Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monte-Carlo, 2016

Was Rosberg right to let Hamilton pass?

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Nico Rosberg had gone 217 days without losing a point to Lewis Hamilton in the world championship. And he looked set to continue that streak as he led his team mate in the opening stages of last week’s Monaco Grand Prix.

But when the call came from the Mercedes pit wall to let Hamilton by Rosberg didn’t hesitate to comply.

Mercedes praised Rosberg’s willingness to let Hamilton through but it cost him dearly in the championship. His team mate went on to win the race, reducing Rosberg’s advantage over him from 43 points to 24.

World championships have been won by far less. Will Rosberg regret not being a bit more ruthless? Was he right to follow Mercedes’ team orders?


The drivers are the teams’ employees and they are expected to do as they’re told. Rosberg knows this well: he had to sit behind Hamilton for lap after lap in the closing stages of the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix despite potentially being quick enough to pass his team mate.

Arriving in Monaco this yer, the pair had collided on the first lap of the previous race in Spain. And as the two Sauber drivers showed in Monaco, when one driver ignores a team instruction the consequences can be destructive.


Rosberg may have done as he’s told but his team mate hasn’t always done the same. In Hungary two years ago Hamilton was given a direct instruction to let Rosberg past and ignored it.

While there were different circumstances on that occasion it also showed a determination to win on Hamilton’s part which Rosberg seems to lack. All world champions need a team behind them but this selfish streak can be what separates the great from the merely good.

I say

When the chequered flag fell on the Monaco Grand Prix Rosberg was over a minute and a half behind Hamilton. With that kind of performance disadvantage it was always likely Hamilton was going to get ahead of him through the pit stops one way or another.

So it’s possible to see Rosberg’s decision to let Hamilton go as a prudent call not to unnecessarily antagonise his team on a day when he simply wasn’t able to make the tyres work and was doomed to come out second best to his team mate. Particularly in light of the fact Rosberg is in negotiations to extend his Mercedes contract beyond the end of the year, though he has denied this had a bearing.

But in the final reckoning it’s hard not to see this as a perfect example of why even when Rosberg’s lead peaked at 43 points many people considered it an inevitability that Hamilton would catch and pass him. It’s hard to imagine Hamilton yielding under such circumstances, and it’s even more difficult to imagine him being so much slower than his team mate in a straight fight that it would become necessary to begin with.

I expect the world’s best racing drivers to give no quarter and grant none. Last weekend Rosberg put his hand up and volunteered to be a number two.

You say

Was Rosberg right to put the team first? Will he regret his decision to let Hamilton by?

Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Do you agree Rosberg was right to let Hamiton pass him?

  • No opinion (1%)
  • Strongly disagree (17%)
  • Slightly disagree (10%)
  • Neither agree nor disagree (5%)
  • Slightly agree (29%)
  • Strongly agree (37%)

Total Voters: 364

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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147 comments on “Was Rosberg right to let Hamilton pass?”

  1. As a rosberg fan it was very painful to see that he did not have the pace and this may have caused a swing of momentum (still skeptical of this point) however I can only be a fan of some one who thinks a bit more about the bigger picture and not just himself and so I do agree to a degree that it was the right thing to do in the interests of the team.

    1. The right thing to do ? yes, regrets ? yes.

  2. Agree with you completely Keith.

  3. I strongly disagree, because Rosberg is fighting for the world championship with Hamilton and letting him through has costed Rosberg since Hamilton went on to win the race and Rosberg only finished 7th. This race will affect the championship battle for sure in my opinion. Drivers such as Hamilton, Vettel or Alonso would have disobeyed the team order if they were in the same position, and it would have been the right thing to do. Rosberg letting Hamilton past shows the difference between himself, and a world champion such as Hamilton, Vettel or Alonso as they would have definitely disobeyed the team order.

    1. Rosberg if he wants to win a wdc, this may be his only chance, he needs to toughen up.

      Rosberg needed to defend and make Hamilton earn the position. In this race Hamilton probably would have gotten by at some point but every point is important. Even if Rosberg had just managed to hold Hamilton up for another lap or two and increased Lewis’s gap to Ricciardo by 6 more seconds then Ricciardo comes out in front of Hamilton on his first pit stop and then goes on to victory. Seven points in the difference with Hamilton in second place which will be huge at the end of the season, it could be the difference.

      Rosberg made a huge mistake jumping out of the way.

      1. +1 I had exactly the same thoughts.

        1. Fully agree halifaxf1fan. Nico should have made it hard for Lewis, as they are in direct competition, those points could be vital.

          Have a look at the WDC’s of the past (Micheal, Lewis, Seb), nice guys (Webber, Massa, Rubens) don’t win. If you want to win you must fight for every point. I the end the WDC is more important than his next contract!

      2. ROS was so slow that he would’ve had no chance to defend against HAM at the pitstops and he knew it. He’d already milked it for what it was worth, why not do the team thing? That RB’s mistake more or less matched the gap couldn’t be foreseen.
        We’re apparently obliged to forgive Vettel/ Senna/ Schumacher/ Prost/ et al flirting with cheating or dirty tricks as ruthless determination, but my feeling is that they’d still have won and been more honoured if they … didn’t.

    2. Well he does need to extend the contract with merc at the moment. Holding up his teammate while he’s clearly struggling in wet is not the way.

      1. I don’t agree Terry, I know that Merc can hire anyone as long as they have Lewis but if you look at the 2014 championship Rosberg learnt the hard way that you shouldn’t sign too early.

        1. “but if you look at the 2014 championship Rosberg learnt the hard way that you shouldn’t sign too early”

          Huh? What went wrong with his 2014 contract?

        2. I’m not familiar with his 2014 contract either….enlighten us?

  4. No fire, no will, no flair, no WDC material. Rosberg may have lost his last chance of a tittle in Monaco. If everything goes smoothly we should see Hamilton leading the standings shortly. So yes I strongly disagree

    1. I can’t recall a race that Rosberg has won WITHOUT having the fastest car.
      However I can name quite a few Hamilton has won in such circumstances such as Monaco last weekend, USA 2015, Bahrain 2014 and China 2011.
      Isn’t this one of the key differences between both drivers?

      I feel like Hamilton would have found a reason NOT to let Rosberg past him last weekend had the roles been reversed.

  5. The real question is why the team waited so long. He had allowed DR nearly 14 seconds. If RB hadn’t screwed DR’s race with that pitstop, we would be talking about the strategic blunder by Merc that cost them the win.

    1. You are very right. I thought that Rosberg had calculated that Lewis for sure would loose out to Ricciardo at the time he let him by, because of the accumulated timeloss. Had it not been for RBR pit-f.up Lewis would have lost to Ricciardo, i.e. only gotten 18 points – i.e. 7 points less’er points loss relative for Rosberg. But if this indicates that Rosberg isn’t WDC material, then the same applies for Ricciardo for his backing out of because Lewis squeezes him towards the wall – a very committed agressive driver would probably have pressed it through – make or break style.

      1. Are you serious? Do you seriously think that Ricciardo could have passed Hamilton on the OUTSIDE of TABAC? Two drivers going side by side into a fast and NARROW left hander is never going to end well. Ricciardo did the right thing backing off as it is impossible to pass on the outside of Tabac without having a crash.

        1. More so since there was only one car-width of dry track… If anyone was in the wrong, it was race-control. The chicane cutting of Lewis was what kept him the P1 position, so they could’ve demanded a position switch…

          1. And if he took it properly he still would have been in P1. Common sense prevailed.

          2. He gained no lasting advantage?

            He was in front going in and lost time hence DR got a run on him.

            Positions are not changed unless the cut of a chicane includes an overtake.

            Well not since the disaster of Spa 2008 where the worst ever such decisions were made.

  6. LH has not ‘caught and passed’ NR quite yet. I don’t see someone who won 7 in a row, then got taken out, then simply couldn’t switch on the tires, not unlike Ferrari, as someone volunteering to be second. You have to draw the line somewhere.

    Would LH have done the same? Who knows. If not, it would not have been without controversy within the team. If he had rejected requests to move over they simply might have allowed NR to crank his car up.

    Sure it’s hard to imagine LH struggling like NR was…because he didn’t on that day. But I think NR deserves a bit more credit than to now be written off after one day, after ‘217 days without losing a point to LH.’ But fair game, it is now up to NR to make up for Monaco.

    1. Just to add, it is inaccurate to say LH ignored the order two years ago in Hungary. He could complied initially, but NR could not get close enough to make it happen without costing LH time. Had he, LH had already said yes he would move over. They were on different strategies. Different scenario. One wouldn’t suggest LH was volunteering to be second on that day. In Monaco, Nico could not have foreseen where he would end up finishing but I doubt he thought it would be 7th. Either driver holding up the other that way, at Monaco, particularly with DR running away, would have had explaining to do. Without DR running away with it, Inwould suggest Nico would not have been so compliant. He much closer to being a WDC level driver than he is to being a pansy.

      1. I am a bit conflicted @robbie, but in the end I think I agree with that.

    2. “Got taken out”

  7. What would Rosberg have had to gain from defending from Hamilton when he was clearly much slower than Ricciardo and Hamilton would surely have passed him at some point, be it on the track or in the pits?

    There are 21 races this season. Rosberg knows that he is going to lose to Hamilton on more than one occasion this season. What’s going to win him the title this season is limiting the amount of times Hamilton beats him on track.

    One thing I admire about the two Mercedes drivers is that they really do seem to appreciate that they are racing on behalf of everyone who works on those cars, not just for themselves. Rosberg has always been a strong team player. Some people don’t like how professional he is or how he always remembers the sponsors but I feel it’s to his credit that he always makes the effort when so many other drivers are so selfishly minded.

    He’s also a very, very good driver and the fact that he’s able to challenge and beat Hamilton as often as he has done and yet still doesn’t seem to get the credit he deserves for it is a great shame, in my opinion.

    1. @willwood Well said and I agree. It feels like NR can’t win, like 7 in a row only means LH had troubles, and like if NR wins the WDC this year it will only be because LH had unreliability. Can’t stress enough too, that this was much about DR running away with the race at a track at which passing is the most difficult on the whole F1 circuit, in the wet. Without DR there NR would not have been given an order, struggles or not. LH would have just had to get by on his own. And…LH, the WDC that ‘would have never complied’ didn’t even win it without RBR fumbling the ball on two counts. Will anyone remember LH’s luck while they slam NR for ‘laying down’?

      1. @robbie does anyone remember that Lewis lost Monaco last year because of a pit stop gaff?

        1. Rosberg wasn’t in the same class as Lewis at Monaco last year, and until that ill-fated pit stop was over .20sec behind Hamilton. Nico had been touted in some quarters as the Monaco King. Lewis totally destroyed that myth in a very dramatic way last year.

          1. Fudge Ahmed (@)
            6th June 2016, 10:09

            And now this year as well @samouri .

        2. @optimaximal A gaff that LH had a hand in influencing? Many LH fans forget that part I’m sure. They forget that it was a team decision partly based on assumptions made by LH himself.

    2. I voted “slightly agree” because it should have been obvious to Rosberg before the team order came that he was “off the podium” and that Hamilton was “on the podium”, and the most obvious place for Hamilton to finish (despite the fact Ricciardo was in front at that time) was first. So obeying the team order was more about “saving face” than anything else. Even if Rosberg had tried, Hamilton would have still passed him, and we know this because he finished 7th, so 4 other drivers managed to pass him, and if they could, then Hamilton would have too.

    3. @willwood, “a very,very good driver” no argument with that, but a driver dependent on technical ability and intelligence rather than raw talent, it is my belief that Rosberg struggled in the wet because all his reference points and everything he learned and every adjustment he made to the cars setup through practice became irrelevant when the track was wet.

      1. Agree. Suzuka 2014 comes immediately to mind as well. All things equal, Rosberg is very close to Hamilton, but adverse weather & changing conditions have a way of making things even more “equal”, as everything becomes brand new… and when Rosberg is forced to adapt on the fly the gap between him & Lewis goes from near-as-makes-no-difference to a proverbial gulf.

        1. Rosberg’s driving skills aren’t far behind Hamilton’s, but Lewis’s ability to adapt on the fly in tough conditions is superior talent. Like in golf, most pros play well from the fairway; regularly scrambling pars and birdies from the rough separates the great from the good.

          1. Isn’t the ability to adapt on the fly to adverse conditions a driving skill? Nico is not close to being the driver Hamilton is. It’s that simple. In F1 good is far behind great.

  8. Rosberg was being sensible, he will need the team support to win the WDC. No point in antagonising the team, when having an off day.

  9. Keith
    We all know full well that Lewis did not ignore team orders. He said he can over take him but he was not going to slow down for him.
    It’s not the same as ignoring team orders. He clearly told them he would not stop Nico over taking. Simple as.

  10. Since Enrique Bernoldi, we know, that in Monaco, if you don’t want to be overtaken, you won’t. On the track at least. We don’t know for how many laps was the discussion between the team and Rosberg going on, but maybe the next lap Mercedes could have simply called Hamilton into the pits, change his strategy, position gained, job’s done, so I don’t think it would have been worth for Rosberg to keep the position against the will of the team, his most important ally in the title fight. After winning 7 races in a row, and 3 years unbeaten in Monaco (regardless of last years luck), being off the pace and struggling against the teammate must be frustrating, but in long term, I do believe he has done the right thing, as this is the longest season ever, and there are more than enough races to fight back.

  11. I think Rosberg also thought, worst case, he would finish 3rd, not 7th. He might have been willing to lose a few points to Hamilton on this occasion, but didn’t think he’d lose as many as he did.

    1. I absolutely agree! My thought exactly! +1

    2. I’m still mystified how Hulkenberg was able to pass Rosberg for 6th place, at the finish line?????

  12. @Keith
    HAM said:”I’m not slowing down for Nico. If he can get close and overtake, then he can overtake.”
    IS this =”ignore team orders”? I don’t think so.
    And…”slow down”?HAM was fight with ALO for P1 at that time!

    1. Hungary is just the hard as Monaco for overtaking… NR would be losing downforce running closely behind LH and hurting his tyres as well… so LH should have lifted off on the straight for NR… same way NR lifted off after the first corner…

      1. Sorry, but in 2014 the aerodynamic effects on cars weren’t as bad as they are now. Back then, the Mercedes would pull up to the bumper of the car in front and blow by them.

        There were no issues with Lewis overtaking Nico in Bahrain, Japan or Austin.

        1. The 2014 aerodynamics was minimally different in case of Mercedes, Kgn11. You need a magnifying glass to see the differences. No matter what Lewis said on the radio: he kept defending his position and kept his laptimes low.
          Fact is: If Lewis doesn’t follow team orders, he’s great, but if Rosberg or Vettel does the same they’re selfish p**cks.
          Do not compare Bahrain and Austin to Monaco and Hungary if you want to be taken serious.

      2. @Ian Murtagh
        I think you don’t know what happened in 2014 hungary.
        Let’s back to LAP 39,HAM pit in that lap.

        a.who was the faster driver at that time?HAM.
        Lap33-38,the gap between two drivers was 21.5s to 25.5s.
        And,HAM’s tyres were 22laps older than ROS at that time.

        b.who’s position ahead?HAM.
        In HAM’s outlap,he was 3s ahead about ROS.

        c.So,who was the better guy to fight for win?HAM

        Then,which strategy was better?
        1.The 3 stop better–liked ROS used.
        So,why didn’t HAM use a better strategy?
        He had 2 set of new soft tyres(ROS has none),and he was so much faster than ROS.

        2.The 2 stop better–like HAM used.
        If this is true,HAM has a better chance to win the race,right?(better chance & ahead)
        “lifted off on the straight for NR” should reduce this chance,right?
        So,why he or the team must reduce the chance to win the race?

    2. LH knows that Mercedes cars are not good in the wake of another car so saying NR can overtake means nothing. LH has been unable to overtake lesser cars on a number of occasions. He knew full well that NR couldn’t overtake unless he was allowed to.

  13. he should never have let lewis past & the post race comments from the team about bringing back balance between drivers also raise concerns for me.
    if lewis wins this years championship by 1-2 points then it will be a tainted title gifted to him by the team based on this team order.

    i also find it funny how when ferrari were using team orders everyone was outraged & demanded team orders be banned….. yet now that its a british driver benefitting (Just like at the 2008 german gp) then nobody cares & its even applauded & encouraged.

    if lewis is go good then he should have found his own way past & not bene gifted results by a bias team desperate to let there favored driver gifted better results.

    1. Team orders were not allowed in 2008, hence the outcry. I think the difference is pretty obvious.

    2. If LH wins by one or two points that will mean things will happen going forward from now, since he still lags by more than 20 points. It will not come down to one specific event. When Ferrari used team orders, not everyone by any stretch of the imagination was outraged. Monaco’s order was a team decision. As a team should they have just sat back and watched DR run away with it? Is that reasonable to expect? It was uniquely Monaco where passing is so difficult, DR uniquely was pulling away rapidly, and proven winner, proven lead holder NR was uniquely handcuffed that day, just as we have seen 4 time WDC SV struggle with the tires recently. The team were not trying to gift LH a win, they were trying to increase their odds, and it was RBR’s fumbling that gifted LH the win.

      1. If he wins by 1 or 2 points, it won’t just because of the team order, but because of what happened on the last lap. Allowing himself to get over taken by Hulkenberg for 6th place, is down to him and nothing to do with team orders.

        1. My thoughts exactly. Rosberg was expected to finish 3rd. He finished 7th. So if he actually lose the champ by one point, he’s the only one responsible for not finishing 6th in Monaco.

        2. I’ll certainly file that point in my memory bank….lol

        3. No as Nico said, he had zero grip as it had started to rain again, and NH had more tire under him that would not have cooled as much. NR simply could do nothing at that point. You are making it sound like he decided to give up 2 extra points just for the heck of it.

          1. Go look at how he was passed. He didn’t took the racing line after the last corner but went close to the wall like driver do many times when they finish etc and that gave Hulk the opening to manage to put his nose ahead.
            The tyres are an excuse. He thought it was over when it wasn’t and ended being passed. He made a mistake, it wasn’t the tyres.
            Honestly is stupid to think that the tyres suddenly collapsed in that final straight so much that he couldn’t keep a car behind in a track like Monaco. Hell you could probably keep him behind with a puncture.
            Rosberg simple felt asleep there.

        4. Rosberg gave up the points difference of 2nd to 3rd due to team orders; the difference of 3rd to 7th was his own doing…

  14. I think we don’t have enough information on the outside to make this call.

    1. NR saying it was a no brainer isn’t enough?

      1. Contract negotiations are probably still ongoing for NR. We also don’t know what was said behind closed doors to the pair of them after Barcelona. From the outside it’s a close call, but if we party to those discussions who really knows?

        1. Yeah fair enough we aren’t flies on the wall, but it just doesn’t feel like their is great strife in the team does it? All indications seem to be that NR agrees it was a no-brainer, that the team gave him a ‘hats off’ for it, and that LH thanked him too. Quite a testiment to the whole team and their general makeup after Spain. They seem more united than divided now that RBR seems to have emerged as the strong competitor they thought Ferrari was becoming. To me anyway. And I think a little humility is in order from them since they haven’t exactly been rock solid mechanically either. They need take nothing for granted.

        2. Judging by their body language in the post race interviews, Nico looked rather uneasy and agitated, as if he was given a right rollicking by the team.

          Maybe that was to do with the engine settings he used.

    2. RP (@slotopen)
      6th June 2016, 2:16

      Of course you r right, but we know s few things.

      Roseberg may have avoided a penalty in Spain, but the team is likely outraged he didn’t leave the other Merc room, especially when he slowed so drastically. Regardless of their thoughts on Hamilton.

      And there he was in Monico, holding up his teammate again. But he had time to think about it, and didn’t contribute to a crash.

      I think it was a reasonable decision, especially after spain.

      Even if Roseberg suffered self inflected damage in Monico Hamilton has been shooting himself in the foot every other race. I hope Canada will be a real race, and not a blunder contest.

  15. James Coulee
    5th June 2016, 14:55

    LH Would either pass or crash, so maybe there wasn’t so much to gain is not following team orders. What I find more interesting (and smarter) is that he turned a situation were there was really nothing he could do about in a precedent he can use in his favor in future races. The team will expect the same courtesy when LH is in the same situation.

    And if he doesn’t comply he’ll be vilified for poor sportsmanship: there won’t be any good arguments in his defense. NR has proven, in other situations, that he can be very cerebral about these things, like Prost. A quality in any good driver.

    1. hmmmm that is a very good point that I completely missed.

      Very true this in the long run could be used as ‘ammunition’ for Rosberg. Maybe when the stakes are higher, in a ‘more important’ race. If this is the case then I admire Rosberg’s tactics, very smart.

      1. In a more important race neither will open the door.

    2. “The team will expect the same courtesy when LH is in the same situation”

      Maybe, but who really expects Hamilton to ever end up in Rosberg’s situation for to begin with? Rosberg was woefully off the pace in Monaco. In the ~10 years Hamilton has been in F1 I don’t remember him ever having a race like Rosberg did last Sunday.

  16. Keith, as a counter point, I would argue that sometimes it is not always in the drivers best interests to selfishly act for his own interests if it ultimately damages his relations with the team in an irreparable manner.

    Carlos Reutemann comes to mind as the most extreme example of that – he refused to yield his position in the 1981 Brazilian GP to Alan Jones when ordered to by the team, leading to Jones refusing to attend the podium ceremony for that race.

    With Jones being the favourite driver of the team, that decision damaged Reutemann’s relationship with the senior management of the team, who considered Jones to be their lead driver. Even though Reutemann had better results and lead the championship for almost the entire year, the team refused to support him and effectively allowed Piquet to take the title.

    Although that is the most extreme example, as Will Wood alludes to, the risk of potentially antagonising Mercedes’s senior management in that way might have wider reaching repercussions than the loss of points from that single race. Hamilton might not have always liked it, but we have seen him also accept team orders not to attack Rosberg for position in some races – I wouldn’t say that Rosberg’s decision to acquiesce an order like that automatically means that he is becoming servile.

  17. Ooooh daam @keithcollantine an extra spanking for Rosberg there eh? I think what’s missing from the analysis though is all the internal Mercedes discussions (and spankings!) that must have gone on after the Spain debacle – I think both drivers were on their best behavior in Monaco, Hamilton for example was unusually tame behind while Rosberg, so in this instance, given that I assume there was surely some problem with Rosberg’s car to account for his lack of pace, I do think that Hamilton would have yielded, implausible as it would seem under normal circumstances.

    1. there was nothing wrong with his car.

  18. Lewis would of got past him eventually anyway, others did ! The team obviously didn’t want the chance of contact between them and made the decision they did. No way would this incident taint the title if Lewis won.

  19. My guess is that Rosberg thinks he can afford the points drop (not sure he expected to lose so much ground as he actually did) as he’s driving better than Hamilton (in his mind) and can retain or improve his lead *and* have a joker card to play if the reverse situation arises. Even if Hamilton doesn’t yield, the pressure (censure on him) within the team will be much greater in the aftermath. Plus Rosberg is presently in a much better position in terms of engines and even FIA penalities compared to Hamilton. In terms of ‘end game’ if it’s tight still towards the end of the season, Rosberg looks much better placed.

    That’s the Rosberg reasoning. However, I agree with Keith, it’s not a world champion’s thinking. The fact is one DNF for Rosberg with an engine fault, say, and he could be behind Hamilton in points and see his other advantages dwindle. There’s no point being strategic over a season when there are so many unknown variables. You have to focus on the race at hand and try to wrest as much as possible from it: that’s Hamilton. At least 90% of the time. The other 10% is down to experience, knowing when to sometimes yield – e.g. had Hamilton played safe at the China 2007 and pitted earlier, he’d probably have won the title in his rookie year. I’m sure today he’d do so. But Rosberg still hasn’t learnt the balance between aggression and caution, waiting for another day. Had he pushed Mercedes and Hamilton’s patience a little at least and a yielded just a few laps later, for example, Hamilton wouldn’t have made the ground to get past Ricciardo at the pit stops. That’s the difference.

    1. Well, last GP just cemented the view from Lewis fans, that in the same conditions, on the same car, without technical problems…Lewis will win over Nico anytime

    2. what you say may be true, however if Rosberg had not let Ham pass until a few laps later and Ham had not go on to win the race then the team and the media would definitely criticise Rosberg for not passing earlier when the radio call came in.

      Some people are still scolding him for not letting Ham pass earlier and making the Merc win ‘risky’ so imagine if he delayed it any further. I am sure these drivers are thick skinned but you have to imagine how hard it must be when you have most the media shooting at you, especially when you have so many stubborn deluded Ham fans (based on the stupid conspiracy rumours, these fans do exist).

      1. I’m sure he would have been under pressure if he’d delayed, but the question is whether he was right to let Hamilton past when he did. That depends on right for whom. But we already know it was right for Hamilton (or turned out right) and probably Mercedes were happy with the end result. So that leaves Rosberg. Was it right for him? I don’t think so. I think taking the flak for not pulling aside more quickly would have been worth it – he could justifiably answer that nobody could have predicted Red Bull messing up the pit stop and providing a chance for Hamilton to snatch the lead.

    3. Lewis would never compromise the team result by backing up his faster teammate. He never did in the past and he never will do it in the future. It seems to the new thing to slander Hamilton with these days. That he doesn’t follow team orders because he is a true champion. That is rubbish. And no, hungary 2014 doesn’t count. The team result was not on the line and Rosberg was not even close enough to get the pass done.

  20. It really depends on the outcome. If it´s the points from Monaco missing at the end of the season, it was wrong, if he´s further behind (or still ahead), it was right. And since this was Monaco, I don´t particularly see how being slow helps another guy (Hamilton) past, Rosberg could have kept him behind the whole race, or at least make any crash look innocently from his side.

  21. Michael Brown (@)
    5th June 2016, 15:35

    I think what Rosberg will regret most from this race is losing his position to Hülkenberg at the end.

      1. I highly doubt it. That would imply he chose to get passed. He simply had no grip once the rain came back with a few laps to go. His hands were just as tied in the end as they were earlier when he had to give the position to LH. It will be a forgettable day overall for NR, and I’m sure he’s just focussed on Canada. And I’m sure he is well trained to remember things such as that Monaco could he been worse…he could have dnf’d and gotten zero points to LH’s 25, just as has happened to LH this season. And recall some of what NR has said since Monaco…he expected LH to have a resurgence, to win a race this season, and that he himself was never going to win every one.

  22. He’ll probably regret it eventually, but it was the right thing to do. Period.

  23. Neil (@neilosjames)
    5th June 2016, 15:39

    As an employee of Mercedes, in the process of trying to acquire an extension to remain with what will almost certainly be one of the top two teams in 2017 and 2018… yes, it was the right call.

    As a racing driver attempting to win an individual title… no, certainly not.

  24. In Rosberg’s defence, I can only imagine that when he moved over he only expected to finish third at worst. That didn’t happen though, and all his momentum along with his rather healthy championship lead has taken a sizeable dent.

    Following the Barcelona crash, this was arguably the biggest test of his title credentials since being partnered by Hamilton. My opinion is that he failed that test.

    Come the end of the season, if the title goes to the wire and Hamilton wins it by a small margin (small enough for Monaco to be a factor), I doubt there will be anyone who thinks differently.

  25. Mercedes as a team wants to win, they have said they don’t care who wins the WDC, but they have shown that if their in a situation like Monaco they’ll employ team orders. Should Mercedes just chill and say ‘Ok Red Bull you can win without a challenge’?

    I also see people on here saying if Hamilton wins the WDC by 1or 2 points then it’s tainted.
    So Lets see
    Rosberg costed to 4 wins while Hamilton has had:
    All the bad luck (2 bad starts, Bottas and Nasr crash into him damaging his car).
    Reliability problems(Started from P10 in Russia, P22 in China and his Q3 in Monaco destroyed).
    Racing Incident with Rosberg.
    No doubt he’ll have engine penalties later in the season.

    So if Rosberg wins the WDC is that tainted too???

    1. I think that this race demonstrates to the conspiracy theorists of the first 4 races that luck will swing both ways over the course of a season. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and it is so much easier to look back now and say Rosberg shouldn’t have let Hamilton pass than it was at the time. Rosberg surely thought that 3rd place was a sure thing, however whilst Rosberg was held up in the pits, at the circuit where track position is more important than any other, Hamilton was given an absolute gift by Red Bull.

      Also, I think that Rosberg is more affected by the atmosphere within the team than Hamilton is. If we take a look at the last time the team openly criticised Rosberg, in Spa 2014, Rosberg suffered a terrible downturn in his head to head form vs Hamilton over the next few races, whereas Hamilton seemed quite unaffected by the criticism he faced from Lauda following the crash in Barcelona. Hence it is logical that Rosberg would go to greater lengths to appease the team, he knows it is about winning the war, not the battle. Perhaps the extra support from the team will spur him on to another superb run of results.

      Therefore I don’t think it was a mistake by Rosberg to let Hamilton by, as it is better for him to suffer one heavy defeat than a run of 4 or 5 smaller defeats. Hamilton is still a whole race win behind, and he has a very high chance of receiving grid penalties later on in the season. We have seen how tough the merc finds it to follow other cars, and recovery to 2nd place is far from guaranteed with the resurgent Red Bulls competing.

      1. sorry, this wasnt meant to be a reply

      2. I think the ‘bias’ thing exists but is very subtle and has to be based mainly on what Mercedes’s team state publicly rather than events like engine mishaps etc. In 2014, Mercedes explicitly backed both until Spa, when the weight shifted to Hamilton. Last year there’s was a feeling – especially after Hamilton’s dominant start and the Rosberg misdemeanours of the previous year – that the balance was still in Lewis’s favour until he won and then the pendulum swung back to Rosberg for the final races. This year it seems slightly towards Rosberg, a sense that Mercedes would quite like a German driver to win (fairly). There’s certainly no sense of Hamilton’s two championships with them making him de facto number one. If anything the opposite: they’d like both to get titles. That said, how does that ‘bias’ affect the actual race outcomes? Probably very little, aside from affecting the drivers’ confidence, maybe.

  26. My take on it was Rosberg knew he was well off the pace and didn’t know why. He probably thought he had a mechanical issue and felt there was no point holding up his teammate when he had a sick car that might not finish the race.

  27. I think it was the right move. There really is more to consider now than just the internal struggle of Mercedes. This engine upgrade of Red Bull is a serious threat. Imagine if they had tangled in a racing incident and lost another race worth of points. Better at this point to concede the loss of the race and guarantee some points (while hoping HAM tangled with RIC in front instead.)

  28. I strongly agree , coz obviously there’s something wrong with NR car , if he hasn’t done it , the Merced would have surely end up way behind ,both cars , prob 7&8 . This might turn up to be nicos advantage now , coz team might ask Lewis to give way in the future race now & Lewis will have to obey, coz of owing nico one favor.

  29. When a driver comes along that owns the car he is driving, owns the tyres and spares on the pit wall then he can do as he damn well pleases. Until that time, move over when instructed by the team boss. Rosberg did the right thing. He doesnt own the car nor the team. He is an employee like everyone else. Compare to Piquet Jr.
    “Nelson, hit the wall on the next lap”
    “Which wall sir”?
    Good team player. Right or wrong, he did what he was told.

    1. Think about it. Team orders have been around since the beginning of time. There is written evidence that Jesus told Moses to come fourth. My understanding is that he eventually came fifth and was given a 3 race ban.

      1. I think Moses was at an orgy when Jesus said that to him…

    2. You provide a brilliant example of why team orders should be happily ignored when the driver sees fit. E.g. when they’re essentially breaking all sports regulations and possibly the law.

      Drivers put their lives on the line. If team owners want something else, get another driver in or drive the car themselves.

      1. Like Abt in Formula E? and it still looked crazy.

  30. Will he regret it? If maintaining his F1 lifestyle is his first priority then probably not, if his goal is to collect trophies at any cost then maybe he will. Only Rosberg can answer that. Personally I do not see Rossberg as a collect trophies at any cost type of driver.

  31. Sometimes it makes good sense to ignore team orders, sometimes not. Just because you can keep someone behind you does not always make it the right thing to do. If they had been on more equal footing then it would have made sense to not let him by for as long as possible or not at all. Both Merc drivers showed much more maturity than Nasr/Ericsson for example. If Rosberg had not let Hamilton by there is a good chance he could have hurt his points more than he did by letting him by and thereby avoiding any chance of an unnecessary repeat of the previous race results. In the previous race the situation was more similar than not despite the lack of any team order. Rosberg had a slower car at that moment in Spain and was determined to keep Hamilton behind at any cost. The results speak for themselves.

  32. He didn’t have a choice. Lewis was going to pass. one way or the other.

  33. For Mercedes – yes. For Hamilton – yes.
    For Rosberg – depends. If he expects the favor to be returned then no. If he thinks damage limitation then yes.

  34. I can’t make any sense of the article, the whole proposition and basis for it.

    * Rosberg absolutely does not lack the desire to win. Numerous episodes illustrate this, including T1 in Oz and the very last race. Can we imagine the risk he took in Monaco ’14, his home town with his Dad watching? That was to have a win. It was a win versus absolute disgrace. What a dice to roll. He was desperate to win.
    * In Hungary last year the team agreed with Lewis, after a bit of thought. As others have said that does not compare at all.
    * If Nico had defied the team in Monaco what do we think would have happened? Seriously. This is not Sauber. The sky would have fallen on his head. Toto would have gone for the senior + junior lineup next year as he has very clearly said he’s considering, or tried for Alonso.

    So in answer to the strange question: Nico was right to do what he was told, so that he has a chance of winning races in the future. There was no option for him to even think about, apart from arguing for a few laps then giving way, but he chose the smart move and duly banked the credit for supporting his team. Lewis for his part has always cooperated when he’s had a car problem as far as I can think, istr a couple of instances with Jenson.

    1. I could not agree more.
      Rosberg wanted to win. He only let Hamilton by because he found he could not win.

      One aspect I’ve missed in the comments so far: What if the team order had not been given?

      Nico was struggling and Lewis was bearing down on him. He would have tried an overtake sooner or later. Probably something high risk, maybe executed less than neatly. It is hard to overtake in Monaco if you want to do it cleanly.
      Would Nico defend like he did in Spain, moving aggressively and quite late to block Lewis?
      If he copied Spain and the result was the same, it would not have looked well.
      But if he let Lewis by in any way it would have looked meek or clumsy.
      With Daniel moving away rapidly Nico must have realised this was harming Mercedes.

      So Nico had a dilemma. Lewis is going to pounce. Don’t wanna look clumsy. Don’t wanna cause a crash again. Don’t wanna throw away a Mercedes win. Agony.
      Then, Thank God, a team order to let Lewis by! Here you go!
      The team order meant Nico could save grace, letting the inevitable happen without drama.

      1. Yeah Lewis was planning round the outside of T3. Collision or humiliation, there was no good outcome for Nico.

      2. @Bart “Don’t wanna cause a crash again.” This is the last thing Nico would have been thinking since he did not cause the crash in Spain. At least, not in his opinion which is what matters for this discussion.

    2. @lockup If Nico had defied the team order that would have meant he would have had some good reason to do so, in which case the team would have considered that. And if Nico had continued to be stubborn they would have told LH he could crank his settings and get by Nico, just as they told Nico he could do late last year when LH defied the team and cranked his engine out of desperation and was denied that by the team, after which he still refused. Then they would have moved on knowing this is what they have with this great rivalry. They have gotten better at managing this sort of thing, obviously.

      Can you refer us to where TW said he would consider a one-rooster concept? Or in reality did he just imply that IF his boys couldn’t get along there COULD be changes? And opposite to that you have TW going for FA which could easily be a much harder rivalry for TW to manage. So to it’s anybody but Nico for you, as long as it means you get to stretch reality at your whim.

      I think as usual you are putting way more soap opera to this than needs be. This was not a career making/changing decision for NR. He has way more stock on the team than you have ever given him credit for..,you who not long ago implied NR is still on some sort of probation for events in 2014.

      1. There was no reason @robbie so Nico didn’t defy the team. There was no way he was going to gain points and a definite way he was going to lose goodwill at this critical time, so there was no decision for him.

        Toto was talking after Mexico and Austin, where our heroes took it in turns to sulk on the podium. Now they just did Spain. I feel confident Nico did the math :)

        1. @lockup So…unnecessary drama from you. “There was no reason so Nico didn’t defy the team.” Yet you had already claimed “If Nico had defied the team…the sky would have fallen on his head.”

          And…”Toto was talking after Mexico and Austin”…how does that answer my response to you questioning what exactly you think Toto was saying? And sulking on the podium is far from what is being said, up to and including since Monaco, behind closed doors. All indications were Spain was deemed 50/50 and the whole team is past it but you like to assume, to suit your own anti-NR hypothesis, that there must be more drama to it than that. But I guess that makes sense…you think NR is to blame for Spain, therefore you think that the team MUST think like you do too, and therefore NR had better have ceded to LH in Monaco ‘or else’.

          1. Yes @robbie. There was no reason to defy the team, plus a reason not to, so he didn’t. The key reason not to is illustrated by Ross Brawn’s “negative Nico” in Sepang 2013 – the TP spake, and the driver did as he was told. There’s no reason to suppose the culture has changed with the handover to Toto Wolff.

            Nico remains the only driver in F1 history afaik to have been fined by his team, and this is his first contract renewal since then. Toto has mentioned Alonso and Wehrlein, has he not? So let us see. Probably you are right. Not necessarily though, and that is why Nico HAD to let Lewis through, the more teamily the better, and the whole idea of it being a dilemma is absurd. He was toast on track whatever, and this way he gained favour. I don’t know why you seem to be arguing for Nico being insane :)

          2. @lockup A bit incoherent there but I’ll just say, thankfully TW is managing a unique rivalry very well and it has nothing to do with Brawn. I’ll assume we all know very little in terms of what has been done to drivers within teams throughout the years, but I know you seem to take what little you know and try to make many ‘facts’ out of a little info. TW mentioning FA and PW is something you happily conclude means Nico had better let LH go in Monaco or else he’ll be replaced. It couldn’t possibly be that NR is a team player and a stand up guy who knows he’d just screw the team if he let DR get any further down be road.

            Arguing for Nico being insane? What? If I haven’t already made myself clear I only argue that Nico let LH go simply because it was the right thing to do. You want to make it far more complicated than that, like if he didn’t it would have been career changing. But that seems to be NR’s lot in life right now. Most think LH would not have moved over, and that’s fine and good and WDC level behaviour…if Nico had done it he would have risked his job? I think most people, yourself included, way underestimate how much they value Nico on the team.

            Since you seem to place everything on what you know, while ignoring that you don’t likely know the half of it, nor do any of us, how about we just accept that both TW and NL have said re-signing Nico is a mere formality. It is not like they have said they are evaluating Nico throughout this season and will make a decision later on, which if they had would, I know, have you convinced he’s as good as gone. Let’s instead go by what has actually been said…Nico will be re-signed.

          3. Incoherent eh? I will leave you to it @robbie. I can’t prove Nico didn’t do it out of nobility, after all; nor am I ‘most’.

  35. @keithcollantine I agree Lewis wouldn’t be in such a position to begin with from the driving perspective. But suppose he had a hobbled car for some reason? Then I’d fully expect him to move over same as Rosberg did. You can give no quarter any time you want but the fundamental truth in F1 is that the car is vastly more important than the driver. And no driver is above the team. And if a driver disagrees he can bugger off and try his luck elsewhere. There’s enough drivers who’d jump at a glimpse of opportunity to drive the Merc. We’re not living in the romantic olden days when the driver made a huge difference anymore. Hamilton is not Fangio

    In summary I strongly agree with Rosberg’s decision to move over. It’s the only chance he had of being a WDC this year(you won’t be WDC by antagonizing your team and losing it a certain victory) and beyond(he’s not signed that contract yet)

    1. To correct myself, I mistakenly wrote “Losing it a certain victory” instead of “a chance of victory” which is what it was

  36. Ben (@scuderia29)
    5th June 2016, 19:17

    You don’t just allow your championship rival to drive past you, because come the end of the year and if rosberg was to lose the title by just a handful of points he’ll know he gifted the championship to his rival at monaco

    1. tbf is lewis hadnt of had the mechanical issues etc the points difference wouldmt have been so large to begin with.

  37. well team asked NR for speeding things up or let Lewis pass, but he simply could not drive faster, we all know that NR is not a “rain master” anyway…

  38. It was absolutely the right thing to do. The team is far more important than the drivers, and the team had a chance to win with Hamilton – which he did (thanks mostly to Red Bull failing to make a proper pitstop) – but not with Rosberg. Whether at the end of the season Rosberg or Hamilton wins the title is not all that interesting to the team.

  39. He was right to let Hamilton pass. It avoided any bad overtake (think Sauber) and perhaps another time Rosberg will benefit from team orders.

  40. Rosberg was nowhere near Hamilton’s pace, Mercedes was losing the win and hadn’t not been for RedBull blunder they would have lost it anyway, for the Hungarian GP lewis started from the pit lane so it was too much to ask him letting Robserg pass, we can’t compare Apples and Oranges, Rosberg was just too slow as usual in the wet.

    So YES (after his blocking Hamilton in Spain) Rosberg was right letting Hamilton pass that is why he is not a champion yet.

  41. positions reversed, Hamilton would never let rosberg through!

    1. Then the team probably would have insisted, and then if he still denied the team they would have allowed Nico to crank his settings.

  42. the teams priority is the wcc first,thats where the money is.merc pay nico’s wages.nico was struggling in the conditions,far too slow.moving over was the right thing.

  43. Absolutely not. he should have kept to his race and not let Hamilton pass. He did and now his lead in the championship has been cut to half and the momentum is with Lewis. Champions are made in moments like this and Rosberg let himself down once again.

    1. He may have let himself down in terms of being mystified as to how he couldn’t get his tires and brakes up, but since practically the first words out of his mouth about Monaco was that it was a no-brainer, I doubt he has let himself down about letting LH go. As he said, it was painful, and why wouldn’t it be, but a no-brainer nonetheless.

  44. Matthew Coyne
    5th June 2016, 22:49

    It was absolutely not the right thing to do but I don’t believe it will cost him the championship, It pains me to say it as I am a big Lewis fan but I still think LH will be really hard pushed to win the title.

    There is a very high probability that Lewis is going to have to take at least 1 but probably 2 or more grid penalties later in the season for engine components plus 1 more reprimand and he’s got another one there too.

    At the races he takes those penalties it is practically a given that NR will win them short of mechanical issues as we have seen no evidence of any other team being close to Merc on a normal circuit to challenge for a win.

    In these races where Lewis has penalties it is unlikely he would get back up to 2nd (10 place penalty for engine parts IIRC and we’ve seen how much more difficult it is for Merc to overtake now the field is closer) These almost inevitable events offer a significant points swing in NR’s favour, I know these are all “What if’s” but there is alot of evidence behind them if you think about this year to date and last year.

    IF Lewis does win this championship it will probably be the greatest of his championship wins so far, he needs to string some wins together and Nico to have some bad luck now to build a gap before these penalties hit him.

    1. RP (@slotopen)
      6th June 2016, 3:24

      I think there is an bias here that is not supported by recent facts. I agree with the consensus that Hamilton is the better driver. Certainly he has eliminated in Roseberg’s points lead berfore.

      Except for one giant problem. Roseberg has soundly beaten Hamilton this season. Hasn’t Hamilton lost the lead by the first corner every time he is on poll?

      The crash in Spain overshadowed Roseberg’s excellent move to pass Hamilton in turn 1.

      Hamilton can beat Roseburg, but he could just as easily continue to lose.

      1. Rosberg’s improved a bit while Hamilton’s starts have put him in position to lose out massively more then once but I wouldn’t say Rosberg’s really out performed Hamilton so far, or at least not by much. Whenever the two are just on track with no other worries like starts or mechanical issues, Hamilton’s been the quicker more often then not.

        A number of Rosberg’s victories this year have also relied on rivals having issues, much as Hamilton’s victory in Monaco. Vettel’s been removed ‘as an issue to Rosberg’ 4 times for reasons out of his hands, for example. Obviously Rosberg’s gotten himself into position to take advantage of these issues, but I wouldn’t say he’s fully dominated or outperformed the field as of yet.

  45. I really think 2007 was the year every one was a Lewis fan , it was an incredible time for him ,and us !
    A rookie coming in at a top team and rattling the cage of the established drivers ,
    We used to call him ” Baby Lewi” from our comfy lounge ,

    I sure am glad he’s around

  46. I think Nico yielding is better than him blocking Lewis and finally being passed.
    He probably didnt expect to end up losing this many points to Lewis though.
    If Nico lose the WDC because of this, then he lost it because of his poor race pace instead of letting Lewis pass.

  47. Andy (@andybantam)
    6th June 2016, 10:20

    Initially, I wondered if Rosberg had some sort of issue and I was very disappointed to find that he was just slow when he waved his teammate by.

    I’ve been struggling to like Rosberg, despite the respect I had for his red hot form coming into this season. I don’t like drivers that simply give up. Furthermore, if he loses the championship by the amount of points he personally put in Lewis’s pocket, I’ll not know if I should laugh or cry.

    1. @andybantam some drivers are just not made for the wet, Rosberg is part of them, I recall Suzuka where he lost the lead to Lewis even when Lewis made a mistake, he was able to come back and grab the win, Rosberg lack the confidence and or relflexes in those conditions, I do hope that we will see the rain in the remaining races of the calendar because it just spices up the races and show Rosberg real talent.

  48. I reckon Rosberg realised he lacked the pace and letting Hamilton through instead of being passed was the better option. Firstly, it shows he is a team player and secondly it is less embarrassing for a racing driver to let someone pass them than be overtaken at Monaco.

  49. Despite having an important advantage, letting pass lewis i think was killing the hope to be world champion. As said in the article, last year on húngary lewis did not obbey team orders. Nico just had to do the same. World champion drivers are ruthless! And nico was no such thing!
    And the team’s best interest? Oh for god’s sake don’t give me that crap.. On many other situations it was put aside…
    This just gave lewis the assurance that he is the number one driver.
    Sorry nico, but no world championship for you…

  50. Basically this is another discussion on where the driver fits into a team. Is he the leader, or just a more influential employee. If the big man says move over, you move over, he has his reasons. End of story for me.

  51. The position switch was inevitable. Moving over on lap 16 was driven by the team’s desire to put the quicker driver within sniping range of RIC. There is a fair bit to be read into the timing of the order. My take is that the team fully expected ROS to pick up his pace and were taken by surprise when he couldn’t. It seems to me ROS’s issues were, initially at least, far from unmanageable otherwise it would not make sense to delay the team order for as long as Merc did. It is also clear to me that Merc strategist, Vowles, was aware he was up against a Red Bull package with a performance advantage. Given RIC’s start and stable lead after HAM’s initial charge following his release from behind the struggling ROS, Merc, then, had no right to expect better than P2 for HAM. Given his having taken a harder hit from performance-hampering gremlins this season, I expect Merc would have delayed the call to the point of inevitability were HAM to have been in the slower car. To be fair, however, HAM would likely have got more out of the car as he generally shows more confidence under tricky conditions.

    As for Collantine’s take, I believe the decisive factor was HAM’s performance advantage over ROS on the day. Secondary factors are ROS’s upcoming contractual negotiations and the illusion of a handsome championship lead. It was an no-brainer on ROS’s part and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him invoke it in future as a manifestation of his team-player credentials. I disagree, however, that proceedings in the principality imply a 2nd driver status for ROS. Being outperformed regularly in identical equipment, however, effectively relegates a driver and should HAM score his hat-trick of Merc WDCs this season, ROS will all but confirm 2nd driver status (having never beaten HAM as a team mate).

  52. What a joke people, really! The poll result doesn’t even surpirse me that much, I mean British website, majority of voters are probably British as well. So you guys probably loved this team order.
    However in my opinion Rosberg just handed over the Drivers World Championship. I mean what the hell!? What would you rather have, another year in a top team as nr 2 driver (4th time in a row) or become Formula 1 World Champion at least once in your carrier?!
    Yes, Hamilton probably would have got him anyways, but there is something called damage limitation! For him it would have been clearly better if Hamilton comes 2nd or lower.
    Than again if Rosberg doesn’t recognize this himself, than maybe he doesn’t deserve to be World Champion..

  53. I think it was in Nico’s best interests to let Hamilton through on this occasion. There must be very few things more disconcerting than racing through the streets of Monaco, in the rain, with a car balance that you’re not comfortable with – and one of them is doing that whilst Lewis Hamilton is swarming all over the back of your car. So letting Lewis through might have actually helped Nico concentrate on his race and focus on damage limitation, rather than potentially putting it in the wall trying to keep Lewis at bay.

    I like to see drivers racing as much as everyone else, but I also think it is selfish when they do so at the expense of the hundreds of people working flat out to build them a car and give them the opportunity to race in the first place. It is a team sport and every point a driver costs a team with their attitude can affect them – both through the disappointment of not achieving a good result and also financially (bonuses and even job security). Look at Sauber for instance, a team that is struggling to even keep it’s people employed and their two drivers take each other out due to disobedience – pure selfishness in my opinion.

  54. As a neutral spectator, it was probably the right call.

    First of all, Hamilton’s pace was far quicker than Rosberg’s and it was a question of when, rather than if, he would be overtaken. It could have well happened the same lap naturally.

    Instead, Nico probably decided to keep the peace between him and Hamilton. Instead of going into a battle he couldn’t win, he made a strategic decision to withdraw and has gained respect from both his team and fans.

    The alternative would have been to risk ruining Hamilton’s drive or have both retire as during the last GP. In both instances, this would have been cataclysmic for his chances to remain at Mercedes, unless he won the WDC.

  55. Following Spain, both drivers would have been reminded about the rules – you are allowed to race each other hard ONLY if you don’t put a Mercedes win in doubt. Lewis was fast enough to make a pass on Nico, but was likely being extra cautious after a double DNF the previous race. The team gave Nico time to get adjust what he was doing, get the temps up and get his eye in. Once it was clear he wasn’t able to, he let Lewis go. In my view, it was the only option either driver would have had in that situation without significant santions from the team.

    Looking at the cross section of option about who to blame for Spain, lets call it 50/50. Nico knew that if he cost Mercedes the win in Monaco, he would have had to accept all of the blame.

  56. I expect the world’s best racing drivers to give no quarter and grant none. Last weekend Rosberg put his hand up and volunteered to be a number two.

    This then. Is the only part I disagree with his choice.

    He was off pace, in trouble etc. Three weeks ago in spain he did a Senna and established je will give no quarter. I defended his actions as, he is there to win a championship, not babysit a car for 70 odd laps. So well done there.

    But in Monaco, well the real issue was his poor pace.

    Outcome though is simple je did the nice thing and let Lewis pass.

    Unless he stomps his authority with a win in Canada… His championship is in trouble.

  57. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    6th June 2016, 14:13

    I want to applaud Rosberg’s choice to move aside – whether it was team orders or not. But I can’t help but think if he wants to win this championship he can’t afford to drop as many points like that. Passing at Monaco’s pretty difficult to do, Rosberg could have kept Hamilton bottled up for the entire race and limited the amount of points lost. Sure he played the team game well but his lead in the championship took a huge hit for it. He stepped aside to help the only guy that can take the title off him.

    I can’t help but wonder that at the end of the year, the points he gave away at Monaco might come back to haunt him. Also, I’m pretty much certain Hamilton wouldn’t have done the same.

    1. I think a pass by LH was inevitable anyway, in spite of how difficult it can be to pass. Even if NR had decided to try to defend and the team hadn’t ordered a letting by, I think he would have made a pass by LH pretty easy anyway.

      Let’s not forget this is all because DR was running away with the race. If not for that I’m sure there would have been no order and that NR would have tried to stay ahead as much as possible, but I still say that Nico would have gotten passed by LH and would not have made it too difficult either, such was the dramatic difference in their pace.

  58. The answer to whether it was the right thing to do or not depends entirely upon one’s own values and whether you feel the team is more important, or individual effort. In terms of individual effort, then the answer is a qualified “no.” It is obvious Hamilton would have gotten by eventually — Rosberg’s car just didn’t have the speed. Whether in the pits, by undercut, or through an outright pass, Hamilton was bound to get by. Holding him up would have kept Hamilton well back in the field or at the very least behind Ricciardo, helping Rosberg in the standings. But in terms of the good of the team, and the manufacturer’s championship, it was absolutely the right thing to do.

  59. In changeable conditions Hamilton’s talent comes through. Some drivers can never quite master driving fast in wet conditions, it doesn’t mean they are bad at what they do. Rosberg has proved he is where he is on merit, and not due to his famous last name. He has dominated the early stages of the season with some solid performances, but everyone should factor in the Red Bull threat.
    It may not just be Hamilton who can take the championship from Rosberg, always remember that. If the team
    told Nico to move over, he has no choice? No one knows what was said behind closed doors after the Barcelona incident, despite Mercedes not publically apportioning any blame to one driver. The only way for Rosberg to silence the ‘doubters’, will be to win in Canada. If he keeps Hamilton under pressure, there is always the possiblity of mistakes coming from Lewis, as he is the one chasing.

  60. I agree and disagree with this situation.

    Reason as to why I agree: Rosberg’s bizarre lack of pace in the race would’ve been more than enough to guarantee Ricciardo victory, and with his impressive form and Red Bull’s recent pace gain, as a team owner, I wouldn’t allow Red Bull to easily get those valuble points at all. Along with that it wouldve ruined Hamilton’s race because it he would’ve been too far behind Ricciardo by the time all drivers made their stops onto dry tyres.

    Reason as to why I disagree: Rosberg has a very healthy points buff compared to Hamilton and is looking like 2016 could be the year for Rosberg to finally snatch the title. Letting Hamilton through shredded the points gap massively and gave Hamilton the confidence boosthe was looking for. If Rosberg loses the title this year, this may be a huge factor as to why.

  61. Strongly agree, because a truly great F1 driver also need to realize where to put his ego on backside for the team. Regardless of the driver, anyone in Rosberg situation (suspected car problem, much slower not only from his teammate but pretty much everyone but the slowest teams) should let his teammate pass. However, if Rosberg is more like in Hamilton Hungary situation (still competitive, the teammate is not even close enough to try a pass if they’re in different team) then he shouldn’t let him pass.

    Simply put, if you genuinely can’t go faster and have a suspect of car problem, let your teammate pass.

  62. In 2014 and 2015, I was rooting for Lewis Hamilton to come out on top of the Mercedes intra-team battle. However after the Brit accomplished his goal of winning 3 championships last year, I’m now inclined to support Rosberg and would really like for him to win a driver’s title of his own. He deserves it: he nearly pulled it off from under Hamilton’s nose in 2014, but after the missed opportunity suffered a dip for the better part of last year; although since the humiliating loss in Texas he’s bounced back quite nicely and has had the measure of his team-mate.

    Although, I have to say, after what I saw in Monaco (Rosberg obeying team-orders and pulling over for Hamilton) I’m quite disappointed and have lost a bit of faith in Nico’s ability to win this year’s title. I understand he was struggling and may have had a problem, but I can never imagine Lewis doing the same under similar circumstances. By letting his team-mate pass (and eventually win the race) instead of making him (Hamilton) accomplish it through his own efforts, Rosberg likely lost 7 more points than he would have had Hamilton finished 2nd instead — 7 points that could be the difference maker on whether he is crowned world champion or not after the final race of the season.

    Rosberg needs to focus on executing his own agenda. He should stop fiddling around with the notion of Red Bull/Ferrari as looming threat (of course they are!) or publicly wishing Mercedes’ rivals catch up to give the fans a “better show”! His main rival for this year’s title (as with the past 2 years) is his team-mate, Lewis Hamilton. Vettel, Ricciardo and Verstappen will win races this year, but their teams/cars aren’t consistent enough to probably challenge Mercedes every weekend. Given that, Nico should channel all his efforts trying to win every single race he can, and if he has no chances of winning (as in Monaco 2 weeks ago) he should focus on finishing ahead of Lewis.

  63. Rosberg was abnormally (Not sure if thats the right word) slow though. He knew it, he had no confidence at all in the car at the early stages and saying that hes volunteered to be number 2, is a bit harsh i think. i Just think the circumstances were a lot different for this race, maybe Rosberg thought he may be able to come up to speed following his team mate who was a lot happier in the car and let him dictate the pace. Not sure but i think knowing he was 43 points ahead, it was a no brainer decision to let him go

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