user icon

F1 experts criticise Mercedes over managing driver duel

  • Published on 01 Sep 2014 12:41
  • comments 0
  • By: Rob Veenstra
F1 experts have accused Mercedes of mismanaging Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton's dramatically imploding relationship. The German team said contrite championship leader Nico Rosberg has now apologised for his clash with Hamilton in Belgium and been disciplined. Britain's Daily Mail claims the penalty is a six-digit financial sum, paid to charity.

But Max Mosley, the former long-time FIA president, thinks Mercedes was wrong to so clearly point the finger of blame. "If they decided to fine or punish Rosberg they should not have announced it," he said. "It's as if the team are blaming him publicly. That's not really right."

Former team owner and boss turned British television pundit Eddie Jordan agrees, saying the spotlight should not be on the warring protagonists. "I blame the team," he is quoted by the Daily Star. "They are weak, rudderless. They are being run by two drivers who are like spoilt kids doing what they want to do."

Former McLaren driver John Watson even likened chiefs Toto Wolff, Paddy Lowe and Niki Lauda to The Three Stooges and a "Looney Tunes" style of management. "Lewis and Rosberg are doing nothing different to what two highly competitive drivers have done in the past," he told Express newspaper.

"But the difference is management and having someone that commands respect like Ross Brawn who was in charge last year. If you haven't got somebody who commands respect you end up with the lunatics taking over the asylum which is the case here," Watson added.

After the crisis meeting at Brackley last Friday, Mercedes' management of the situation continued in the form of a statement attributed to Hamilton posted on the 2008 world champion's Facebook page.

Referring to the Spa clash but probably also his own comments to the media afterwards, Hamilton was quoted as saying: "Nico and I accept that we have both made mistakes and I feel it would be wrong to point fingers and say which one is worse than the other. There is a deep foundation that still exists for me and Nico to work from, in spite of our difficult times and differences."

At the Brackley meeting, it was reportedly resolved that Mercedes would continue to allow the drivers to race freely, albeit within the boundaries of 'clean racing'. "It (not imposing team orders) was a difficult decision," Wolff told Germany's Bild. "But Nico and Lewis are our heroes. I hope and believe that they understand our requirements and our goals. It is now up to them to deal with this responsibility," he added.

Lauda, meanwhile, admitted to Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper on Sunday that further fireworks can be expected, particularly as Hamilton "lost everything in Spa" and will be keen to "get back these points". "We have to be careful," he admitted.

"But as long as they do not endanger the clearly defined objectives of Mercedes, they can go on as they like. I understand Nico and Lewis very well as they both want to win races and be world champion. But they cannot put the entire project at risk," Lauda insisted. (GMM)

Replies (0)

Login to reply

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

Related news

World Championship standings 2022

Show full world champion standings

Test calendar

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Will Bottas challenge Hamilton for the world championship in 2020?

Driver profile

  • Team Mercedes
  • Points 2,920
  • Podiums 121
  • Grand Prix 162
  • Country GB
  • Date of b. Jan 7 1985 (37)
  • Place of b. Tewin, GB
  • Weight 68 kg
  • Length 1.74 m
Show full profile

Team profile

Show full profile

Formula 1 Calendar - 2022

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Spain
-
Bahrain
18 - Mar 20
Bahrain
25 - Mar 27
Saudi Arabia
8 - Apr 10
Australia
22 - Apr 24
Italy
6 - May 8
United States of America
20 - May 22
Spain
27 - May 29
Monaco
10 - Jun 12
Azerbaijan
17 - Jun 19
Canada
1 - Jul 3
United Kingdom
8 - Jul 10
Austria
22 - Jul 24
France
29 - Jul 31
Hungary
26 - Aug 28
Belgium
2 - Sep 4
Netherlands
9 - Sep 11
Italy
30 - Oct 2
Singapore
7 - Oct 9
Japan
21 - Oct 23
United States of America
28 - Oct 30
Mexico
11 - Nov 13
Brazil
18 - Nov 20
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2022

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
18 - Mar 20
25 - Mar 27
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
8 - Apr 10
Australia Albert Park
22 - Apr 24
6 - May 8
United States of America Miami International Autodrome
20 - May 22
27 - May 29
Monaco Monte Carlo
10 - Jun 12
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
17 - Jun 19
1 - Jul 3
United Kingdom Silverstone
8 - Jul 10
Austria Red Bull Ring
22 - Jul 24
France Paul Ricard
29 - Jul 31
Hungary Hungaroring
26 - Aug 28
2 - Sep 4
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
9 - Sep 11
Italy Monza
30 - Oct 2
7 - Oct 9
21 - Oct 23
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
28 - Oct 30
11 - Nov 13
Brazil Interlagos
18 - Nov 20
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
show sidebar