Hamilton: Very, very shocked to get order to let Nico pass 28 July, 2014 Lewis Hamilton leads Nico Rosberg during the Hungarian Grand Prix Formula 1 leaders Mercedes recognised on Sunday that the title battle between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg has reached a point where the drivers will put their own interests first. “Maybe what we decided at the beginning of the season doesn’t function any more,” team boss Toto Wolff told reporters at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday. “We cannot really ask either driver to give up their position or jeopardise their own championship chances for the benefit of the team,” added the Mercedes motorsport head. Hamilton refused a request in the race to allow championship-leading team mate Rosberg, who had started on pole but was behind him on a different strategy and still had a pitstop to make, through. Lewis Hamilton nearly binned it on the opening lap in Hungary The message ‘don’t hold him up’ was made twice to Hamilton, who eventually finished third with Rosberg fourth, over the radio with a third of the race remaining. “I’m not letting him past me, if he gets close enough to overtake he can overtake,” replied the 2008 champion, who stayed ahead for eight more laps until Rosberg pitted. Had the Briton made way, Rosberg – who denied making any request to be let through – might have been able to win for Mercedes instead of both being beaten by Red Bull‘s Daniel Ricciardo. But Hamilton, who had started from the pitlane, would have fallen further behind in the championship instead of cutting the gap to 11 points with eight races remaining. Lewis Hamilton celebrates third place in Hungary Hamilton said he was “very, very shocked” by the request. “I was in the same race as him. Just because he had one more stop than me doesn’t mean I wasn’t in the same race as him,” he explained. “And naturally if I’d have let him past, he would have had the opportunity to pull away and when he does pit, he’s going to come back and overtake me. “To be honest, he didn’t get close enough to overtake but I was never going to lift off and lose ground to Fernando [Alonso] or Daniel to enable him to have a better race. So that was a bit strange.” Mercedes, dominant this season, have made a point of not imposing ‘team orders’ in an effort to keep the fans entertained but that has brought friction between their drivers as well as some thrilling wheel-to-wheel battles. Wolff said in March that the pair were free to race, within defined limits and as long as the team did not lose out. Safety car was busy in Hungary during the race He said on Sunday that with Mercedes now 174 points clear or Red Bull in the constructors’ championship, and the drivers in a duel of their own for that title, there needed to be a fresh discussion of how to proceed. “It’s a difficult situation now,” he said. “The longer the season goes, the more intense it gets. At the beginning of the season it was easy to say these are the rules and this is how we are going to do it. “Now it’s clear these two are fighting for the world championship and it’s more intense. We need to sit down and discuss it.” Mercedes have won nine of the 11 races to date – five for Hamilton – and Rosberg had been expected to celebrate his fifth on Sunday after starting from pole position with Hamilton last. Instead, the safety car threw the race on its head with Rosberg on a three stop to Hamilton’s two. (Reuters) Tweet Related NewsHamilton: There wasn’t a discussion after HungaryRosberg: Lewis didn’t let me by, obviously not goodHamilton: I am hired to be me and race my heart outMercedes: We will not punish LewisMercedes rethink team orders after Hungary fiascoMercedes: The call came out of panicLauda: Lewis was right, the call was unnecessaryHamilton: It’s been a pretty crazy weekendHamilton gets all-new Mercedes for raceWhy always Lewis?