Mercedes ‘regret’ Hamilton’s FIA approach

Date published: July 30 2016

Mercedes technical chief Paddy Lowe concedes it was “regrettable” that it was Lewis Hamilton who went to the FIA regarding his team-mate’s pole position lap in Hungary.

Rosberg claimed pole position at the Hungaroring despite there being waved yellow flags for Fernando Alonso’s spin.

It was only hours later that the stewards launched an investigation, which reportedly came after Hamilton had questioned about the FIA about the yellow flag procedures.

“It’s my understanding that Lewis did go and see Charlie but it wasn’t in any way to seek a review of Nico’s lap,” Lowe said in Friday’s FIA press conference.

“It was for his own understanding of what should be done in the future, how that should work for him in the future.

“I think that was regrettable.

Personally, he should have kept to advice from the team and we can obtain that from Charlie as necessary.

“But I don’t think there was any harm done. It was just a misjudgement from that point of view.”

The yellow flag controversy is just the latest installment in what is a tense relationship between the Mercedes team-mates.

And it is one that Mercedes often have to police, and calm down.

“I think you just have to try and remain objective with it,” Lowe explained.

“The way I see it, with yellow flags, as with any other rule, there is an interpretation that applies and we always work to the limit of that interpretation and if you’re not doing that you’re not racing.

“We saw even very recently the precedent on that with Hulkenberg in Austria and the amount of speed that was sufficient to satisfy the stewards. We instructed our drivers to take that as guidance and I think Nico did a great job to work to that limit and set the time he needed to in qualifying.

“I have absolutely no problem with what Nico did and neither did the stewards. I think that was a satisfactory ruling.

“If at the same time everybody believes that the limit needs to be set at a different level with more margin for marshals and so on, then that’s fine, let’s have that debate and move the line to a different place.

“I think the important thing is to have that debate away from the immediacy of a particular qualifying lap or a particular racing event.”