Lewis Hamilton has been surprised by the pace of teammate Nico Rosberg at Mercedes early this season, claims team director and co-owner Toto Wolff, even though the comments directly contradict a recent statement by the 2008 world champion.
In the wake of Rosberg’s pole hat-trick and Monaco win, Hamilton insisted that he “[had] expected [Rosberg] to be even stronger than he has been” in 2013 due to his long experience with the Brackley based team.
But Wolff is quoted by Brazil’s Totalrace as admitting that Hamilton “probably was surprised by Nico’s pace”.
“A lot had been written about it not being clear what Nico’s pace was [in 2010-2012, compared to Michael [Schumacher].
“Now, [Rosberg] has proved that he is really fast, and it’s surprised Lewis – but I don’t think it’s a problem,” added Wolff.
Indeed, he insists that Hamilton is also strong, “We saw just how much in Canada, where he would have been on pole if not for the braking error. I think we will see great races from Lewis. I have no doubt.”
“I don’t think there’s any reason to say that he’s having a problem or difficulties. It’s too early in the season. He’s just starting with the team while Nico has been here for years,” said Wolff.
After playing second fiddle to Rosberg in Monaco, Hamilton bounced back and beat his teammate in Canada.
When asked in Montreal about the developments made to turn the Mercedes W03 into a contender, Hamilton replied, “I think it’s just been a work in progress. We haven’t really…we haven’t cured anything, it’s not been a long period … since Barcelona where there was big trouble.”
“We’ve worked on a couple of techniques to look after the tyres a bit more, brake cooling and all that kind of stuff has been added as well, which helps,” added the 2008 world champion. (GMM)
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