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Wolff backs Merc team orders

2013-03-26 09:28

MIXED SIGNALS FROM WOLFF: Mercedes co-owner Toto Wolff has given mixed signals to his team by first disapproving of team order in Malaysia and now stating the decision was “right.”

Toto Wolff, the new Mercedes co-owner and director, has played down reports of a growing rift between the team's German and British factions.

Nico Rosberg was ordered by Ross Brawn to stay behind Lewis Hamilton at the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix. Wolff and Niki Lauda admitted their disapproval.

But RTL now quotes Wolff as saying: "The decision was unpopular, but right."


The incident is being compared to the situation at Red Bull, where team bosses tried - but ultimately failed - to impose a 'hold station' order at Sepang.

Red Bull's Helmut Marko
tried to differentiate the teams by insisting: "It's not like at Mercedes, where there's a clear No.1 and 2".

Hamilton, who according to Marko is undoubtedly the "No.1", dismissed that as "rubbish".

He said: "They (Red Bull) have a clear one and two, they always have had, that is why they have always had the problems they have had."

During Martin Brundle's Sky commentary in Malaysia, the former McLaren driver admitted he finds it hard to believe Hamilton decided to switch to Mercedes over the winter without the promise of higher status.

Hamilton denied: "I have always said, from the moment I was speaking to the team, that I wanted equality."

This could explain why Hamilton looked so unhappy despite finishing third in Malaysia.

Hamilton said: "I said to Ross at the end that I wanted to let him (Rosberg) past. He said 'Absolutely not. When I tell you what I want (you) to do, you have to stick by it'."

Hans-Joachim Stuck, the German federation president, said he admires Rosberg for not behaving like Vettel in Malaysia: "It was a textbook example of a world-class driver. He is an employee of Mercedes and so when he receives an order, he follows it."

Read more on:    f1  |  lewis hamilton  |  mercedes  |  ride  |  formula 1  |  team  |  race

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