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GP Week : Issue 202
In the end, for Mercedes, the Monaco race was something of an (albeit successful) anti-climax after all that had preceded it. Lewis’ psychological statements during the lead-up, then Rosberg’s pole-winning error in qualifying and the subsequent body-language impasse between the two is the first signs of the ramping-up of what will be a two-man contest for the 2014 World Championship. In the case of the Monaco race, as usual, without an error from the man at the front, victory was all-but assured. Rosberg made no mistake, nursed his car through a fuel consumption warning at three-quarters distance, and was able to ease away as Lewis coped with a bit of dirt in one eye. Comments from Mercedes team technical director Paddy Lowe masked the undercurrent between the drivers: “In terms of the race itself, it wasn't without its challenges: Nico had to manage his fuel consumption quite carefully and we were working with the settings of Lewis' Power unit to optimise the energy recovery and deployment in the first half of the race. In the final stages, we had some concerns with the tyres as we were running out of rubber, which in turn made it hard to maintain the tyre temperatures. We saw that when Lewis recovered from the problem with his eye, and couldn't get the tyres back working properly, which allowed Ricciardo to close in. But he was able to bring the car home and secure this fantastic team result." As Niki Lauda commented over the weekend, more than once, his ‘mentoring skills’ are being tested to the limit. Kinda funny from the man who, in his prime, was as undiplomatic and to-the-point as any driver ever was ... But the last word, for this day, went to Lewis who, when responding to the praise from post- race interviewer Benedict Cumberbatch, subtly quipped: “T hank you. Fortunately we didn’t make any mistakes, so.... “ Psycho wars – more off-track than on 32 GPWEEK.com // 32 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> MONACO PARTNERS: