Wolff: Nico has proved that he is really fast and it’s surprised Lewis

Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04 and Lewis Hamilton

Nico Rosberg versus Lewis Hamilton

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.

Toto Wolff with Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and Ross Brawn

Toto Wolff with Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and Ross Brawn

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)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Sean

    Where’s all the Shammy fans now? … Suddenly they have gone VERY quiet …

    Just a point to note … its the W04, not the W03, which was last years car! … tut-tut-tut

  • shibby

    Hahaha, c’mon he beat Rosberg in Canada? Mercedes deliberately ruined his race. After his DNF in the 1st race and the team orders from f-ing hypocrit Brawn (who will be sacked, 100% sure) Nico just showed all of them who’s the boss, and he had every right to do so. This also proves that Schumi wasn’t that bad at all in his 2nd career, he got a lot of shit over him despite his true race spirit. Now it’s time to give Lewis that shit, isn’t it? Rosberg has 3 pole opposed to Lewis 1, he has 1 win and a third place (Hamilton has no podium yet, at least a deserving one). Nico is verry underestimated and Ferrari or Mclaren should have signed him a long time ago, I told my brother this in 2007 at Spa francorchamps testing. And for once I was right. Sack Alonso, he’s overrated just as materialistic Lewis is. Hulkie, Nico, Kimi, Robert and Seb (also Sutil, Bianchi and JEV) are underestimated in comparison to the previous 2.

  • Butterfly

    What a load of BS. Mr. Wolff forgot to mention Hamilton’s problems with the brakes, but I guess he really likes Nico for some reason.

  • KevinW

    “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,”… Huh.. could that have been part of a 3 day session in which they “Learned nothing.” Nah… can’t be…

    Rosberg has a golden opportunity here. Take Hamilton down a notch and elevate his image as a desirable commodity, or be seen as a 2nd tier team driver for the rest of his career. Mercedes has been Nico’s biggest liability in 2013… and 2012, 2011, 2010… Hamilton is very good, excellent in fact. However, he is inconsistent, unfocused, and over-rated. Rosberg needs to step it up and keep the pressure on and end 2013 in front of Lewis. His future in F1 will be defined by this. Hamilton will be allowed a pass this season, due to his “newness” excuse… so the pressure on him is less.

  • Jonathan

    And Jenson Button said Nico will be “surprised” by Lewis’ raw pace.
    So Lewis, Nico and Michael (2nd career) are almost on par.

    Jenson himself is beaten by Perez.

  • the dude

    Well, how about that.

    I remember when Rosberg was matching and beating Schumacher, Hamilton fans were mocking how Schumacher is overrated and how he was being ‘thrashed’ by an average driver that was beaten by Webber in the same car.

    Now Hamilton is being matched and beaten by Rosberg and Hamilton fans or disappeared or they claim Rosberg is one of the best drivers on the grid (lol) or they use excuses like seatbelts and brakes and the smell of the car not fitting Hamilton. Mercedes even made Rosberg change his brakes for Canada to suit Hamilton (read not challenge Hamilton)…I mean, seriously.

    And of course, the only thing they hang on to now is ‘Hamilton has more points”..forgetting to mention Rosberg had 2 DNFs wthe mechanical problems, 1 teamorder to not pass Hamilton and getting the worst tyre strategy (see Canada) and Mercedes taking away the brakes Rosberg liked and getting him the ones Hamilton prefers.

    Also, Button had more points than Hamilton, so lol.

  • Steve

    “Mr. Wolff forgot to mention Hamilton’s problems with the brakes”

    I can see that there would be some period of adjustment needed, but seriously, what sort of top quality driver needs seven GP’s (plus all of pre season testing) just to learn to deal with different brakes?

    If this was Vettel rather than Hamilton people would be jeering at him for “whining” and “moaning” about the brakes and claiming that his inability to learn to deal with them proved he was an incompetent driver.

  • Jonathan

    I remember a lot of people said a very good or best F1 driver can turn around a shit car and win a championship.

    The W04 compared to W01, W02 and W03 is not a shit car…. it’s
    fast…… ask other competitors…. they mentioned many times.

  • J

    I guess even 43 year old Schuey wasn’t doing so bad last year out qualifying Nico 16-4.

  • Hawk

    If you compare Mercedes brakes to McLarens you are dreaming. I see the commentators here know more than the paddock bosses combined. Maybe they should buy their own teams and pick their drivers.