• Spanish GP - Race

'No controversy' over Hamilton's radio messages - Wolff

ESPN Staff
May 12, 2014 « Full recovery nearly complete - Renault | Rosberg challenge like Alonso in 2007 - Hamilton »
Lewis Hamilton sounded tetchy in the closing stages in Spain © Getty Images
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Toto Wolff insists he has no issue with Lewis Hamilton's frustrated radio messages in Spain after realising the changes Mercedes made to his car nearly cost him the win.

Hamilton was completely at ease behind the wheel of the W05 on Friday, but by Saturday he seemed to be struggling despite ultimately going on to claim pole. Hamilton led for the majority of the race but during Nico Rosberg's relentless chase in the closing stages he sounded on edge over the radio, questioning the timing of his pit stop and disagreeing with proposed tweaks to his front wing, asking race engineer Peter Bonnington "why are you doing that?" and "where have you been for the last few laps, man?" after a period of limited feedback.

But Wolff believes the messages simply highlighted Hamilton's desire to win races.

"You have to understand the intensity of Lewis is huge," Wolff said. "If you are alone in your car and you need to rely on information from your engineers you don't really know where the other guy is. He's on a different tyre strategy but you want to know and you want to find out if you're doing everything right.

"He's a very strong personality and on one side ultra-competitive, and sometimes words might sound harder than they are meant, and on the other side he's a very sensitive and very charming personality who is able to embrace the team. We have no issue at all.

"We don't want to forget there are millions of people listening and we don't want them or the media stirring up some kind of controversy within the team. We don't have any controversy here. His race engineers have worked with him so well and have worked with him for quite some time now. That's Lewis' character and we like him with every single bit, whether it's in that direction or the other."

In fact Wolff believes the main lesson the team can learn from Hamilton's messages is to look back at the changes it made to his car on Friday night, which could easily have cost him pole the following day.

"We take it very seriously because I think what we did was engineer the car away from the way he wanted the car to behave on Saturday. On Friday he was very satisfied with the car and then from FP3 onwards he said it was not doing what he wanted. You could see in Q1 and Q2 he wasn't performing in the way he was expecting himself to perform and I guess he just took it at the end, it was a Hamilton lap!"

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