Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2016

Rosberg ‘surprised Hamilton is suddenly a fan of safety’

2016 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Nico Rosberg hit back at Lewis Hamilton’s questions over the manner in which he took pole position at the Hungaroring by questioning whether safety was at the heart of his team mate’s objections.

Rosberg was investigated by the stewards in Hungary for failing to slow sufficiently after passing double waved yellow flags after Fernando Alonso had spun ahead of him.

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Hockenheimring, 2016
Thursday at Hockenheim in pictures
After Rosberg was cleared Hamilton, who lost pole position to his team mate after slowing down more significantly for the incident, raised questions with the authorities about how Rosberg had handled the situation.

Asked whether his team mate had been trying to gain a psychological upper hand, Rosberg told Sky in Germany: “I’ve no idea I don’t think about it in that sense.”

“Just very interesting to see how Lewis all of a sudden has become such a fan of the safety of our sport, that right after qualifying where I was ‘ignoring yellow flags’, he decided to go straight up to the people who are in charge.”

Hamilton previously criticised some of his rivals for raising safety concerns. However he warned about the potential consequences of the stewards’ ruling on Rosberg.

“The precedent has been set,” he said. “We’ve not been told any other ways so all you have to do is do that little lift. Which is not good in the big scheme of things.”

“But that’s what I’m saying, that’s why I made so much noise about it in the last race, because at some stage, most likely we’ll be fine, but one day there’s going to be someone on track. And then they’re going to be like ‘ah, you need to slow down half a second and not go faster in the sector.”

“But hopefully they’ll make their decision before then.”

Other drivers have said they will raise the matter of slowing down for yellow flags when they meet FIA race director Charlie Whiting tomorrow.

2016 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
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53 comments on “Rosberg ‘surprised Hamilton is suddenly a fan of safety’”

  1. Well what about Vettel then? He wasn’t in the running for pole position and said the exact same thing, it sets a bad example for people in junior series and karting. Seeing drivers take that much speed through yellows at the pinnacle of motorsport which they are working towards, People will genuinely see things like that and think if I want to get there I need to be ruthless like that.

    1. It’s just everyone bar Rosberg who hasn’t aborted his lap on a flying lap.
      Everyone bar Rosberg agreed on the matter last week.
      He should’ve just said “I was at fault, the stewards too” and everyone would’ve understood.
      Most of the times, those F1 drivers have difficulties to express their faults.

      1. LOL!!!! Rosberg was at fault and the stewards were at fault! The WHOLE WORLD is at fault when it doesn’t go Hamilton’s way! I say the stewards were at fault for Austria.

        1. bobec, it is evolving into a fairly serious issue now, as now some team bosses are saying they’ll encourage their drivers to break the flag rules. Arrivabene is being quoted in some sources as saying that, if the FIA won’t enforce the flag rules, he’ll tell his drivers to ignore them in future and just argue it over with the stewards afterwards until the stewards give way, as he felt that the stewards no longer seem to care about the safety of the drivers or the marshals.

          Furthermore, we have seen other drivers – Vettel and Ricciardo, for example – publicly question the FIA and Rosberg about his behaviour, so there seems to be wider discontent about what they saw as a lack of enforcement of the regulations.

      2. Both Hulk and Bottas improved their laps, but they did go slower in Sector 2!

        1. MG421982 (@)
          29th July 2016, 9:10

          They didn’t get in front of HAM, to take the pole, plus none of them is fighting HAM for the WDC either… so they don’t matter! It’s like the application of the 107% rule.

    1. I know right does Nico even listen to what he says ,halo and double yellow are two different things

  2. There are two specific occasions I recall Hamilton going so slowly in a double yellow sector that race commentary thought he had a problem. The most recent was Austria this year after the collision with Rosberg. The first was Japan 2014. So no, Nico, not all of a sudden.

    1. Please don’t talk facts with some people, especially where Lewis is concerned. His detractors have an image of a villain that they have built in their minds and each day they pile on even more on that image.

    2. On the c4 uk feed for monte carlo the commentator thought ham had a problem when vsc was used for the black sheet falling on the straight

    3. I also remember Lewis in Japan 2014 going so slowly I thought he had broken down but it was under double waved yellows. I suspect he’s of the opinion that it would be better if this was the expected (and enforced) behaviour for all drivers instead of all being expected to try and go as fast as they can get away with. It’s crazy that the rule exists for safety (Jules Bianchi would certainly be alive if he had applied it) and yet this one simple change that would require no controversial modifications to the car hasn’t been made. I understand the drivers will always get away with what they can, but the stewards need to make sure that what they can get away with is much less.

  3. I don’t think it’s that much of a new thing, I remember back to Suzuka in 2014 when Lewis had a massive lift through Dunlop after Sutil crashed, so I wouldn’t say it’s really a new thing

  4. Sour grapes Rosberg, sour grapes!

    1. Why not? If it is the case that his team mate went straight to the stewards, if it is the case that Lewis’ was backing him into Ric, then why not sour grapes?

      This comes what, several months after the team asked Rosberg to let Lewis through, and Rosberg did. So, I think clearly he would and should feel that the treatment he’s receiving is, a bit poor.

      1. – If it is the case that Lewis’ was backing him into Ric, then why not sour grapes?

        Rosberg supporters are just as quick to conjure a conspiracy as Ham fans. Where do these guys get these theories from?
        I watched the race and saw a man in control of his own race but Rosberg fans saw Lewis “backing him into Ric”, like Lewis knew where the Redbulls were and how far they were from Nico.
        It doesn’t matter that Mercedes ridiculed the notion but it is good to repeat. This BTW is not the first time Nico supporters have come up with such wild accusations.

      2. @mike So Hamilton reported what he deemed an infringement of the rules. As we have subsequently seen, a good number of other drivers were of the exact same opinion, and have voiced their views. The subject is still being discussed, and I am sure we have not heard the last of it.

        Why are you so quick to assume that Hamilton was backing Rosberg into Ricciardo. Do you think it just possible that Hamilton was in reality managing his tires and his engine? Plus if Hamiltons pace was so slow, Rosberg should have gone ahead and passed him. Ah…. I forget. He was never in a position to threaten Hamilton with an overtake.

        So the team instructed Rosberg to let Hamilton through, when he Rosberg did not have the pace? Okay…. so what about that? I don’t get your point.

        You say you think Rosberg should feel that the treatment he is receiving is a bit poor. Are you joking? If anybody has been treated poorly this year it is Hamilton. Just consider what he has had to endure technically, plus the comments and utterances from Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda. And you say Rosberg “should feel that the treatment he is receiving is a bit poor”.

        Unbelievable!

        Lets try and keep things factual and objective.

        1. Mark in Florida
          29th July 2016, 2:59

          Hamilton is a Diva what else do you expect?

        2. Well said stubbornswiss.
          2014 monaco Lewis had to do a big lift and finally had to abort his flying lap just due to Rosberg’s socalled mistake. Had lewis done the same he could have also taken a pole…
          Secondly not only lewis but rest of the field is raising the same question ..

        3. duncan idaho
          29th July 2016, 4:36

          Did anyone other than his teammate report it to the stewards?

        4. Yeah let’s not let the facts get in the way…

          The stewards investigated and found Nico had complied. LH puts out there that he only lifted to the tune of .1 seconds, and Nico has to fill in the rest of the story as LH is only talking about one small part of the track. Again, as supported by an investigation finding that Nico complied sufficiently.

          Of course LH knew that he couldn’t go wrong playing the safety card. But the fact is he would have done the same thing as Nico did, because the circumstances were different for Nico, and Nico did everything allowable.

          People are being naive to think suddenly LH is so concerned about marshals on the track. Again, he can’t go wrong throwing that out there, however, there were no marshals on the track. That is significant. That is exactly why Nico was able to do what he did…why the flags were brief and the timing so unique. It is disingenuine to say Nico could have hit a marshal, or didn’t know what was around the corner. Yes he did, by what everything was telling him in terms of signals and I’m sure radio comm that would have all indicated FA had moved on.

          These are the facts. Nico obeyed the regs. LH has shaded the facts publicly and went to the stewards because he felt robbed and would have benefitted from Nico being penalized. LH would have done the same thing in NR’s shoes…obeyed the flags as presented and gotten on it when allowed as there was never a time when Nico was going to go by a car off the track let alone a stalled one, let alone a marshal on the track.

          Does everyone think F1 and the stewards are stupid? Blind? In Nico’s pocket? That drivers can now get away with ignoring flags? Let them try. They will be penalized. They will truly endanger someone with that thinking, forgetting Nico never passed a spot of danger.

          1. @robbie my armchair analyst brother! You conveniently forget (or maybe just leave out) that Hamilton is not the only driver who complained about this infringement. He may have been the first, but he certainly was not the only one. Or are you now implying that there was something wrong with his making this complaint? I didn’t think so.

            So the stewards cleared Rosberg? Fair enough. The stewards have also made decisions in the past that I was not in agreement with, and I believe in this instance several people, including several top drivers, and also team principles, believe that this was a wrong call by the stewards. In fact, Charlie Whitings decision to change the rule regarding double yellow flags during qualifying is indicative that the situation in Hungary was much more serious than you are making it out to be. Unfortunately, we see a situation in F1 where again instead of adequate or proper consequences for a rule infringement, all we get is a hasty rule change, effective going forward.

            As I hinted to you in a previous comment, and has been pointed out by at least one other person in these forums also, it seems your apparent dislike for Hamilton is clouding your judgement in matters concerning these two drivers. Plus as you said in another post, “I’m pulling for Nico because I want to see his potential fulfilled, which has been to me too slow coming”. Like I have said before, its great to ‘agree to disagree’, but at least lets try and keep things factual and objective.

            Ok….. back to my armchair :)

          2. @stubbornswiss There was no infringement. Objective fact.

  5. Rosberg is playing games.

    Hamiltons comments about Baku and Halo are completely different. There he was talking about “secondary” safety…. Which is measures that you take to minimise damage when an incident occurs. (E.g large run off’s, cockpit protection)

    The issue with yellow flags is about “primary” safety – preventing an incident from happening at all..

    1. Both of them are playing mind-games. (“I don’t care who my teammate will be next year” and stuff.)

    2. Very simple. One is a rule the other is a suggestion that is hoped will improve safety. So Hamilton’s Halo statement should not even be mentioned in the same breadth as that of a yellow flag let alone double yellow flags speed clarification.
      One thing I would hope Nico takes away from this yellow flag issue is that Hamilton, Vettel and other drivers are simply asking for a clarification. How slow/fast is a double yellow? How do you define “substantially” in terms of speed and safety?
      So it is not all about Nico. It is for the benefit of everyone involved in motor racing.

      1. And the investigation found Nico complied and the system worked. There’s the clarity. The flags were very brief as any danger was quickly gone when FA moved along. It is a falsehood that Nico only lifted by .1 seconds where he needed to. The .1 seconds might have been over a full sector because of an improving track. So it’s fine for the drivers to ask for clarity. I’m sure they can be walked through what Nico did by the metre if need be and they will see why Nico complied…why the flags were brief as there was never danger for Nico by the time he got to where FA spun, and why the system as it is works. Most often flags will not be that brief nor the track improving as it was.

  6. I think Rosberg has stopped taking himself seriously for 2016. The only thing keeping Lewis from dancing on his head is his own team, Maybe ROS knows this, and knows that it was only reliability issues in 2014 which kept the championship close, and it was only the tire pressure/car balance change last year that helped him haul back a bunch of points.

    I don’t think ROS will be making much sense at the end of his career at Mercedes, if Lewis can some how, some way keep his own team honest and get equal opportunity to compete.

    1. @xsavior
      and it was only the tire pressure/car balance change last year that helped him haul back a bunch of points.
      So are you saying the only reason why Lewis was better in the first half of the season was because he liked the tyre pressure/car balance at the time better than Rosberg? Or does that laughable excuse only hold for Hamilton?

      1. does that laughable reply present a credible rebuttal?

        Lewis Hamilton was quoted, and I believe heard on air saying (last year) that he was slower because of some ‘balance’ change in the car. He said Nico had not gotten any faster, that he had gotten slower (disadvantaged). This change happened after the ‘issue’ with tire pressures, which were blown completely out of proportion because a certain Ferrari driver likes to take their tires over the curbs and over long distance.

        It was real, not because I was there first hand to witness it, because Lewis would actually say something like that in public. You can believe what ever you want, but when this stuff keeps happening over and over again, it really becomes quite difficult to disprove otherwise. I am not saying there is someone sabotaging Lewis, but if you look at how much money Mercedes, F1, SkyF1, etc lose by Lewis winning most of the races, you start to realize that there are realities that take precedence.

        I would wager, that statistically speaking (actually provable, see n>=30), it’s impossible for Lewis to have had as many qualifying reliability issues over the last 3 years with out some sort of systemic issue that has gone unaddressed, or swept under the carpet.

        Also last point, Nico was found to have the same tire pressure issues at Monza when the FIA just happened by Ferrari + Merc for a ‘spot’ inspection :) Just food for thought.

        1. @xsavior

          Lewis Hamilton was quoted, and I believe heard on air saying (last year) that he was slower because of some ‘balance’ change in the car. He said Nico had not gotten any faster, that he had gotten slower (disadvantaged).

          Of course Lewis would say that.

          The only question is, why did he not adapt? After all, he was driving on the same tyres and in the same car as Rosberg. If Hamilton was only slower in the second half of the season because the car/tyres/whatever didn’t suit him as much, then logically, he was only faster in the first half because the car/tyres suited him more.

          I would wager, that statistically speaking (actually provable, see n>=30), it’s impossible for Lewis to have had as many qualifying reliability issues over the last 3 years with out some sort of systemic issue that has gone unaddressed, or swept under the carpet.

          I’m guessing that you missed the majority of the 2014 season where Rosberg was simply faster than Hamilton in qualifying on merit alone, consistently throughout the entire season (no up or down trend as the year went on.

  7. There’s safety for yourself and safety for others. Rosberg doesn’t know the difference.

  8. This is why we need slow zones like the ones in WEC

  9. Mind games. Got to be.
    Otherwise is just plain stupidity.

  10. This is not the end of all this. Im actually a bit concerned what will happen on the next double waved yellow. Maybe VSC at a moments notice instead of double waved yellows?

  11. Well we all know what happened to the last time Rosberg was “surprised” – he forgot to turn the steering wheel and drove straight into Hamilton….

    Both Hamilton’s and Vettel’s statements on the matter were spot on. Unfortunately the FIA ( Farcical Inept Association ? ) made yet another decision that was not in the interest of the sport.

    The result now is that they have made a mockery of a fundamental safety rule that has served ALL motor racing well since it was introduced..

    “Double Yellow Flags mean slow down and be prepared to stop…”

    There is absolutely no interpretation in the above that says lift off a bit a set a purple sector!!

    The Irony of the whole situation is that, Hamilton probably benefited from starting P2 and went on to win the race, so Rosberg lost out in the end.

    But the real damage was not done by Rosbergs actions but by the unprofessional, short sighted, incompetent, commercially driven nature of today’s FIA and the consequence that their flawed decision will have on the rest of motor racing.

    1. There will only be consequences if those that assume the stewards were wrong after investigating react by childishly and spitefully taking the law into their own hands and ignoring flags. Which is something Nico never did.

  12. There’s a difference between caring about your own safety when talking about halo device and caring about the safety of marshals when speeding through a double yellow. Hamilton cares about the safety of marshals more than his own safety.

    1. What marshals? There were never any on the track. Had there been the double yellows would have remained or they would have stopped the session or at least VSC’d it. Nico never sped through double yellows. Or he would have been penalized. Obviously.

  13. At the start of this Mercedes battle I was more a fan of Rosberg than Hamilton, but that’s changed slowly over the years. This is the final hammer in the nail of my opinion of Rosberg. Couldn’t get any lower. What a deceitful, petty, politicking, dishonest, pandering and pathetic character. He pushes everything to the limit except the car.

    1. Thank you. Finally someone’s got it right. FYI, the morons at Mercedes just gave Nico Rosberg 34 million a year when Lewis makes 33 million a year. Figure that one out because I can’t.

      1. I can: It’s complete and utter cobblers, as most claims about drivers’ salaries usually are.

    2. @Tristan Wow all that for obeying the flags and passing an investigation without penalty. As long as you don’t let facts get in the way of your opinion.

  14. I see this as “an attempted low-blow” from Rosberg, that has failed miserably.

  15. It was said with a smile. Just a bit of boysie sparring I thought, rather invited by the interviewer. The whole episode has been a score for Lewis, after all, with lots of top drivers agreeing with him and Lewis winning the race anyway, so I can understand Nico wanting to recover a bit of ground.

    1. “The whole episode has been a score for Lewis,”
      @lockup This whole issue is about safety. It is rather unfortunate that you are reducing it to a point scoring exercise by individuals. In my mind, irregardless of who is involved, going purple under double waved yellows should be a big NO NO, especially in light of the event of Suzuka 2014.

      1. It can be about two things at once @realstig, can’t it? Safety for sure, quite genuinely, but also Lewis vs Nico headgames as well. Nico IMO was all legal, but he also illustrated why the rules needed to be adjusted. Lewis got them adjusted, point scored.

        1. LH got them adjusted? How? I must have missed something. Have the flag rules been changed?

          1. Yes Robbie.

            Rather informative in light of your ‘Nico is perfect and the Stewards made no mistakes in that decision as Nico did no wrong’ stance!

            There is now a straight red flag. Now your fav can ruin people laps while behind them with his natty Monaco tricks.

            Once again, they have to change the rules because Nico can’t play fair and Stewards fall for his charm.

  16. Matthew Coyne
    29th July 2016, 15:18

    The problem in all this is not what Rosberg did necessarily, the problem is the rules have allowed him to do what he did and it be within the rules. Drivers are paid to push the limits, one driver last weekend pushed the limits further than the others and benefitted from it (for a short time)

    Hamiltons stance whether it is gamesmanship or not is completely correct in my opinion though, slow down and be prepared to stop isn’t a very specific statement but it is fair to say that if there had been a car in pieces in the middle of the track or there were marshals around that Rosberg would have struggled to stop in a safe manner at the speeds he was doing. He had no idea what he was going to find when he came round that corner, if you watch the onboard the barriers limit the visiblity around the corner a bit. People are saying it’s all ok because the car was clear when Rosberg came round which is completely true, but the problem is that Rosberg could not have known that the car was clear at that point just like every other car before him could not have known if it was clear – At Monaco he categorically would have no clue what he was going to find but the stewards have now set a precedent of if you lift off a tiny bit even on double yellows then that’s ok and that is the bit in all this that is so wrong.

    Rosberg isn’t to blame in all this, he tested the rules and he won.

  17. If you just put the safety aspects of this to one side for a moment, I would have thought that what Hamilton and all the over drivers who have talked about it want is a clarification of the rules.

    Drivers will try to get any advantage they can and try to push the rules to the limit, you just have to look at how they treat track limits if they are not enforced.

    Hamilton thought that double waved yellow flags meant you had to slow down more than Rosberg did in Hungary, I would be very surprised if any driver on the grid, Rosberg included, would not also have gone to the stewards if they had lost pole in those circumstances when they are involved in a close title fight.

    While there are rules which are not black and white and are open to interpretation you will always have situations like this.

  18. Hamilton lost pole because of some unfair advantage gained by Rosberg.so generally Lewis wasnt be a happy man.Other drivers like Ricardo and vettel also raised the same question .Its not only about safety but also against doing these kind of uuprofessional things on track to gain advantage.Rosberg knew that he is not a mach for Lewis but his ego wont allow him to accept the fact he wont miss any opportunity to gain a tenth on hamilton whether it is fair on unfair.monaco 2014,spa 2014,Spain and Austria 2016 Nico Rosberg was the main culprit.Early season mishaps for Lewis Hamilton because of unreliability, couple of bad gateways and on track contacts benifitted Rosberg and that hyped his position as a championship contender.Once reliability and starting problem sorted out Hamilton started showing his superiority this might have unsettled Rosberg.

  19. NIco Rosberg is right to find it strange that Hamiliton is all worried about safety now. That’s because he’s not worried about safety Nico, He is fed up with you bending the rules, being unsporting and downright cheating at times. Instead of saying that he did you a favor and suggested that there was a safety issue and not that you’re a cheat.

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