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Rosberg: It wasn't deliberate

NEWS STORY
08/09/2014

Nico Rosberg has dismissed suggestions that he deliberately made a mistake in order to 'gift' teammate Monza win.

The German made two unforced, and uncharacteristic, mistakes during yesterday's race, both at the notorious first chicane. The first came just a few laps into the race whilst leading comfortably, the second whilst under pressure from Hamilton.

Both times the German got the chicane entirely wrong and had to take to the escape road, weaving through the polystyrene markers. Though both incidents cost him precious time, the second cost him the lead also.

Post-race, sections of the media, clearly deprived of a 'Spa-style' incident in which the Mercedes drivers clashed, instead focussed on Rosberg's mistakes, suggesting that 'gifting' the win to his teammate was either part of his official punishment from the team for Spa or his own personal bid for atonement.

Asked the cause of the mistake which saw him lose the lead, the German joked: "It wasn't my mistake, it was the other guys' fault... I'm just kidding! It was just Lewis was quick, coming from behind. I needed to up my pace and then as a result just went into the mistake. That was very bad and that lost me the lead in the end."

Pushed a little harder by the sceptical media, he continued: "Spa is behind me. I put it behind me before the weekend. In today's race, just came to the mistake because Lewis was fast from behind. That's it. There's nothing unusual or anything. And me not being downbeat, I am very, very disappointed inside. But there's no point now to go hanging mouth down and things like that. It's still a one-two for the team and that's a great day. It's not a disaster, that is a fact."

Team boss Toto Wolff was equally dismissive of the conspiracy theories.

"Only a paranoid mind could come up with such an idea," he laughed. "You mean whether we told him to miss the braking, go through the chicane and let Lewis past? No. This is for the drivers' world championship. He was under pressure and Lewis just wanted that one. He was under pressure and that was why it happened."

"It's not like other races we have seen from Nico," he admitted. "He rarely makes mistakes. Two today and in the same place."

The Austrian also downplayed TV images of him smiling when Hamilton took the lead from his teammate.

"I feel like Big Brother is watching you, I will hide in the engineering office next time!" he laughed, again. "No, there was a smile, it was when the two were closing on each other and it was a smile that said: 'Here we go again in a close battle.'"

"It's not live," he added. "Whenever the camera's with you, the signal comes later. So it wasn't synchronised with the picture."

Check out our race gallery, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by nealio, 09/09/2014 17:32

"It is astonishing how many people seem to know, better than Nico, Rosberg's motivations in the cockpit. "

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2. Posted by Podge, 09/09/2014 12:00

"Oh don't be ridiculous. Why risk ruining your tyres by locking up and running through a dirty off-track, make-shift chicane when the Williams' behind were showing very competitive speed? Mercedes want 1-2s, and getting a driver to deliberately compromise their race jeopardises that. If they wanted to do it, they would have done it in the pitstops. Nico was feeling the pressure, because he knew Lewis was faster, hence asking not to be told the gap at which Ham was closing at immense speed. Now why would a driver intending to let the car behind pass NOT want to know how close that car is?

Rosberg isn't a robot; he struggled with the upper-hand in Bahrain, he cut a corner at Canada under pressure from his team mate, he cocked up at Monaco quali, and he buggered the team at Spa.

I'm disappointed in myself for even commenting on this."

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3. Posted by Kkiirmki, 09/09/2014 7:30

"I'd be more inclined to think that it was deliberate, rather than not just one, but two pieces of very poor driving from Rosberg. He was hardly under that much pressure from Hamilton. "

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4. Posted by gturner38, 08/09/2014 18:43

"This is a joke, right? I mean, on a track where it is relatively easy to draft past someone in the DRS zone, why would Rosberg have to take to the runoff area to let Hamilton past? He could just select a lean fuel setting and wait for Lewis to catch him. I realize accepting that Rosberg could make a mistake under braking would force the media to accept that he may have accidentally gone off in Monaco and Canada as well, but that doesn't make everything Nico does a huge conspiracy."

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