see it from a team principal perspective – but as a fan of the sport, this is brilliant.

      I also am a Hamilton fan – but I worry that any team orders will either disadvantage him or, if they do work in his favour, tarnish any resultant overhauling of Rosberg’s lead.

      Let them race flat out until the end of the season – if the racing crosses the line, let the stewards sort it out.

  14. I don’t think there’s much they can do. They could give them a fine or a salary drop, but they’re both so friggin’ rich that they’d have to deduct millions to have any effect on them. They clearly won’t listen to team orders anymore so that’s out of the question, and it would be unfair to disadvantage one of them competitively. I think the only thing they can really do with the least amount of backlash is to say “one chance, if you mess it up you will be benched for the next race”.

  15. There seems to be extreme opinions on what Mercedes should do. There are those that think that it was Hamiltons fault and that the entire F1 community is wrong, and those that think that Rosberg should be banned for one race, two race, the whole season!!! What I think will happen is in the middle, they will do absolutely nothing. They will go into Monza as if nothing happened at least from a team point of view. The media on the other hand. We already know team orders wont work. We can only hope that Rosberg’s point has been proven and that Hamilton gives him a lesson in wheel to wheel in Monza, that can be punishment enough, I just hope Hamilton is good enough too.

  16. An obvious approach would be to institute a ‘no overtaking after the first corner’ rule

    Hamilton is behind in the title race through a multitude of problems beyond his control, to now suggest the team impose restrictions on the one thing he can influence – his overtaking ability – is simply astonishing. That method would clearly be more favourable to Rosberg as he is leading the championship and evidently less capable when it comes to passing on track.

    Rosberg should forfeit his seat for the next event, nothing else will suffice.

    1. @bernard As I said in the article, that presupposes Hamilton is less capable of taking pole position for the remaining races than Rosberg is, which is not true.

    2. fully agree that Rosberg should receive at least a one race ban. His stupid action at Spa could have caused a very serious incident being so early in the race

  17. I think it would be good if they stopped sharing data and did everything separately, then we’ll see who is naturally fastest. I expect it to be Hamilton and I’d quite like it to be too, but it would be good to see if rosberg can still keep up.
    Sometimes it seems like Hamilton is getting frustrated in qualifying, because he knows he is faster but rosberg gets to see his data so that gap narrows. Hamilton is then letting it get to him which as we know when his head is elsewhere he just isn’t as good.

    1. If Lewis’ team (his side of the garage) are also upset with Nico like Lewis is then they will start withholding some data. I assume Nico has already been withholding data all season though.

    2. Yes they should should stop data sharing on Saturday and during Qualifying.
      They need data sharing for Friday only to split the testing duties and combine the results for the race though.

    3. @mikeydcmtd

      I think it would be good if they stopped sharing data and did everything separately

      That would be tantamount to voluntarily handicapping their performance. With the opposition close enough to have beaten them in half of the last six races, I don’t think that’s realistic.

      1. It also did nothing to help the situation at McLaren in ’07

      2. Fair but I think with Hamilton at the front that’s less likely to happen. Ricciardo has only won when its technically been a fight with rosberg, okay Canada was a mechanical issue and Hungary he did overtake Hamilton but he came from the back and his tyres were going off, rosberg was affected by the safety car timing but so was alonso and he managed to finish 2nd. And at spa it was rosberg that broke his front wing and then badly flat spotted his tyres. Maybe it is his lesser overtaking ability that has stopped him from recovering from bad situations and allowing ricciardo to capitalise.

      3. Arguably however it would simply mean that without copying Hamilton, Rosberg would be a tenth or two slower and as such, wouldn’t have the opportunity to run into Hamilton in the race allowing a 1-2 finish.

        Or something like that….

        :D

  18. I think you are right in that the team cannot really punish any driver without looking bad in public. However, the no overtake rule will not work because one driver will not trust the other not to do it if the situations were reversed so he will probably switch off the team radio and challenge for a pass and wait for the telling off after the race. If I am Hamilton I will go for the pass as there is nothing to lose, If I am Nico then I will also go for the pass because I know Hamilton wants the championship and will not obey the rule if I was ahead. So basically the team cannot do much to either driver because nothing will really work.

  19. There’s no way to defuse this one.

    All the teammate rivalries in the past haven’t been defused, they’ve ended when one guy leaves the team.
    The only thing a team can really do is back the right guy.

  20. Regardless of who was in the wrong, when and where, the team itself needs to recognise it’s own responsibility for allowing the present situation to develop. Data sharing has much to do with this, Hamilton in particular feeling that the techniques he uses to eke out a little more speed over a lap have been promptly handed to Rosberg on a plate, thereby allowing him to keep up. Even more to the point, the system of each driver having his own team of engineers encourages the sharing of data during the race, so that every move made by one side is immediately communicated to the other. This increases the feeling that the drivers are racing each other, not the other teams and drivers.

    Of course the drivers both want to win and will use any information supplied to give them an edge. But the constant stream of info from “the other side” is inappropriate in a race. In any other sport, coaches are not allowed to yell instructions from the sidelines – they’ve had their chance to inject their knowledge into the team or player and now the competition must continue without their input. Why should F1 be any different?

    This is exactly what happened at McLaren when Alonso and Hamilton were teamed. Alonso felt that all his “secrets” were being given to Hamilton through the sharing of data and the bad feeling that ultimately tore the team apart stemmed from there. The only solution is to establish a “Chinese wall” between the two sides of the garage, allowing the basic data such as tyre choice to cross over but not the detailed telemetry that tells drivers so much these days.

    The plain fact is that F1 teams work best with clear number one and number two drivers. If, for political reasons, it is necessary to adopt a stance of complete equality between the two, no data sharing, especially during the race, should be allowed. The drivers are paid huge amounts because they are supposed to be supremely skilled and gifted – why should there be a need for them to share data at all? If they think they’re worth their salary, let them prove it on the track without assistance from their respective advisors on the pit wall.

    Invariably, one driver is paid more than the other. This has to be taken into account as well. It happens because the team reckons that the more expensive one is capable of providing them with better results. If the team have it right, their assessment of their drivers will pay off with good results; if not, the effective number one will be looking for employment elsewhere and number two will be promoted.

    By allowing exchange of all data, the team prevents the natural pecking order from being established and fosters bad feeling between its drivers that will, ultimately, lead to both becoming disaffected and leaving. The Chinese wall is the only effective solution.

    1. @clive-allen – I wouldn’t trust any data from the other side of the garage after Spa anyway! Hamilton’s side of the garage knows that Rosberg’s general plan is to copy whatever Lewis does so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lewis play some tricks by deliberately playing around with setups etc.

      1. I don’t think that’s quite how it works, @petebaldwin . The data sheets are handed across the table in team meetings and both sides of the garage can study them to their heart’s content (as far as I know). The intent is for the team to benefit from the abilities of both drivers but it is almost inevitable that it increases the tension between team mates.

        It is very telling that you never hear Rosberg complaining about Hamilton having access to his data. It is a tacit admission that he knows he is the one benefitting from the deal. Effectively, he is aware that Hamilton is quicker than he is and he must use every advantage he can to compete with him.

        Even his words in the team meeting (confirmed although toned down by Wolff) show that Rosberg is aware that he cannot get past Hamilton once he is in front (remember Alonso’s fury at being unable to pass Hamilton in Canada, although that was caused by the rev limiter). So he wants to make LH think twice before executing such legitimate moves as closing the door and claiming the inside line when ahead.

        If anyone is rattled in the whole affair, it is Rosberg. He may be still ahead in the championship but his desperation is beginning to show quite clearly.

        1. @clive-allen – Yeah fair enough, I meant more along the lines of Hamilton deliberately sandbagging and going the wrong way with setup to throw Rosberg off the scent. Risky but if it works, it’s a guaranteed couple of tenths on Rosberg.

          My worry is that in my opinion, the accident was Rosberg’s fault. Clearly it was an avoidable accident as well however the FIA decided to not even look at it. Does this mean that in future, all drivers can simply drive like Rosberg did and not have to worry about the repercussions!?

    2. Yes indeed!
      Let there be data-sharing from FP1 and FP2 ONLY.
      No Saturday practice / Qualifying / or Race.
      Not even sure about after the race unless the driver leaves next year.
      My suggestion is simple and effective:
      __”Whoever qualifies ahead stay ahead at the checkered flag.”__

      1. In theory it makes sense but can you imagine either driver following those orders if they have a chance to make a move?

        1. If there is a big deterrent they have to do so.
          It would also help if Mercedes came out publicly and stated that from now on, their drivers are only allowed to race during Qualifying so they are not accused of interfering with race results.

      1. Because the drivers not sharing their data will handicap their performance? That makes no sense, especially as sharing it is clearly handicapping them seriously. Other teams have had to resort to separation of driver data (or one or both drivers have refused to allow theirs to be handed over) and it doesn’t hurt the competitiveness of the team. Alonso was rumoured to insist on a non-data sharing clause in his post-McLaren contracts – understandably. Far from being unrealistic, it’s the only way to maintain a modicum of peace when things have gone this far.

        1. @clive-allen

          Because the drivers not sharing their data will handicap their performance?

          Mercedes failing to take full advantage of the data-generating capabilities of running two cars will handicap their performance because all the other teams are doing it.

          sharing it is clearly handicapping them seriously

          I don’t see how sharing the data between their cars is directly handicapping the performance of their cars – or ever could.

          I think you mean it is doing so indirectly – i.e. because it is bringing their two drivers closer together and therefore increasing the potential for conflict – in which case I think your diagnosis of the problem is faulty. The problem isn’t that the two drivers are close on performance – that simply shows the team are doing a good job of extracting the maximum performance from their cars. The problem is that one of their drivers forgot it’s unacceptable to hit the other car.

          As I said on Sunday, two championship contenders should be good enough to avoid a collision like the one which happened on Sunday, and two team mates should be smart enough to avoid a collision like the one which happened on Sunday.

          1. Certainly I agree with you that the drivers shouldn’t be colliding because of their rivalry. The point is, however, that they are. You asked for solutions – I’ve provided one that I think would get to the heart of the problem. And your point about the competitiveness of the car doesn’t stand up since the engineers would still have access to full data.

          2. @clive-allen I don’t know how you imagine the control of data would work in a scenario where it is not shared between both sides of the garage, yet all the engineers have access to the same information. That seems like a contradiction to me.

            But to underline my point about it being unrealistic to expect Mercedes to voluntarily handicap the performance of their cars by restricting the data flow, here’s an explanation straight from the horse’s mouth:

            https://twitter.com/MercedesAMGF1/status/505052804260835328

  21. I don’t think there is anything you can do to diffuse the situation….

    Rosberg crashed into Hamilton either accidentally (you’d assume he would have apologised if that was the case though) or deliberately. Without an apology, I’d assume that means Rosberg will do exactly the same thing at Monza if he gets the chance.

    The interesting thing will be to see what Hamilton does in response if he finds himself behind Nico because I can guarantee if there was a way to hinder Nico’s race without affecting his own, he will go for it.

  22. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    27th August 2014, 13:33

    The options are limited and perhaps the best option is to merely allow the respected pace of Hamilton and Rosberg establish a pecking order between them. I say that because time is both the most passive and effective healer, what must stop though is the absurd suggestion that Nico’s move is anything more sinister than mere clumsiness. Rosberg is clever, but he is not a genius, so to sacrifice his front wing in the remote hope of hitting the vulnerable inside shoulder of the tyre at a couple a hundred miles an hour would be like trying to swat a fly with a drinking straw. The contact cannot have been intentional, it was merely a clumsy half move that confirms that Nico just isn’t on the same level as Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso in wheel-to-wheel combat. Yes, Rosberg has now benefited from two “errors” (Spa and Monaco), and yes, the clever Rosberg realizes that the psychological momentum of the 2014 WDC might be the key to the 2015 WDC too (with Mercedes likely to be able to retain their advantage over a winter with relative technical stability), so a Schuey-esque approach from Nico is feasible, but on both occasions Nico’s antics don’t appear remotely malicious.

    That does not make his handling of the situation post-race any less abhorrent. I did not require CCTV evidence to tell PC Plod that the Merc saloon in the ditch was a fair cop, so why, when it must have been immediately apparent to Rosberg that he’d just ruined Mercedes’ Belgian Grand Prix, did he so stoically refuse to apologize? Stoic to such an extent that he felt it necessary to insult the intelligence of the booing crowd of European fans (sorry Nico, but the German guy I sat next to was booing too), as mere patriotism on the part of the British; patriotism that is somehow misplaced due to the fact that most fans haven’t read the FIA’s Sporting Regulations cover to cover. There is no more guaranteed method of being greeted on the podium at Monza to sound of a booing tifosi than to insult that acumen of the sport’s faithful; those on which the sport rely.

    I have no doubt that either Nico is trying to mess with Lewis’ head by allegedly saying he was trying to “prove a point” in the post-race debrief or that Lewis is quite rightfully playing politics in the media, but I can guarantee you ladies and gentlemen that the undoubtedly clever Rosberg did not see an attractive offer in the shape of guaranteed front wing damage for the small chance of puncturing Lewis’ tyre but rather put his nose where it shouldn’t have been. That doesn’t mean Nico can be trusted in the future though…

    1. Great comment. In my view Rosberg on the podium refusing to apologise followed with his own internal logic of the situation, and meshes with his reasons for the move he gave during the Mercedes debrief later on.

      If Rosberg were to immediately apologise, he’d have been stating that he was wrong to challenge Hamilton for position and to leave his car where he did on the track. Hamilton would be vindicated in his anger over the move and psychologically it would reset things to before the race – that Hamilton felt he could put both cars on a collision course and Rosberg would always blink first and back out of it. We’ve seen it in Bahrain and Hungary to name two races where Rosberg has had to back out of challenges as Hamilton refused to move off his line to give him any room, risking the cars touching. Rosberg was sending a clear message – he’s through blinking first. Apologising on the podium for his actions would have undermined the message he was trying to send to Hamilton.

      That doesn’t excuse his pretty dire handling of the booing to the press, by blaming the British fans or requesting every viewer read the sporting code in detail. However I agree with you that it was a clumsy on track gesture that was meant to send a message, not result in actual contact.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        27th August 2014, 16:14

        @colossal-squid – I still think the fact that he a) denied his team a certain one-two, and b) denied the fans a potentially titanic battle for the win deserved an instant apology irrespect of the true source of the blame in the incident and I think the fans would have respected him for it. Yes that arguably vindicates Hamilton’s position, but I’m sure that the psychological advantage Hamilton would’ve gained had Nico apologised won’t ultimately negate the points advantage Rosberg earnt from the incident. As you say, the contact made does appear to illustrate some of the closer moments of inter-Mercedes racing in 2014, with Rosberg feasibly using the incident as evidence to suggest that Hamilton maintains his line, as in Hungary and Bahrain, no matter what when he has track position, and that it is therein perilous for both cars. However the point is mute, on all three occasions Rosberg did not have enough of his car alongside Lewis to warrant space, and therein it was completely Hamilton’s prerogative to maintain his line. But then surely Nico Rosberg has read the Sporting Regulations cover to cover, and therefore doesn’t need a lecture from me: a motorsports fan of some thirty years.

        1. @william-brierty It absolutely would have been the classy, respectful thing to do to apologise in some manner on the podium. I think Rosberg was being ultra defensive in his comments after the race, and any apology of any kind to him may have been seen as a sign of weakness, not class.

          I’m not justifying Nico or his argument, just trying to present how I see his intentions through the prism of his actions and statements. I think deep down Rosberg knows this is his one shot at being WDC, not unlike Webber in 2010. He has a good chance and will use any psychological advantage he can get. If he thought apologising wouldn’t help him in that respect he wouldn’t do it.

          1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            28th August 2014, 17:06

            @colossal-squid – I can’t help but feel Hamilton, Vettel, Button and certainly Ricciardo would have apologized had they been in Nico’s shoes, but as you so rightly point out, Rosberg is, like Webber was in 2010, perhaps looking at his only chance of taking the title, and weakness of any form could infringe his chances against a driver that has clearly been faster over the season so far.

  23. Imagine if Rosberg wins the driver’s title by 18 points or less …

    1. Formula Indonesia (@)
      27th August 2014, 15:02

      I won’t happy with both of them

    2. Imagine if Ricardo loses by the 18 points he was robbed in Australia.

  24. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
    27th August 2014, 13:37

    I hope Mercedes doesn’t do anything except for talk to the drivers – and especially Rosberg – and make them see that a WDC title doesn’t mean a great deal if you’re considered to have cheated to acquire it. The booing of Rosberg after Spa seemed to hit him quite hard, he doesn’t want to tarnish the family name. If Mercedes imposes team orders after this fiasco, the championship will very quickly get very boring. Let them race.

    1. @thegrapeunwashed Honestly, given how blunt and/or old-school Keke is with things (and how much I believe Nico respects his dad’s opinion in all-things-F1), he’s probably had a massive talking too about the incident and the resulting damage to his image this has done.

      1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
        28th August 2014, 9:41

        Yes Keke can not have been impressed with that move. The sad news is that there are reports that Mercedes will definitely have new rules in place to stop this type of thing happening in future. The races are going to get a lot more boring.

  25. I don’t think I agree with @keithcollantine that the FIA have helped Mercedes. According to Mark Hughes nearly all the drivers thought Monaco was deliberate and the stewards did not look at tyre load data that would have condemned Rosberg, even though they had the expertise from McLaren that would have told them what to ask for. So Rosberg got away with the cheat, sending a clear message that it worked.

    Now it’s no surprise he’s done it again, and it wasn’t even investigated despite the damning (one would have thought) extra steering input that took his wing into Hamilton’s tyre.

    So Mercedes have the prospect of a driver who’s been booed on the podium as a cheat winning their wdc. Also the team are going to look weak and unfair. If they try to do anything to adjust the points a lot of people will accuse them of being unfair the other way.

    How much easier it would have been, if Warwick had grasped the nettle in Monaco. Mercedes could have said Nico didn’t mean it, a la Ferrari, while still having justice done.

    Or if in Spa the stewards had black-flagged Rosberg for the blatantly deliberate collision, the team could have loyally supported Nico with kind words while not ending up in the impossible no-win situation they now find themselves.

    And also, of course, Rosberg really could be trusted not to do it again.

    1. So Mercedes have the prospect of a driver who’s been booed on the podium as a cheat winning their wdc.

      Honestly, look back on the many controversial champions in the past. When have their teams not just gone ‘ahh well, he still won it’.

      1. @optimaximal Well if it happens teams have to make the best of it, but Mercedes-Benz are not Benetton or even Williams. They’re in it for the brand. And brand-building for sure does not include what went down on the Spa podium. I feel we can be pretty sure word will have come down from the Board that there’s to be no more of that. And there would not have been booing, is my point really, if the FIA had grasped the nettle.

        1. @lockup I’m pretty sure Benetton were in it for the marketing.

          1. @optimaximal Marketing is not all the same. There are different kinds of brand – ones that don’t mind a bit of badness as long as they get talked about, like Ryanair, and ones that do mind about the brand quality. Being booed will NOT be going down well in Stuttgart.

    2. and the stewards did not look at tyre load data that would have condemned Rosberg

      The FIA had full access to all data & looked at all of it.

      The only people who still seem to believe it was deliberate are the desperate Hamilton fans looking for every & any opportunity to prove that there driver is more deserving of the championship.

      The FIA stewards have access to far more data, Far more angles & far more informtaion than we have. They looked at all this with the help of a highly accomplished Ex-driver (Dereck Warwick) & concluded it was unintentional.

      How you can conclude for sure it was deliberate & that the stewards with all the data are wrong when you have seen only the TV images is laughable.

      1. @RogerA The FIA said they had all the data but that was not true. They had ‘access’ in that they could ask for it, but they didn’t ask for the tyre load data. That’s why I said they did not look at it.

        Check the link I posted, it’s in the comments. And where it says ALMOST ALL DRIVERS thought it was deliberate. Even Brundle said at the time he was in a minority in the paddock believing it was a mistake.

        Check the link, then come back :)

  26. Why defuse a row that can be milked longer; offering free publicity?

    1. IamSleepyWill
      27th August 2014, 22:36

      Not all publicity is good publicity, just ask Charlie Sheen or Gary Glitter.

  27. Nothing. Let them race.
    1) There is no chance Ricciardo is going to win the championship
    2) Both Ros and Ham have a lot to lose if they crash
    3) Both can win the championship, hence they will be very careful
    4) From a commercial point of view, all this is gold for Mercedes (Last year Nissan-infiniti said that the domination of Vettel was detrimental for the brand and I agree)
    5) Whatever Mercedes tells them , they will say yes but when they drive, they drive and if any of the 2 finds a door open, they’ll stick the nose in it
    6) If Mercedes starts to prioritise one driver over the other, they will lose a driver for next year

    The only thing that concerns me is that farce of the double points in Abu Dhabi. That could mess up the competition a lot

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      27th August 2014, 15:00

      @nuvolari71

      It’s very hard for Hamilton to win the championship at this point – his comment of “he’s not sure where to go from here” would have been exactly my own position.

      Assuming the car doesn’t catch fire, the brakes don’t blow out, the back doesn’t swing forward, his own teammate doesn’t prevent him from qualifying or racing in front of him, then he has to deal with slow pitstops, questionable strategy decisions and all the other baloney from Mercedes who are firmly supporting Lewis.

    2. Formula Indonesia (@)
      27th August 2014, 15:00

      Double points will work very well if the situation is right, but yeah, i afraid that this will switch championship title @nuvolari71, from 1-6, i agree with you

    3. @nuvolari71 sorry I think most of your points are wrong:

      1. Ricciardo is close enough that with double points Merc have to take account of him. They have to be safe from a double DNF in Abu Dhabi.
      2. Ros and Ham may have a lot to GAIN if they crash, as Ros has just demonstrated.
      3. Both can win the championship, hence they will fight.
      4. Mercedes are not Ryanair. I seriously doubt they wanted the publicity of a Merc-branded driver being booed as a cheat.
      5. Yes Ros has just demonstrated, as Toto said, that laying down rules in the office makes no difference.
      6. I don’t think losing a driver is a risk. Alonso is free, apparently.

      Personally I would sack Rosberg I think he is trouble, this year and next (I reckon he’d have taken out Lewis at T1 in Canada too), but I’m not expecting that. The team is in a situation where only points matter to the drivers, and nothing else.

      Any sanction that isn’t about points will be ineffectual. But I don’t think they’re that brave, so I’m expecting something feeble, and then if it comes to it and the opportunity arises Rosberg will play outside the rules again, which is what experience is telling him to do.

  28. Formula Indonesia (@)
    27th August 2014, 14:47

    No one is leading in Merc, they cannot find Brawn successor

    1. Formula Indonesia (@)
      27th August 2014, 14:49

      *they seem unable to find Brawn successor

  29. I think that stopping the sharing of data as some have suggested is completely out of the question.

    Although the fastest laps and qualifying data will suggest otherwise, Red Bull have been worryingly strong on circuits where they really should have struggled: Canada and Belgium. They have also been clearly ahead of their rivals on circuits which require more downforce. If stopping the sharing of data costs anything between three and four tenths, that leaves Red Bull within striking distance, and as we have seen on more than one occasion already this season, if Daniel Ricciardo is handed any opportunity, he will take it with both hands. Anyhow, how can you be certain that preventing any sharing of data will stop the two drivers from colliding in future? You simply can’t. If Mercedes fail to achieve both the drivers’ and constructors’ world championships this year it will be seen as a catastrophic failure and an embarrassment given the speed of the car and the talent that the two drivers both have.

    At the end of the day, Mercedes must deal with this in the correct manner. They must grab the both of the drivers, bash their heads together and tell them to grow up. They need to stop getting Lewis Hamilton to stop saying stupid things and using the “heat of the moment excuse” and they must remind Nico Rosberg about the first rule of Formula One: do not hit your team mate under any circumstance. They must also clear up any grey areas regarding team orders and usage of engine modes that they are advised not to use.

    1. Formula Indonesia (@)
      27th August 2014, 14:55

      Worst case scenario for Merc : losing both titles to Ricciardo and Red Bull because their drivers unable to control themselves

  30. jochenrindt78
    27th August 2014, 15:03

    I think this incident is getting blown completely out of proportion. Many, many times we have seen two drivers slightly misjudge distances and lose a front wing endplate, catch a puncture or worse. Not being interested in either Merc driver I viewed it as nothing more than a racing incident, unfortunate for Hamilton but still a racing incident. Leaving your nose in a gap that was always going to disappear is foolish, but happens a lot, Hamilton on Button in Canada 2011 for example (“what is he doing!!?”) on that occasion you could argue Hamilton cost McLaren points and didn’t receive a penalty & was out of the race with a puncture. Close racing will always generate these situations and can result in either or both cars being out of the race. People shouting Cheat at Rosberg should re-apply that thinking to the myriad of other similar incidents in recent years, these things happen lets get on with the season – roll on Monza!

    1. I agree 100%, and I think this is possibly the most reasonable comment I’ve read on the whole thing.
      Unfortunately however the conversation seems to have moved now from the incident itself to the circus that has developed around it, from Rosberg’s “I did it to prove a point” to Hamilton’s accusation that the contact was deliberate, to how Toto, Lauda and Lowe are going to police their two drivers. Like has been said, the incident itself would have been almost ignored if Chilton had done the same move on Bianchi. It’s because of who was in the incident and not the incident itself that means it’s a controversy.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      27th August 2014, 15:44

      No it’s not being blown out of proportion at all!

      Rosberg has shown from 2013 that he will impede Hamilton even when there’s almost nothing to be gained and a race win is in the cards for the team. The fact that he wouldn’t let Lewis past with a broken wing that could have killed Lewis says it all. He has proven it again at Spa in 2014.

      Teammates colliding and denying a 1-2 for the team should carry huge penalties especially when a driver has said that he did it to prove a point – the point being made is of no relevance.

      Either, this is Mercedes AMG PETRONAS or it’s Team Rosberg – it can’t be both.

      The fact that it might possibly cost Lewis the WDC in a year where his own mistakes have been the smallest part of the equation in terms of lost points and that a driver with such low moral standards and questionable passing skills might win is something that is hard to watch. We talk about rivalry but so far all we have seen is Lewis beating Rosberg to a pulp on track… Rosberg takes the beating of a lifetime everytime he sees Lewis on track and is rendered to tears…

      1. Formula Indonesia (@)
        27th August 2014, 15:49

        Killed Lewis??? Massa and Gutierrez had a flip and they did not even got a injury

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          27th August 2014, 16:02

          A flying wing is like a sword at that speed. Remember Massa hitting the debris that perforated his helmet?

          You cannot predict the path a wing once detached will take but the person behind it is most likely to get hit.

          Even if he wasn’t injured directly by the impact or by an accident from the wing hitting his car, why risk taking out both Mercedes cars?

          Your wing is off? Get out of your teammate’s way especially since nothing is in the cards for you at that point…

          1. Formula Indonesia (@)
            27th August 2014, 16:20

            Mathematically, that debris wont hit Lewis, you can look several contacts which involving front wing endplates, and why you don’t comment about Hockenheim 2014, based on your theory Hamilton could kill Button

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            27th August 2014, 17:00

            @f1indofans Are you talking about the pass on Button? I hope you are not because although Lewis accepted the blame, Button did leave a massive opening inviting Lewis to try to pass…

            There’s nothing excessively dangerous about that pass, it was ambitious especially since Button decided to defend the position around the corner.

            These cars are extremely solid when they are together as we’ve seen. A flying wing and a rogue tyre can easily kill any driver.

            The wing failure on Rosberg’s car was a very unexpected failure and like wings it could have flown and killed drivers. He kept Lewis behind him for almost a full lap – it’s a miracle he didn’t take out the other car and injured Lewis.

            As for mathematically, you do understand that the most dangerous place to be is right behind that car right? The safest spot to be is in front of that car…

          3. Formula Indonesia (@)
            27th August 2014, 17:31

            @freelittlebirds, sorry, can you give some examples when safest spot is to be in front of the car, i’m sorry i followed f1 since 2012, and that was since Abu Dhabi 2012

          4. @f1indofans Massa was almost decapitated by a bolt, now imagine a sharp flying wing heading for you at 200km/h.

          5. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            27th August 2014, 18:18

            @f1indofans just think of it logically – there is a massive loose piece on the car in front of you – where would you want to be? being behind that car is the worst place, being on the side is also dangerous, the safest place is being in front of the damaged car.

      2. “The fact that it might possibly cost Lewis the WDC in a year where his own mistakes have been the smallest part of the equation in terms of lost points and that a driver with such low moral standards and questionable passing skills might win is something that is hard to watch. We talk about rivalry but so far all we have seen is Lewis beating Rosberg to a pulp on track… Rosberg takes the beating of a lifetime everytime he sees Lewis on track and is rendered to tears…”

        That is the part that is most annoying. If the championship was being led by Alonso, Kimi, Ric, then it would be easier to say ok, but when you see Rosberg struggling to pull off overtakes on JEV but leading the championship it just devalues the title. That is one thing I like about Moto GP, title rival being taken out by injuries aside champions don’t just get lucky and pick up points because of their rivals engine failures and so on. We all want to see the real racers rise to the top. If Lewis doesn’t do it then I seriously hope Riccardo takes it in a last race showdown because I really do not think Rosberg deserves it. Check the link for what Rosberg really thinks about moral wins

        http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/06/sports/06iht-prix.2718507.html?_r=0

        Nico’s dad Keke famously condemned Michael for the stunt, Nico on the other hand??? Was Monaco and accident absolutely not.

  31. Let’s look at it this way:

    Lewis was hired while Ross Brawn was head of MB racing. His salary is way above Nico’s. At the time of his hiring, MB was a middle of the pack, unreliable car. So a man of Lewis- caliber was needed.

    Meanwhile, Ross is gone, replaced by Toto Wolff in a year where the silver bullet doesn’t need a great driver to win the championship. Nico is good enough and a cheaper number two will be as good.

    Toto thinks there is no reason to keep paying Hamilton the enormous sums he is entitled to by contract. So a mean has to be found to get him to quit on his own will. Therefore, blatant favouritism is used to put Nico on firm footing towards the WDC while MB is sure to win the Constructors crown.

    If Nico were from another team, MB would have asked for a sanction for Monaco and also for Spa.

    If MB’s aim were not to favor Nico, why would have they put Nico on a different tire strategy aimed at gobbling several seconds each lap? Why did they want to make sure Nico won Hungary? And not Lewis?

    Why give Nico more engine power than Lewis? Or give Lewis less than Nico and other drivers? Lewis’ fuel consumption has always been lower than that of others in the same race and that is set by the wall.

    Also why is it that even when tire wear has been showing its ugly head for a long while it will take an inordinate amount of laps to refresh the tires to the point of being mathematically sure the new tires will not allow redress of the loss of time caused by too long a stint on worn tires.

    Toto’s only problem in eradicating Lewis is Nicki Lauda who seems to be fond of Lewis as a racer’s racer. And of course, the bad press Mercedes Benz could garner from being seen as an unfair, biased, and racist organisation bent on proclaiming “Deutschland über Alles” with relents of the 1936 Olympic games and Aryan Supremacy.

    Now, with Honda looming over the horizon, and contracts not yet inked at McLaren, it would serve Lewis interests well if he were to be seen conversing amiably with Ron Dennis.

    There, I am sure Toto would take notice.

    1. jochenrindt78
      27th August 2014, 16:39

      Lets look at it this way…

      Hamilton has the fastest car and a non-champion teammate – still can’t win the championship…..
      FFS Damon Hill / Jacque Villeneuve managed that!

    2. AND I nominate this comment as ‘Comment of the Year’ 😑

    3. Let’s look at it this way….
      Hamilton has the fastest and unreliable car and has a dirty tricks non championship winning teammate.

  32. The covert option would be to install one of the less accurate fuel flow meters in nicos car…

  33. I don’t think the team will do anything because they can’t. All they can do is jaw-bone them in pre-race meetings but now it’s really on. Hamilton is a good ways back in points and he will be giving no quarter in his pursuit. Rosberg is now backed himself into a corner with his aggressive talk. He will not want to get beaten by Hamilton again after having proved his point, as it was, at Spa. The world already knows that the drivers are not interested in team instructions about engine settings, etc. Yes, both of these guys are paid by the team, but unless there is a credible threat of them being benched, which there is not, they will do what they can to win a WDC. You never know when you have another chance. So Dieter Zetsche himself could come to Monza and box their ears but it will make no difference. Ron Howard better get ready to make another F1 movie.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      27th August 2014, 15:55

      I disagree – the team must act. This is not the 1st incident where Nico has acted in a questionable manner.

      Here are the events as I recall them:
      1. In 2013, Nico didn’t let Lewis pass in a race where he was fighting for P1 and on an alternate strategy. There was nothing to be gained by doing that except deny Mercedes a possible win.
      2. In 2013, Nico’s wing came off and got stuck on his car. Nico’s response: keep Lewis behind him in case the wing comes off and hits Lewis’s car hopefully killing him in the process…
      3. In 2014, Nico lost control of the car at Monaco…
      4. in 2014, Nico hits Lewis just to prove a point costing the team a 1-2.

      Nico’s statement that he did it to prove a point regardless of what he did and why he did it, is something that needs to be addressed by the team. His blatant disregard for the efforts of hundreds of people need to be punished. As everyone has said, the team can’t do anything to them during the race.

      Therefore, the penalty must be issued before the race and of course it’s got to cost Rosberg at least 25 points and a win which is what he has cost the team so far.

      1. @freelittlebirds but you don’t mention Malaysia 2013 when Nico accepted team orders that may have cost him a win against Vettel / RBR.

        1. If Rosberg had waited until the start finish straight to pull the move rather than doing on the back straight and giving Hamilton the opportunity to repass then he could have gained that position. The team gave him several attempts to make the pass stick but he failed to do so and they called the fight off.

  34. One thing they might do, and should IMO, is give each side of the garage their own strategist, and free strategy with just priority to the leading driver on track if the gap is less than (say) 5 seconds.

  35. I see a pattern here. Anyone who is against hamilton at every point of his career gets hated upon. Happened to alonso button vettel and now rosberg. See the pattern? They were all well loved drivers before going up against hamilton. Lol

    1. Formula Indonesia (@)
      27th August 2014, 16:05

      Its relative because he got a lot of sympathy, but in the other side Nico seem struggle to protect himself

    2. Dont’ forget Felipe Massa—famous one-time media darling savaged by rampaging Hamilton fans. Now Roscoe has more Twitter followers.

    3. When were those drivers ever well loved ?
      Alonso has always been a devisive guy, people may love the way he drives but outside of Spain he’s never been massively popular.
      Button is generally thought of as an average driver who lucked into a WDC. Nice guy but nothing special.
      Vettel may have a hardcore following but they’ve always been in the minority as many people thought he was a dangerous and dirty driver in his early years in Red Bull due to his tendency to cut accros the track and put others in danger while the regularity with which Red Bull threw Webber under the bus to benefit Seb just made him the pantomime villain for many fans.
      Rosberg has, until this season, been viewed by many people as an average mid-pack driver living off the reputation of his name.

      The only pattern I can see is that people are more than willing to convince themselves that something is true, just so they can use it as an excuse to attack whichever team or driver they dislike at the moment.

      1. This sounds suspiciously like you simply listing your own opinions and attaching them to ‘most people’. I’d be interested to know what kind of research you’d done to back up your claims. Your opinions couldn’t be further from mine. But then I don’t want to turn F1 into some kind of x-factor style popularity contest. I just want to see the best drivers in the world racing against each other, and wish all this WWE style nonsense could be left out of it. Sadly people seem more concerned over who should be the heel and who’s the face.

        1. @mazdachris +1. As much as I like (or don’t like) the ones mentioned above they all are great (Put your beloved ones first if you want). Even poor Button is great IMHO because he has showed he can capitalize other’s adverse situations, as well as Ricciardo is doing now.

    4. Anyone who is against hamilton at every point of his career gets hated upon.

      I don’t see how anything I’ve written above can be construed as hating Rosberg.

      1. @keithcollantine not you, maybe other press, but the press is always partial to the countryman. I’ve seen TV commercials and commentators praising how good Maldonado is and how bravely he fights for position, and of course I’m talking about Venezuelan press.

  36. Only Nico can defuse this.So far he has had 3 opportunities but chose to let it boil and boil.I wonder why really.

  37. Simple do nothing, as this is what the stewards did so if its fine to stick the nose of an f1 car slightly up the inside of another in mid corner then they should all start doing it and the winner of the race can be the car with the strongest front wing!!!!!!!!!
    Ive watched F1 since 1987 and these stewards this year are ruining my almost 30 year love for the sport.

    1. Totally right

  38. @keithcollantine:

    Rosberg complained that “Lewis didn’t let me by, although he was ordered to do so” while Hamilton pointed out that “if I’d let him past when they asked me he would have beat me”.

    In this case, Rosberg actually told a lie. According to the radio transcript Lewis said:

    “I’m not slowing down for Nico. If he gets close enough to overtake, he can overtake.”

    Lewis never refused the order.

    1. But they did ask him to slow down, he didn’t do it, he was completely right not to but he did refuse.

      1. To me that’s not a refusal. Lewis gave another option (to me a better/professional one) to the request he received. Mercedes should have passed Lewis’s request to Rosberg. Then it would have been up to Rosberg to decide what to do.

        1. I do agree the team was at fault and if Rosberg crashed because of Hungary then to hell with him being the emotional and calm one. Hamilton was the smart one in Hungary.

          1. *Unemotional

    2. @shoponf What Hamilton said on the radio is irrelevant in this context – it’s what he was told that matters, as explained in the article.

      1. @keithcollantine You have concluded in your article

        …in Hungary Hamilton’s refusal to obey an order to let Rosberg through may have cost them as many as 10 points.

        You are claiming clearly Hamilton’s has refused to obey an order, and the radio message says

        “I’m not slowing down for Nico. If he gets close enough to overtake, he can overtake.”

        Lewis was asking the team to consider another option, which was a much more sensible option. IMO, if providing a different option is construed as disobeying an order as you have done, leaves me dumbfounded. We also need to take into account that it was a conversation between Lewis and his racing engineer i.e not from Paddy or Toto.
        Remember 2013 Malaysian GP, when Rosberg repeatedly asked to overtake Lewis, Ross Brawn came on the radio and replied, “Negative, Nico, negative.”. That is an order, not from your radio engineer but from your boss.
        To me, radio conversation is absolutely vital, when coming to a conclusion about whether somebody disobeyed an order or not.

        1. *Hamilton has refused…

  39. If I were Toto I’d get my boy Bottas to sub in for Nico at Monza, make him appreciate what a privilege it is to drive this Mercedes. That’d settle him down and cancel out the points advantage he gained from taking Lewis out in Spa.

    1. How about Mrs Wolff?? She gets a podium and an entire generation of female drivers are born.

    2. @slobo

      If I were Toto I’d get my boy Bottas

      He’s contracted to Williams, not Mercedes.

    3. @slobo I still remember when Fisichella got a pole and a podium at Spa in that Force India 2009, so Ferrari thought he was “the man” to replace Massa / Badoer in Monza. The result was a disaster. Why? Because each one of F1 cars have real differences in set-up, downforce, braking, etc, etc. Give Bottas the Mercedes and he may end up in 6th or 7th.

  40. Nothing will happen and the points will remain the same.
    It was CLEARLY Rosberg’s fault, there is no question about it.
    But how you give Hamilton 18 points?

  41. Lock them in a truck together and let them sort it out. Didn’t Ron Dennis do that with Prost & Senna?
    Or maybe a playpen would be more appropriate. Take their sunglasses and phones off them first.

  42. It’s tremendously difficult. Mercedes are fighting for the world championship themselves and can’t really afford to deliberately hinder one of their drivers by giving them a slower car or forcing them to sit out a race.

    Perhaps all they can do is threaten to not renew Rosberg’s contract – that’s all I can imagine them doing, to be honest. It’s what I’d do. Simply tell Nico that if he pulls that sort of thing again, he’ll have to find someone else to race for next year.

    It’s past the tipping point, anyway. There’s no way back for the Hamilton/Rosberg partnership, it’s irreparable. The current lineup cannot continue productively into the future, and I honestly believe they’d be better off making a change. Despite all that’s happened this year, I still think Hamilton is stronger. His ability to develop the car and extract performance is superior to Rosberg – it’s well known that Rosberg uses Hamilton’s telemetry to improve his own performance, something which Hamilton does not do. I can’t criticise him for being resourceful, but to me that means that losing Hamilton from the team would hurt them more than losing Rosberg. If Mercedes can’t defuse the row, then I think they’d be better off bringing in a Bottas or a Hulkenberg.

    1. I agree with everything you have said. However, Mercedes also need to sort out their top management. This idea of not having a team principal has made the pit-wall strategy/communication very weak. Neither, Paddy nor Toto have any experience of being a team principal and therefore failing to perform Ross Brawn’s team principal role effectively. Rosberg knows this and taking full advantage of it i.e he wants to sort out everything internally.
      Mercedes have already extended Rosberg’s contract (in my opinion prematurely, result of a weak management) , it might cost them a lot of money to can cancel it. So, the ball is now going to be in Lewis’s court.

    2. Rosberg uses Hamilton’s telemetry to improve his own performance, something which Hamilton does not do

      Don’t believe it. Hamilton for sure looks at Rosberg’s data, he’s talked about looking at it at various points, and if nothing else you always hear Bonnington telling Lewis where he’s losing time to Rosberg. The engineers look at it even if Hamilton doesn’t (although he does).

    3. @jackysteeg

      Perhaps all they can do is threaten to not renew Rosberg’s contract

      That would be a pretty feeble threat given that last month they extended it by at least two seasons.

    4. Jacketed you obviously don’t follow F1 that much with the comment about Rosbergs contract and Hamilton not looking at Nicos’ data. Lewis himself has commented many times on Facebook and Twitter that he would have to look at Nicos data to see where he can improve

  43. If the team know Nico did it on purpose and he’s admitted it then they should ban him for a race. He not only cost his teammate valuable points but also the team

  44. …and rubbing son, is racing.
    Lets get over it, he clipped his tyre, if he t-boned him I’d say it was dangerous. It was racing.

    1. @sbailey555 it’s not the fact that it was a racing incident thats the problem, its whether it was intentional and why Rosberg has not apologised to the team yet.

      1. @tino852 what about PR apologize vs meant apologize? When Vettel apologized to the team after Multi 21, he said afterwards what he was really thinking, and I think that is what matters. These 2 guys (Nico and Lewis) can apologize but after that crash again… I would put their contracts at stake, that is in my opinion the only thing that can settle them down: Next year Mercedes will inevitably be a power again, because the regulations are almost the same.

    2. That’s not the issue, the issue is you have a driver who is leading the championship takes out his immediate opponent. As Lewis was leading at the time there is a very good chance he would have won it. Then he would have got 25 points and Rosberg 18. The standing would have been Rosberg 220 and Lewis 216, only 4 points difference.
      Rosberg caused Lewis’s puncture and subsequent DNF, so Lewis got no points. So, smacks of dirty tricks on Rosberg’s part.

  45. i think it’s a bit of a mclaren 2007 situation. i wouldn’t be surprised if one of the drivers leaves the team, simply because they don’t want each other as team mates.

    1. Is that why discussions on extending Hamiltons contract have been put on hold for now. Oh no Nico’s beaten me I not stopping here lol

  46. Toto is over whelmed by the situation. I think winning the WCC early is the worst thing that can happen. Because once it’s done they’ll have nothing control of the drivers. They could use the “for the team” mantra to rein them in. but once WCC is truly secured then the gloves will really come off. Nothing left but individual glory of the WDC. Nico wants his first; Lewis wants what Vettel has achieved. Become the top driver of his generation (based on championships). The best thing Nico has going for him is having LH as his team mate. If Alonso and based on his performance this year Ricciardo was there I wouldn’t bet on Nico getting his name on the trophy.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      27th August 2014, 18:23

      @geo451

      The best thing Nico has going for him is having LH as his team mate. If Alonso and based on his performance this year Ricciardo was there I wouldn’t bet on Nico getting his name on the trophy.

      Are you saying that because Lewis has bad luck? Because Lewis’ skill and fighting spirit are probably the only reason he’s still in contention for the WDC. He’s been phenomenal this season and he’s been 25 points behind since lap 1 of the championship which makes it much, much harder to perform. It’s a lot easier to be in front than behind…

  47. Well Well… Let us look back and see Lewis has always been overly aggressive towards everyone on track including teamates(Alonso, Heikki, Jenson and Nico). Its trait that he has had from the beginning. We all love the that about him.

    But Lewis has always got away with some risky moves neglecting orders in the past. i.e Blocking Alonso in Hungary 2007, attacking Jenson in Canada, and Swiping at Nico in Bahrain and the engine modes issue.

    We have see numerous incidents were not yielding or patience as has been trouble for him(Maldonado in Valencia, and Massa In 2012.) . He has made things difficult for teammates and put in uncomfortable situations.

    His other teammates have always yielded to his moves, and i totally understand the frustration of Nico.
    Closing this is not an attack on Lewis but he should be more considerate of other drivers.

    1. Blocking Alonso in Hungary in 2007? You must mean when Alonso blocked Hamilton in the pits in Hungary in 2007 (kicking off an Alonso blackmail-attempt culminating in Spy-Gate, no less). I’ve heard that the victors (re)write the history books but I suppose that was before the internet. Now anyone can have a go.

  48. There is no doubt that Rosburg is aware that he can only beat Lewis by continuing as he has. The commentators, his own management and the opinion of those who were there and booed were that he is not of the right calibre to be awarded the title of champion. Regardless of the outcome of this years title race he will never be accepted by true racing fans.

  49. The team needs to take charge. Take all the personalities and off track antics out of the equation, they don’t matter. The only thing that really matters is on track performance and behavior. If the team leadership determines either driver to have violated team policy they need to discipline the responsible driver as they see fit, within any contractual guidelines of course.

    Do it Ross Brawn style. Tell the press only what you want them to know and don’t discuss anything else. Keep emotions out of it.

    If current team leadership is Wolff and Lowe and they actually make the decisions, they should run any decisions by Lauda first. Lauda has a lot more perspective from all sides.

    It may seem crazy to suspend a driver for a race and bring in a reserve driver if there is determined to be cause to do so. But, the alternative could be on track warfare between your drivers otherwise. The stakes are high for the team as witnessed in Spa. Make the stakes higher for the drivers. The directive is simple, do not collide with your team mate.

    The stewards may do the team leader’s job for them. There is such a high focus on the two drivers now that stewards may feel obligated to take action for any future incident between the two. Both drivers need to be wary of the chance for penalties inflicted by the stewards. This would be the easy way out for Mercedes.

    If the team does not take charge, the stewards may. If nothing is done this could end in tears. One driver or the other may be out of the team in the future if they can’t figure out how to get along on a team with the most superior advantage over other teams in many, many years. It’s easy, do not collide with your team mate.

    There are so many fans who seem to get so caught up in the dogmatic worship of their favorite driver that they have lost the ability to reason this out using logic. Both drivers have done things on and off track this season to rile the other. Forget all that. Just do not ever collide with your team mate! See how simple that is?

    1. This crazy thing keeps coming up but there is no way that MB is going to bench a (german) driver. Talk about PR suicide. They will be a laughing stock of the pit lane and the german media will roast them. Unless Rosberg is caught on video slashing Hamilton’s tires, he’s going to drive. I don’t know what, if anything, they can do to “take charge,” but drastic disciplinary action is not going to work. Maybe they set up a “cuss jar.” Whoever instigates a collision or even a touch, has to put $50K in the jar for the enjoyment of his teammate. Both of course will have to put $1m in escrow to the team first.

      1. @dmw

        Unless Rosberg is caught on video slashing Hamilton’s tires,

        Isn’t this exactly what happened on Sunday?

      2. Bottom line, MB won’t do anything to either driver except threaten publicly and make it look like they are laying down the law for media consumption. Suspending either driver would be a worse media disaster than what they are going through now. Anyways, Ross Brawn is gone and Toto Wolff is not of the same stature.

        The stewards aren’t likely to do anything either. After all, what more evidence do they need than what they had at Spa? Earlier in the season if one driver had appeared to ruin another driver’s race, they would have given a penalty. Current mode is less penalties.

        The drivers are in control of their own actions and destinies in this regard. It’s up to the drivers to win at any cost, or to win or lose honorably. The rest of the season should be mighty interesting.

  50. It astonishes me how Hamilton can come out of all this as the bad guy for an awful lot of people. F1 is more of a pantomime than a sport.

    1. It’s not the first time Hamilton has been in this situation. At least Mercedes knew what they were getting, but I think they probably thought Lewis would consistently outpace Nico and it wouldn’t be an issue this time around.

  51. There are two cars out front racing for the championsip. We haven’t seen that for ages. Relish it!

  52. In reality I don’t think Mercedes can do anything. Once the driver is in the car, he, and only he, can decide what is going to happen. They both know that one of them is going to win the championship. I am sure, neither of the mare going to let anything Mercedes says stop them from doing everything in their power to make sure that they are the one to win the championship.

  53. They can of course just chose one of them to win the WDC, but I assume Keith meant “without been unsporting and/or ruining reputation”.
    There’s nothing they can do. It’s all up to Nico and Lewis, how they react from now on. I don’t think Lewis will react well. Nico has probably gained everything that he could out of this clash, and all he had to do was to be clumsy at the righ place at the right time. 18 point, Lewis will tone down his approach in defending to his team-mate (unless he decides to go for payback).

  54. If Mercedes wants to continue with their team orders, they should be that: ORDERS. Not saying later “but we think this driver was right to dissobey” (and I’m talking about both Nico and Lewis). Or the team director or whoever gives race orders stay put and shows them who rules, or he just let them race each other all the following races, of course warning them that if they crash the teammate there won’t be next year at Mercedes. Ricciardo is closing the gap and it would be so tragic for Mercedes to lose the WDC (the most popular for fans) for these 2 drivers clashes and tantrums.

  55. Why in heaven’s name WOULD THEY diffuse this? It’s the only thing making this ghastly season interesting.

    LET THEM FIGHT!

  56. How can Mercedes defuse the Hamilton-Rosberg row?

    By telling their driver not to react like a child to something that we shouldn’t even be talking about anymore.

  57. I personally think that the fact Rosberg was allegedly able to say something during the now infamous internal Mercedes meeting along the lines of ‘I wouldn’t have backed off of it’ shows that Toto Wolff & Co. was not prepared for a scenario where their drivers take on such drastic measures against each other.

    This does not bode well for what I feel like the management should do which is as follows: no repercussions for what happened in Spa, but just outline very very clearly what would the consequences be if something similar happens again initiated by either Hamilton or Rosberg. Like precisely, ‘if you hit him and we as a team will be in any way disadvantaged, you will not be allowed to race him past the first corner.’ It could be anything else (something which ensures the team will not get disadvantaged again), the main point is to point out whatever consequences they feel the drivers should be aware of, if they hit each other again. I think this is a sensible way to both take responsibility for not preparing for such a scenario pre-Spa (I feel like you can’t penalise somebody for an action the consequences of which were not laid out well) and raise their drivers’ awareness of what the limits will be in this face-off in the future.

    1. On a side note, I just visited the Autosport website and found that Gary Anderson says basically the same: it’s no wonder a driver took the courage to drive like he did on Sunday and behave like he did afterwards, if the management would fail to outline what the consequences of such actions will be.

  58. People are reading way too much into this. Sticking his nose inside doesn’t make Rosberg a cheat, he’s obviously annoyed at some of the moves Hamilton has pulled on him and decided to get rough in return (I imagine what hurt him most about Hungary is Hamilton’s block at the end rather than the team orders thing, despite what he says).

    We see these kind of incidents all the time, yes it possibly deserved a penalty but people are talking about it like it was attempted murder, it’s ridiculous. Compared to some things Senna (Suzuka ’90) or Schumacher (Adelaide ’94, Jerez ’97) did this barely even registers. Rosberg wasn’t trying to hit Hamilton intentionally, just force him off line a bit, it was a misjudgement that happened to fall in his favour.

  59. Monopoly

  60. They can’t defuse it.

  61. I don’t think you can without making one of them a number 2 at this point. You needed to put something in place at the start of the season. Lewis has shown that he won’t listen to team orders so anything that you put in place will likely fail going forward and Nico has shown that he’s happy taking the gloves off. You need to count on them to be mature enough to race hard and fair from this point but I’m sceptical that will happen.

    For me the big question is becoming not whether you can manage it this year, but whether the situation will become so untenable you need to let one of them go next year.

    1. That last sentence, I pondered on it myself as well… Depending on how the rest of the season pans out, I can see one of them go, but I still think things could be ‘mended.’

    2. Would love to see an Alonso for Hamilton direct swap for 2015.
      All parties are happy then, including the FANsssssss.
      Common BE, bring it on …

  62. The more I think about this, the more it makes sense that Hamilton will return to McLaren in 2015. These guys have fallen out beyond repair, and with Nico signing a fresh new contract I bet Big Ron is all over this like a cheap suit.

    It’s either that or Hamilton to the fizzy drinks company… that might also happen if Vettel goes to McLaren instead and an assumption thay Alonso is going nowhere.

    Silly season starting later than usual…

  63. I agree with some previous comments on splitting the garage,
    no more sharing of info,
    race for pole,
    race till the flag,
    Try not to take each other out, there are drivers who are fast that will drive this car for free
    you are racing for the championship but also for the Team,

    Have Fun
    Make Mercedes look good,

    Management need to smile, support both drivers and say how wonderful a Mercedes must be to drive.

    2 boys
    2 tonka trucks
    1 small sandpit
    dont crash the trucks or you may lose them,

    do a photo shoot like seb and mark after turkey . Bhahahahahahahahahahahaha

  64. Why do it ?!? Everybody wanted a Prost-Senna-like match… now you got it !

    1. Exactly!

  65. racernorriski
    28th August 2014, 6:35

    IF I were the bossman I would first tell LH to quit pandering and whining to the press and his fans. Leaking meeting info and what he perceives Nico’s thinking is definitely not professional conduct in any sport or business.
    Second I would inform both drivers that there would be serious financial penalties for the driver that causes any accident or disables his team mates car. Since I am not privy to the driver contracts I am not sure what leeway management has available to them in this case.
    Third When a driver receives instructions from the pit wall the driver is to execute said instructions in a very timely manner. There is to be NO debate on this issue during the race.
    Then let them race and hopefully both will conduct themselves in a professional and adult manner both on and off the track. Yeah I know good luck with that…. Thanks, rnr

  66. I’m not going to suggest what Mercedes do, because there is no solution to this problem. What I will say is this, Mercedes wanted a strong driver line up in 2013, and in 2014, that is exactly what has transpired because of this decision. The philosophy from Ferrari in the past is to support 100%, 1 contender, which at least I think gives the team and that 1 driver 100% confidence to go full throttle without internal issues hindering their progress.
    Perhaps the solution is in how F1 lines up its teams. Perhaps F1 should go for a similar path that NASCAR has, which is, have multi-car teams, with separate sponsorship, drivers, pit crews. This may help with attracting sponsors, it might attract more sponsors if the title sponsorship on the car was a little more affordable, this obviously will require more people in the background managing sponsorship deals within the teams, but I guess thats the price of doing business. This would then easily reduce the tension within teams as they’re essentially separate entities and can treat each other as enemies equally :)

  67. Putting everything in perspective:

    Bahrain: Lewis defends way too aggressive and it’s up to Nico to avoid the crash that would’ve meant -43 points for the team. In the same race, although it’s not clear if before or after the previous incident, Nico uses illegal engine mappings.

    Spain: Lewis uses illegal engine mappings to defend against Nico.

    Monaco: Nico is accused that he got pole by deliberately causing the yellow flags. The stewards, having access to telemetry data and having previously punished Schumacher for a similar action, decide that it was an honest mistake on Rosberg’s part.

    Hungary: Being on a slower tire and struggling, Lewis refuses to let Nico, who was on a different strategy, past. But, this is not a clear-cut situation (some drivers allow their teammate to pass, others don’t), Lewis again pushed Nico off the track while defending in the last laps of the race, replaying Bahrain all over again.

    Belgium: Nico risks an overtake that was never going to happen, doesn’t yield enough and punctures Hamilton’s tire, costing him the race.

    Until the Belgium incident, Hamilton put Rosberg in the situation of “try to overtake me and we’ll both be out of the race” twice and at both times Nico surrendered although it would have been in his best interest to not do that. Monaco incident was analyzed by the stewards who analyzed the telemetry, something which the armchair specialists don’t have and that can’t be faked to simulate loss of control. As such, I’d say that the situation Mercedes is in right now, represents a collection of mistakes by both Nico, Lewis. The way Toto and Niki reacted after the race screamed “amateur hour”, offloading their frustration to a media that thrives on this kind of dramas, putting Mercedes in the spotlight when that was the last thing needed.

    1. Don’t forget what happened on the first lap in Canada, Nico defended hard forcing Lewes off the track. They have both defended hard but managed to not hit each other until Nico decided to ‘make a point’.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      28th August 2014, 15:06

      @alexx_88
      Do you see the other passes by Lewis and the other drivers? They are clean and well executed and usually the other driver has no way of defending as they are only allowed to move once. Did you see all the passes between Vettel, Alonso and Button at the end of the race? That is how you pass.

      As for defending, Mags did great against Alonso except the one time that was investigated.

      The problem you’re effectively describing is that Nico is unable to set up a proper pass against Lewis.

      1. Light touches happen all the time. Hamilton does them, Vettel does them, Alonso does them. Hamilton even did it twice in one race, in Germany. Alonso also touched Vettel’s tire in the first corner in Spa and lost part of his front wing. The unfortunate thing about Belgium and the Mercs was that both cars lost out, not just the attacker, as it usually happens.

        A normal racing incident was blown out of proportion because the two involved are battling for the title and because the defending car got a puncture, which has a probability of about 5% to happen in these circumstances.

        I never disagreed with the idea that Nico is not as good wheel-to-wheel as Lewis, but the fact of the matter is that between two incredibly close drivers in terms of speed, racing in the same car, under the same strategy, pulling out a pass is a monumental task. Add some very shady defensive maneuvers (not in this particular case, but in Bahrain, Canada and Hungary) and you get this.

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            28th August 2014, 15:59

            @alexx_88 The defensive move by Lewis in Hungary was not shady – Leigh Diffey, the NBC commentator said he was going to go wide well before it happened, and I saw it from a mile away. I don’t understand why Nico didn’t see it.

            Bahrain was not shady – it was fantastic defending by Lewis.

            The touch was light – the outcome was massive. In fact, it would have been a whole lot better if Nico had T-Boned Lewis destroying both cars in the process. The fact that he did it to prove a point with his team and teammate paying the price is totally unacceptable.

            Nico’s proven his point and now he just needs to pay the price. If he cost the team 25 points, he should pay at least 50 right for it to be a worthwhile punishment, right?

          2. @freelittlebirds:
            Bahrain was out of line between teammates, as were Canada and Hungary. That’s said by almost all the pundits I’ve heard. It would’ve been fine against a driver from another team, but since Merc had the “no contact” rule it only means that the driver behind yields at the pleasure of the driver in front.

            He didn’t say that he punctured the tire to prove a point, but rather that he kept his wing in there. My take is that he was clumsy, he made a mistake, but decided to milk it for whatever moral ground there was to gain from it. From now on, Lewis will think twice before closing the door on him and that’s exactly the best he could’ve achieved after tripping into the situation by mistake.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          29th August 2014, 17:53

          @alexx_88
          I have no clue what you’re on about. Bahrain was out of line only insofar as the fact that Merc got Nico out on softer tyres right behind Lewis. In that regard, Merc was out of line. As for Lewis, he was totally in line to defend as he did and to wipe the floor with Nico. Didn’t he pass Nico back at one point?

          As for sticking the nose, that should have destroyed Nico’s race and he would have been 14 points behind now… 14 points behind versus 29 points ahead (a 43 point swing the wrong way) by an idiotic amateurish move.

  68. So first off I am a Lewis Hamilton fan.

    Mercedes logically will favour Rosberg from now as he is 29 points ahead of Lewis, unless this changes soon.

    While unlikely, Riccardo can still catch Rosberg, so from Mercedes point of view this would be a disaster if one of their drivers were not to win the Championship.

    Regarding the Spa incident on which I have not commented on yet:

    Rosberg still has not apologised for what was clearly his mistake (deliberate or not). Why?

    1. because he is winning the championship and wants a mental edge? apologizing is like surrendering. but maybe he did apologize, just not in public. he saw it as a racing incident, so no apology needed.

  69. As a HAM fan in the heat of the moment I was gutted & annoyed to see Hamilton result in a puncture from the incident & at the time was calling for Nico’s head on a platter but looking back on it; it was clumsy, maybe a moment obnoxiousness played a part on both drivers part but then LET THEM RACE!!! That’s what I want to see! It’s been a great talking point. This particular incident wasn’t any more dangerous than any other contact seen in that race & contact at some point between cars is inevitable. I hope not & don’t think we will see any inner team bans against Nico, he will get a stern talking to from Toto & Niki but at the end of the Merc team have put Nico in control of the car & he makes the final decisions out on track & rightly so.

  70. Michael Brown (@)
    28th August 2014, 13:35

    Personally I think this has been blown way out of proportion. A British driver and a German driver collide? Must be the second coming of Michael Schumacher.

  71. reading todays autosport report that hamiltons contract talks with Mercedes are put on hold as the the ‘heat’ of the championship battle dies down. I see this as possibly a significant step in this teammate war. if Hamilton loses the championship, he will be hurt – will he jump ship to McLaren-Honda? probably not because it is McLaren, but his mentor is back at the helm, and whitmarsh gone…

    1. Right now Boullier is heavily pursuing Vettel and Alonso. I suppose if they ditch Magnussen as well we could have Alonso and Hamilton and Dennis together for another bizarre love triangle.

  72. I want to ask, did anyone else have the same views immediately as it happened – I saw an accidental touch that damaged Rosbergs car, and I though “Rosberg is going to lose heaps of time now” – so my first reaction was that Rosberg would lose out in this race – seconds later i saw Hamilton’s car going off with a puncture. – I then started analyzing, that Hamilton will get back to the pits, lose about a minute, but still fight through the field, while Rosberg will struggle with downforce then change wing at first pitstop. I though Mercedes 1-2 at the end still. then i see Hamilton’s tyre ripped apart and hear Martin Brundle’s commentary “oh no lewis, you are going too fast!” i then feel Hamilton did not manage the puncture correctly. the ramifications of an accidental touch were suddenly hitting me, i now knew the result was unlikely to be a Mercedes 1-2 (barring safety cars), and i was looking forward to hitting the internet after the race to read the biased commentary from fans of both :)

  73. Mercedes are asking fans to tweet them to decide if they want them to implement Team Orders or continue to let the drivers race.
    https://twitter.com/MERCEDESAMGF1

    Letting drivers continue to race seems to be winning so far.

    1. Pathetic for the Mercedes F1 Team: Management by focus group. Why doesn’t BE institute F1 Idol? Or F1 got Talent? People will call, tweet, email, blog, etc… to appoint the WDC. Forget being the best driver, you just need charisma.

      Pathetic.

  74. In May 2014:
    Britain’s Lewis Hamilton says he has greater desire to win this year’s world title than team-mate Nico Rosberg because of his tougher upbringing.

    “I come from a not great place in Stevenage and lived on a couch in my dad’s apartment,” said Hamilton, 29.
    “Nico grew up in Monaco with jets and boats and all these kind of things, so the hunger is different.”

    Any driver who publicly will state that his teammate is not going to win because he is not competitive enough is going to have problems with his teammate …

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      28th August 2014, 18:02

      Somehow, that is article worthy.

    2. Where did he predict the future and say Nico was not going to win? I find it intriguing that people jump on his back for his opinion that his upbringing makes him hungrier for success than another person of comparatively great privilege. This is not actually a controversial view of things. Indeed, it’s a rather tired sports cliche and basically unremarkable. It’s like half of the Olympics programming that most people fast-forward through to get to the event. In any event, I heartily agree with Hamilton’s premise—privilege can dull one’s ambitions. Rosberg can falsify the theory, if he can.

  75. Does no one else think Mercedes are in a position where the have to back their words up with a strong action or they will appear weak. They know team orders wouldn’t be popular and have made it clear Rosberg is in the wrong. I could see there being reasonable chance of a 1 race ban for Rosberg. They’ve tweeted today to ask fans what they think of that idea

    1. No race ban for Nico it would be too harsh and would back fire plus LH wouldn’t even want it as precedence would be set. Let them race to the end, let the best man win.

  76. Breaking news LH has requested no sharing of information telemetry with NR!!!

    1. According to who?

  77. Patrick Traille
    1st September 2014, 17:32

    They should stop giving Rosberg Hamilton’s data. That will slow him down so he will not be close enough to Hamilton to cause an accident.

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