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Trouble in paradise?

NEWS STORY
03/11/2015

Despite wrapping up both titles with three races remaining, all is not well at Mercedes.

The German outfit should be on the crest of a wave having secured second successive team and driver titles however, it would appear that all is not well.

Though the team has done its best to play down the media's attempts to build on the obvious rift between its drivers in Austin, a number of events over the weekend suggest that there might be trouble brewing in paradise.

In Austin we witnessed the first corner incident involving the two Silver Arrows drivers and the subsequent cap tossing silliness in the ante room before heading out on to the podium.

Initially there was talk of plans to diffuse the situation with a get together in Mexico, then came denials that there was a situation that needed diffusing.

Nico Rosberg, a broken man on the Austin podium, had his tail up for most of the weekend in Mexico, taking a convincing win and looking a different person altogether as he soaked up the adulation.

Teammate Lewis Hamilton however, who had laughed off the cap throwing incident in Austin and denied forcing his teammate wide, insisted for much of the Mexico weekend that he's a fair man and prefers to do his talking on the track.

However, over the course of the Mexico weekend there were a number of obvious digs at his teammate, not least the unwarranted mention, post-race yesterday, of "gusts of wind", a very obvious jibe at Rosberg who had blamed a gust of wind for his late mistake that cost him the lead in Texas.

Indeed, talking to the British media, Hamilton took things a little further. Still fuming at the team's strategy during the Mexican race, at one point arguing with his engineer Pete Bonnington over the radio, the Briton suggested that the team effectively gifted Rosberg the win in order to keep him happy.

Asked, considering his comments during the race, whether he felt the team was trying to help Rosberg, Hamilton said: "I know the team has felt the need to be extra warm.

"I know what I mean but I'm not going to say what I mean," he added. "This weekend he did a good job at the end of the day. You should ask Toto and Niki. You should put those questions to them about how they feel about it. What they have to do behind the scenes to keep him happy."

Meanwhile, team boss Wolff was not available for comment, the Austrian seemingly miffed because some journalists had sought the opinion of (non-executive chairman) Niki Lauda. Indeed, some sections of the media are claiming that a rift, similar to that between its drivers, is now developing between the two Austrians.

Ho hum.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Kkiirmki, 08/11/2015 22:49

"I'd never be content with second place Bazrat and I think you've totally missed the point of mine and others comments. If I did (and everyone does, even Lewis Hamilton, at some point) find myself in second I'd certainly take it like an adult and not a big (whining) cry baby like Hamilton. "

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2. Posted by Bazrat, 07/11/2015 18:32

"Kkiirmki so you would accept second place that's the difference between you and a 3 times world champion."

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3. Posted by Kkiirmki, 05/11/2015 20:54

"Personally, I used the word whining: “to complain in a feeble or petulant way”, which is exactly what he’s doing. It’s not the fact he questioned the teams decision, it’s the way he’s constantly going on, and on, and on about it, throwing childish digs at everyone. For a guy who seems to (apparently) pride himself on doing his talking on the track he certainly does enough off it."

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4. Posted by jcr, 05/11/2015 12:48

"I cannot for the life of Me, see where Rosberg was handed the victory, He was leading comfortably before the team call, and he was leading after the pitstop, the safety car took away his advantage, and he still still lead comfortably.
Unfortunately we did not get to hear the call for Rosberg to pit or his response, If anyone was handed an advantage it was Hamilton, He was handed the lead, though under orders.
I think Hamiltons demeanor after the race spoke millions. Did he look like a driver who had just been robbed, or a driver who had been firmly put in his place by his employers.
What ever happened to " I do my talking on the track""

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5. Posted by Spindoctor, 04/11/2015 14:42

"Amazing amount if vitriol directed at Lewis (as usual) He doesn't "whinge" he questions the decisions of the team, and (sometimes) complains when they make the wrong call.

The whole Hamilton vs Rosberg feud is blown out of proportion because there's very little to see here, and hence to report. Both Championships are won, nobody crashed into anybody etc... I don't suppose there is a lot of love lost between the two "boys". Who's surprised?
"

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6. Posted by Yeyox02, 03/11/2015 21:51

"The rift between Nico and Hamilton is getting out of control. This is normal in a team where Hamilton is. He is a specialist creating problems and we saw this in McLaren with Alonso. Hamilton is always questioning everything as if he were a shareholder or a boss when he is only an employee. Wolff does not know what to do because he is not a team principal, he is only a "businessman" with no guts to put order and control in the team."

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7. Posted by F One, 03/11/2015 18:47

"No wonder Brawn got out. Toto is an egotistical asshole living off of the achievements of others."

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8. Posted by markscottuk, 03/11/2015 18:25

"Exclusive quote from Toto: "It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you, There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do, I bless the rains down in Africa, Gonna take some time to do the things we never had""

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9. Posted by Willie, 03/11/2015 17:54

"Toto Wolff is no Neubauer!
Mercedes would do well to get rid of him."

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10. Posted by nonickname, 03/11/2015 17:33

"Two drivers with the same approach to life came out of England. Mansell and Hamilton.
Nowonder Scotland,Wales and Ireland wish they could be separate countries."

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11. Posted by stoney, 03/11/2015 12:20

"And this is why I don't like Hamilton...

I'm convinced (as stated already by others) it was a Mercedes call. Why would they risk a more aggressive strategy? They would only risk lose with no gain versus a conservative strategy... And yes, maybe there are some worrying conclusions for fans of the sport to be drawn from this (something Auntie's podcast smartly commented on)...

But even if it were true that Mercedes gave Rosberg a freebie, in my view it shows a real lack of character to insinuate or propagate it further. I also prefer you do your talking on the track and kindly keep quiet for the periods in between."

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12. Posted by karel, 03/11/2015 11:01

"Hamilton is action like that black little bird in the cartoon, i think it's called Calimero. Blaming the world for his misfortunes, what can you expect from a triple world champion ?"

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13. Posted by imejl99, 03/11/2015 8:07

"As championship is won, I believe LH is playing mind games for next season"

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14. Posted by RootGinger, 03/11/2015 7:34

"I can't believe we're still talking about this. So Hamilton had a bit of a cheeky dig at Rosberg. So what, Hamilton has a sense of humour and I'm sure most people had a bit of a chuckle at that one. As for the pitstop, Hamilton saw a chance to win by not pitting, he's made these calls in the past and been right. However, this was clearly a team order that they pit both drivers to be fair. Neither needed to pit at that moment and I think Mercedes could of handled it better by being clear what they were doing. I can see why Hamilton would be miffed. He's a racer, he wants to win, but this was a team decision. It must also be noted that the team want Rosberg to get second place in the championship, so losing points to Hamilton is not the aim. Had this been earlier in the year Hamilton would have been allowed to take the risk and stay out."

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15. Posted by Kkiirmki, 03/11/2015 5:22

"Hamilton was called in for exactly the same reason Rosberg was. Rosberg (most likely) didn't need to pit either but he did as he was asked to ensure a 1-2 for the team. The only difference, Rosberg isn't whining and moaning about it like a spoiled child. To infer the only reason he was asked to pit was to ensure Rosberg a race win is ridiculous. Other than his extra circular activities (personally, I could care less what he does away from F1), comments like these are exactly why a large number of people can't stand Hamilton "

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