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Christian Horner puzzled by Mercedes' call to Hamilton

  • Published on 28 Nov 2016 11:54
  • comments 3
  • By: Dominik Wilde

Red Bull boss Christian Horner feels Mercedes were "naive" to think that Lewis Hamilton wouldn't try to slow down Nico Rosberg in the final race of the season.

Mercedes ordered Hamilton to pick up his pace after the three-time champion attempted to back Rosberg into the cars behind him, but Horner is surprised that Mercedes would have thought that Hamilton wouldn't employ such a tactic.

"With where they were at, it was just down to those guys, so it was only ever going to be that kind of battle between the two of them," said Horner. "Congratulations to Nico – he's driven a great season, he's a very worthy world champion – but it was naive to think that there would be any different approach with what's at stake."

Horner also backed Hamilton's driving, insisting the former McLaren man did nothing wrong.

"He played completely within the rules – winning the race wasn't going to be enough for him today," said Horner. "He needed cars between him [and Rosberg] and if he'd charged off into the distance that wouldn't have created that possibility.

"He won the race as slowly as he could, it's only like in a football game where a team might protect from the opposition by kicking the ball around and not enabling them to get hold of the ball.

"There's only two drivers competing for the world championship, it was totally obvious that we was going to do that. He didn't do anything dirty, he didn't do anything against the rules and it would be unfair to criticize Lewis for the way that he drove."

Replies (3)

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  • Wolfgang

    Posts: 313

    Horner would think the exact other way round if the two guys in front would´ve been RedBulls and Rosberg or Vettel or whoever came from behind and making the life of at least one of them much more difficult. Of course it was in his sense how Hamilton slowed down the pack, so just keeping this in mind it´s no wonder he said that..

    • + 0
    • Nov 28 2016 - 12:38
  • Kevin

    Posts: 4,724

    Agreed with Horner. Thinking Hamilton would not try to win the championship this race was very naive.

    • + 0
    • Nov 28 2016 - 12:43
  • dr002

    Posts: 141

    I also agree with Horner.

    The team had won the Constructors Championship, and regardless of Hamilton's actions a Mercedes driver would have won the Drivers Championship, so there is no legitimate reason why the team order should have been given.

    In such a situation it should be left to the drivers to challenge for the win, within the rules, with whatever skill and tactics they have at their disposal.

    I'm glad Rosberg won as he's driven throughout the year with intelligence and emotional maturity, both attributes of a Champion. I'm also glad that Hamilton did go for the championship win by attempting to back Rosberg up into the rest of the field, as he now hasn't got the excuse that he handed Rosberg the championship under team orders, which at the end of the day is a better end-result for both Rosberg and for the Mercedes team.

    • + 0
    • Nov 29 2016 - 00:09

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