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Rosberg did not hesitate to let Hamilton through - Wolff

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Rosberg did not hesitate to let Hamilton through - Wolff
By:
May 31, 2016, 8:27 AM

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has revealed that Nico Rosberg did not question nor hesitate to follow a team order to let Lewis Hamilton through during the early stages of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Race winner Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates with Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Daimler AG CEO, team mate Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1, and the team
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid

Rosberg had struggled to get temperature in to his tyres and brakes in the wet conditions at Monte Carlo and, with him badly holding up Hamilton, the team decided that if they did not switch positions then Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo would be clear for the win.

Although Rosberg is locked in a title fight with Hamilton – and the points he gave away could prove costly at the end of the campaign – Wolff said that the team did not need to get forceful over the radio to ensure positions were swapped.

"[There was] not one single question," said Wolff about Rosberg's response to be given the team order.

"First we asked him to pick up the pace if he would be capable of doing that. If not he had to let Lewis by. A lap later we gave him the call just let him by and he did it immediately."

Wolff thinks that the German showed his great team spirit by not hesitating to concede the position.

"Over the weekend we have struggled to put the tyres in the right window, and it looked like at the beginning we were suffering the same," explained Wolff about the circumstances before the team switch.

"The way that Ricciardo was pulling away, it was clear that not reversing the situation between Nico and Lewis would definitely lose us the race. So we waited for quite a while and gave him more laps for the tyres to come in, but it didn't.

"Then finally we decided to call it because the pace was just so much slower and it was the right decision.

"One thing that is maybe good to say immediately – and if I had Niki's red cap I would take it off – because it is such a difficult circumstance, to give up the position and understand the global situation. So it is great team play from Nico."

Difficult to accept

Wolff admits that it was the team itself that had weighed up whether or not to impose the team orders, because of the unique situation it found itself in.

"First of all, for any driver, it is extremely difficult to accept such a call and we understand that," he said. "That is why we looked at the situation for many laps and it lost us quite some race time.

"We looked at it for a couple of laps and then hoped that the tyre would switch on, but then Ricciardo was 10-11 seconds gone.

"It was like having a damaged car, and that is why we decided to make that call. We debated it for quite some time because it is not what we have done in the past, but it was clear that there was a problem on the car."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Monaco GP
Location Monte Carlo
Drivers Nico Rosberg Shop Now
Teams Mercedes Shop Now
Author Jonathan Noble