Nico Rosberg vows to learn Hungary lessons
Championship leader unhappy with Hamilton's refusal to obey Mercedes team order during controversial race at the Hungaroring
By Pete Gill
Last Updated: 21/08/14 3:26pm
A cryptic Nico Rosberg has vowed to change his approach after the controversial Hungarian GP in which Lewis Hamilton disobeyed a team order to cede position to the German.
Although Rosberg retains the lead of the World Championship, his advantage was trimmed to just eleven points after he was beaten to third place by Hamilton at the Hungaroring in typically-controversial circumstances.
Hamilton disobeyed a request from the team’s pitwall to let Rosberg pass him for position during the race, a refusal which the German afterwards termed “not very good” and culminated in Mercedes subsequently admitting they would have to revise their codes of practice in light of their drivers' championship ambitions.
With Mercedes seemingly certain to win the Constructors’ Championship, Hamilton and Rosberg have now, it appears, been given free rein to race each other in a straight fight for the drivers' crown.
“When it comes to drivers in the same team running alternative strategies, it is usual for them not to make life hard for each other when it comes to overtaking,” said team boss Toto Wolff in a Mercedes press release. “But we must appreciate that we are not in a usual situation any more.”
While refusing to divulge any details on the post-mortem that took place inside the Mercedes motorhome as the team attempted to put the lid on the fallout from Hamilton’s intransigence, Rosberg has also insisted he is now ready to change his approach following the Budapest controversy.
“I gather it was a bit of a mess [in the media] after Hungary so it’s best I don’t add too much and not give too many details. In general, we discussed it after the race because it’s important to review a situation like that,” said Rosberg.
“But I’ve learnt various things from that race which I will try to adapt to in the future.”
Inevitably pressed during Thursday’s press conference on what specifically he had learnt, a circumspect Rosberg replied: “I don’t want to go into much detail but we sat down and discussed it all, reviewed if we needed to change something for the future and that’s what we’ve done.”
In the immediate future, Mercedes are expected to retain their superiority over the rest of the field at Spa this weekend when the season resumes after a three-week summer break with the power-hungry circuit set to play to the strengths of the W05. While Hamilton could reclaim the lead of the title race with victory, Rosberg is certain to retain the lead of the championship if he finishes second or higher. Little wonder, then, that he believes criticism of the sport has been overdone this year.
“To watch from the outside, these cars are still awesome to watch, they are still the fastest cars there are in terms of corner speed,” mused Rosberg. “However, I understand we need to keep on working on the sound, hopefully we can find a solution – maybe put some big loudspeakers on the car.”
But nothing at the moment seems capable of muting the noise creted by the riveting duel at Mercedes.