FAIR GAME: Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says its drivers Nico Rosberg (centre left) and Lewis Hamilton (centre right) are always treated equally. Image: AFP / Mark Thompson
LONDON, England - Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has played down suggestions his Formula 1 team did not treat its drivers equally in Montreal during the 2015 Canadian GP (June 7 2015).
During the race, leader Lewis Hamilton's engineer Peter Bonnington told the driver that while Rosberg had no problem with fuel consumption, the German's brakes were "critical". When Rosberg asked about the state of Hamilton's car his engineer Tony Ross replied that he was not allowed to answer.
Indeed, so-called 'radio coaching' in Formula 1 is now banned.
German commentator Christian Danner told Bild newspaper, however, that Bonnington's radio call to Hamilton gave him "a clear competitive advantage". Another German pundit, Marc Surer, agreed that Bonnington had gone into "a grey area" in terms of the radio rules.
Told that the episode might imply favouritism for Hamilton, Wolff insisted: "We've already clarified the matter internally. The statement from Lewis' engineer had no impact on the race. I stress once again: the drivers have absolutely equal treatment."
Wolff also said Rosberg's engineer Ross had handed the radio call "exemplarily". It was also true that Bonnington's father had died in the week before the race.
Rosberg said Hamilton fully deserved the win: "It was a challenging race - we had to manage fuel, brakes, all these things but it was the same for Lewis. The same for both of us."
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