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Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes being 'extra warm' to Nico Rosberg

Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes being 'extra warm' to Nico Rosberg


Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes has gone to special lengths to keep team-mate Nico Rosberg happy in recent weeks.

Hamilton and Rosberg's rivalry has been muted for much of 2015 after their bitter championship fight last season. That changed at the U.S. Grand Prix when Rosberg said Hamilton went "a step too far" in his aggressive Turn 1 manoeuvre, a race which saw the British driver claim the title after a late error from his team-mate.

Rosberg won last weekend's Mexican Grand Prix after a dominant drive from pole but Hamilton was left upset with Mercedes' decision to pit both drivers for a precautionary second stop in the latter part of the race.

Asked if he thought that strategy was devised by Mercedes to neutralise his race and make Rosberg's victory more straightforward, Hamilton said: "No. I never think those kind of things, but I know the team has felt the need to be extra warm [to Nico].

"I do know what I mean but I'm not going to say what I mean. You should ask Toto [Wolff] and Niki [Lauda]. You should put those questions to them about how they feel about it, and what they have to do behind the scenes to keep him happy."

Hamilton appeared to initially ignore Mercedes' request, which he seemed to do so he could ask clarification on the strategy from race engineer Peter Bonnington. He later told the team he thought it was the wrong decision and that's why he initially considered staying out.

"They said they wanted to do a one-stop, and the tyres were good, and they had the life to do the whole distance. But we did have a pit window to the other cars so we could do a free stop.

"In one respect, it's smart to do, but on the other side of things, I had nothing to lose. I was racing and that's why I was considering staying out. But when the team say it's an order, it's an order, you do what they ask. But it wasn't fun."

Rosberg's win in Mexico was his first since June and came after his costly late error in Austin, which he attributed to a gust of wind throwing his car off balance. After Sunday's race in Mexico Hamilton made reference to that, saying: "Nico drove well today -- no mistakes, no gust of wind."

 


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