Wolff backs Merc team orders

2013-03-26 09:28

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."


  • Cobus Fenwick - 2013-03-26 21:29

    Unfortunately that is how it works, and unfortunately it is not a true reflection of who is the best driver, but the luckiest driver, who earns their bosses the most money. What is the real value of any F1 World Champion's status. It was shown in Sepang how The WC dissobeyed his boss. Easy to appologise and banked his championship points. Just the drivers reaction on the podium showed the "Wrong-handling" of F1 at the moment, rules or not. Put any driver in any car and the results would be the same organized way that it is right now. No more real racing, just a show.

  • Kwashic - 2013-03-26 22:09

    I have resorted to checking the qualifying times to know the best car and driver combination. may not be perfect but sure is better than they tyres anad team orders farce that goes on in races!

  • Erik Prinsloo - 2013-03-27 17:54

    Isn't this in a way the same as match fixing - drivers being influenced or instructed by team owners. The best/fasted driver should be in front - at the end of the season things may be a bit more interesting. I'm not going to waste time watching races where results are minipulated!

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