• Hungarian GP - Race

Mercedes to rethink team orders

ESPN Staff
July 28, 2014 « Perez: Error led to shunt | Ferrari cannot dwell on Hungary - Mattiacci »
David Coulthard on team orders
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Mercedes will sit down with its drivers to discuss team orders following the controversy surrounding the decision to ask Lewis Hamilton to move over for title rival Nico Rosberg in Hungary.

Towards the end of the race as Rosberg, on a three-stop strategy and on soft tyres, closed up on Hamilton, who had completed his final stop and was on the medium tyre, Mercedes asked the latter to move over due to their differing strategies. Hamilton defied the call, saying Rosberg was not close enough and arguing he should not be expected to move over for a title rival.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he understands why Hamilton did not want to yield and admits the title fight means the situation between the drivers had changed since the start of the season.

"We will not have that situation again because we will try to learn," said Wolff. "I don't want to play the vicious general and demand that they obey the rules. I could have gone on the radio or Paddy [Lowe] could but we didn't because it was difficult to judge what to expect at that race.

"Maybe what we decided at the beginning of the season doesn't function any more but we cannot ask either driver to give up positions or jeopardise their own championship chances for the benefit of the team. The longer the season gets the more intense it gets and the more difficult it gets to beat your team-mate.

"It is getting intense between the two and it is clear that they are direct competitors for the world championship and in that situation when you have DNF'd twice in a car which is not reliable enough ... we need to sit down and discuss it."

Wolff is convinced Rosberg would have won the race had he been released by Hamilton when asked.

"It is a difficult situation now. As a team we need to learn from how the season pans out now because if Lewis had let Nico go, Nico could have won the race. We needed to split the strategies because it was not clear what was going to happen. But then again if you let your team by, he wins the race easily and you lose another eight or ten or twelve points to him so you damage your own campaign.

"As a matter of fact when he was behind [Hamilton], the pace dropped and he wasn't near him to overtake. It wasn't an obvious case where he was all over him. There are so many variables that come into the equation that you can't say it was one factor."

After the race Hamilton revealed his surprise at the order, saying he had been "very, very shocked" to hear it, but Wolff is confident the Brit will see Mercedes' side of the argument in time.

"He wears his heart on his sleeve and this is how he is and it's clear having that call is not what you expect when your car is broken down."

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