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13 Oct
Event finished

Lauda: Rosberg is back after Hamilton “blew him off”

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Lauda: Rosberg is back after Hamilton “blew him off”
By:
May 10, 2015, 2:25 PM

Mercedes chief Niki Lauda has hailed Nico Rosberg’s victory in the Spanish Grand Prix as a potential turning point in his drivers’ title bid.

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team
2nd place Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team and Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Ferrari
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W06
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W06

Lauda also hailed the pace of the Mercedes' cars after Lewis Hamilton overcame Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel on a three-stop strategy that depended on pure speed, and Rosberg's winning margin over the non-Mercedes machinery.

"The most important thing for the team is that Vettel finished 48 seconds behind," said Lauda. "I mean, I'm thinking of the future, so this race was perfect for us.

"Nico is truly back and I am happy for him, to be honest, because Lewis blew him off in the first four races. Now he is fighting back.

"Second for Lewis is not bad, with the championship lead he has, so I'm completely happy with everybody."

Wolff hails strategy switch

Team principal Toto Wolff echoed Lauda's thoughts and paid tribute to the way his team switched strategy to allow Hamilton to beat Vettel to the runner-up spot.

"It's great for Nico but it feels like two-times P1, Nico with a brilliant drive and Lewis recovering from a bad start and the mistake on the pitstop," said Wolff, referring to a slow left-rear change on Hamilton's first pitstop."

Asked if Hamilton's switch to a three-stop strategy was the right call, he replied: "It was the only chance to overtake Vettel. Either you undercut him, what we tried but had the failed pitstop, so that was gone – so three stops was the only way of pushing hard towards the end."

"But it was a bold move, because he had to overtake on the track – which he did with [Kimi] Raikkonen, and because of his great driving he finished P2."

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