/ Motorsport

Mercedes to set review team order call

Updated: Monday, 28 Jul 2014 09:27 | Comments

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg

Mercedes appear poised to take the gloves off their drivers and allow them to duke it out for this season's Formula One world title without the interference of any team orders.

Motorsport boss Toto Wolff revealed after an action-packed Hungarian Grand Prix his team may have erred in asking Lewis Hamilton to ease aside for Nico Rosberg with 20 laps remaining.

At that stage the duo were running third and fourth as a wet Hungaroring at the start, three crashes and two safety-car periods had resulted in the field being turned on its head.

Hamilton again performed wonders for the second successive Sunday after a car fire brought his qualifying to a blazing halt, leading to him starting from the pit lane due to the damage sustained.

But in a topsy-turvy race he pushed his way up to third, and in with a shout of the race win, when the call came to allow Rosberg by as the duo were on different tyres and strategies.

Hamilton did not yield, and although he remained third behind race winner Daniel Ricciardo in his Red Bull and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso come the chequered flag, the end justified the means.

Rosberg, after another pit stop for fresh rubber and who closed to within a second of Hamilton by the end, could do no better than fourth from pole.

Hamilton later conceded to being "shocked" by the call, given to him by race engineer Pete Bonnington after executive technical director Paddy Lowe had studied the strategy.

Wolff has confirmed talks will be held to address the issue, but it appears certain no such call will be made again in the future.

"It is getting intense and it is clear they are direct competitors for the world championship, so we need to sit down and discuss it," said Wolff.

"If Lewis had let Nico go, Nico could have won the race, but as a racer, a driver, I can understand why Lewis didn't obey.

"I could have gone on the radio, or Paddy could (to insist a move was made), but we didn't.

"I don't want to play the vicious general and demand they obey the rules.

"Maybe what we decided at the beginning of the year doesn't function any more, and now we cannot ask either driver to give up positions or jeopardise their championship chances for the benefit of the team."

In the wake of the fire and pit-lane start, Hamilton had feared heading into F1's summer break potentially trailing Rosberg by 30 points, but now faces a deficit of just 11.

The team's call, however, left him perplexed as he said: "I was very, very shocked the team would ask me to do that, to be able to better his position.

"To be honest he didn't get close enough to overtake, but I was never going to lift off and lose ground to Fernando or Daniel to enable him to have a better race. So that was a bit strange."

Rosberg's face was one of thunder post race for, although he did not ask for Hamilton to yield, the failure of his team-mate to disobey a team order did not impress.

"We have to discuss it internally," said Rosberg.

"I'm going to sit down with the team, Lewis will be there also, and we are going to go through everything and see how much we can learn, as always."

Hamilton had one ally in his corner as Niki Lauda, Mercedes non-executive chairman, insisted the Briton "was right" not to yield.

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