Mercedes welcomes Rosberg revival, harmony

Source:AFP Published: 2015-11-2 22:53:01

Mercedes team bosses have welcomed Nico Rosberg's dogged return to winning form in Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix and accepted champion Lewis Hamilton's demands for an explanation about their tire strategy.

In the aftermath of an ­unremarkable race in which German Rosberg led from pole to flag, with Briton Hamilton unable to find a way to pass him, the champion team was glad to avoid more controversy and see Rosberg's personal ­revival.

Non-executive Chairman Niki Lauda said, "I felt sorry for Nico because I know what it is getting blown off all the time and the worst thing is when you screw a race up and the other guy is champion.

"That's the worst thing that can happen to a racing driver. Therefore it's good that this race was the other way around, so he gets his stability back and he will keep on fighting."

He added that for him and for Mercedes the most important factor was to see their ­rivalry lift the team performance.

"For me, that is the most important - that they push each other," he said.

"If one doesn't push any more, then the other one doesn't go as quick so this calibration is back. That's good for us and for the drivers.

"In this race, Nico was better than Lewis. This is what we want. One, or the other. Not [­Sebastian] Vettel!"

Team boss Toto Wolff, who had explained the team's ­expectations to the drivers before the race in an effort to avoid any ­repeat of the wheel-banging battle that led to discord in ­Texas, said he had no issue with Hamilton's questions.

The world champion was unhappy at being "instructed" to pit for a second time late in the race, after Rosberg had done so, but accepted the order on safety grounds.

"It's about emotions and a race driver in a car," said Wolff. "He needs to question and he needs to ask.

"It's perfectly reasonable. We have the overview out there. We were down to the canvas on the option tire. We had the gap and we decided to use it."

The team's decision ensured a Mercedes one-two, but ended Hamilton's hopes of stealing an advantage over Rosberg by completing his race with only one pit stop.

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