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GP Week : Issue 209
Lewis Hamilton may have taken seven points out of the points lead of Nico Rosberg at Monza but the tension within the team has clearly not been settled, with Hamilton suggesting after the race that the German cracked under pressure. After Hamilton dropped back to four th place af ter an electrical problem compromised his start Rosberg built a lead of four seconds. But t wo mistakes at the first corner, which saw him take to the escape road, allowed Hamilton to take over and record the win. But the win appeared to fly in the face of team orders, with radio instruc tions telling Hamilton to hold back during his chase of the leader. “I have a great team of people who work with me, who give me advice and guide me,” Hamilton said. “It ’s advice, not ‘you have to do this’. They give me a bit of information and take that and decide how to use that. I felt I had the pace at the time so I felt I had to use it now, I was certain it might not come again. “I knew that was the best time to put pressure on him. I did it a couple of races ago and he doesn’t seem to like it, so I’ll try it a bit more.” Hamilton explained that he followed the start procedure but did not lose heart. “W hen you have those issues, you think ‘I ’m never going to be able to catch up, but you can’t let it slip too deep into your thoughts,” he said. “It’s a button we press which engages a launch map, so when you stop, you do your bite point find, select a gear and accelerate a bit. The map helps you control the RPM. You then let the clutch go and do the perfect start – but it wasn’t working. “I ’m grateful I was able not to lose that many positions at the start.” Rosberg owned up to his mistakes, apologising to his “side of the garage” on the slow- down lap and saying, “Monza is one of the most difficult tracks for braking because of the low downforce and the highest speed of the year. “It isn’t an excuse, it is what it is. “It is one of the challenges here and unfor tunately I got it wrong two times in the race.” The body language bet ween the men in silver in the ante room and on the podium continues to be frosty, and after the race Mercedes-Benz’s Toto Wolff scof fed at suggestions that the team instructed Rosberg to use the escape road to hand the lead to Hamilton, as a payback for the clash bet ween the t wo in Belgium that saw Rosberg win and Hamilton retire. “ You mean did we tell Rosberg to miss his brake and miss the chicane and allow Lewis to pass him?” Wolff responded to a question from BBC Spor t. “No not at all. “T his is for the drivers World Championship, Nico was under massive pressure from Lewis and Lewis deser ved the win today. His pace was awesome and that’s why he won it.” F1 >>> nEWs lewis turns up the heat 8 GPWEEK.com // 8 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: