Zetsche: At Mercedes there are no team orders

Mercedes big boss Dieter Zetsche

Mercedes big boss Dieter Zetsche

Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche insists there will be no team orders to settle the outcome of the title battle between warring Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

His comments, in Bild am Sonntag newspaper, follow hot on the heels of the Hungarian Grand Prix, where Hamilton blankly refused to obey the order to let Rosberg past on a different strategy.

“Last Sunday there was no emergency situation,” Zetsche said. “The two were not really bumper to bumper, which is why I can well understand Lewis not slowing down to let Nico past.”

He said it is only in ‘emergency situations’ that the pitwall will intervene with the free battle between the silver-clad pair.

Dieter Zetsche celebrates  with Lewis Hamilton in Spain

Dieter Zetsche celebrates with Lewis Hamilton in Spain

“At Mercedes there are no team orders,” Zetsche insisted. “I stand by that. The skill of the drivers and a little bit of luck will in the end decide who has the edge.

“It is true however that Rosberg and Hamilton are not to impede each other with different strategies — for example two stops versus three stops,” he added.

Mercedes management have been at a loss on how to handle their championship contending drivers. Most recently Hamilton ‘ignored’ orders to slow down and allow Rosberg to pass.

Hamilton said in the aftermath of the headline grabbing incident, “I did not cost Nico a win. I was racing against him! Why would I be concerned for him?”

Dieter Zetsche celebrates with Nico Rosberg in Germany

Dieter Zetsche celebrates with Nico Rosberg in Germany

“I don’t think I was being ruthless. I was not even being bloody minded. I was doing my job. I tried my hardest to be ahead and I don’t feel as though I was obligated to help,” added the Briton.

Rosberg’s version was, “Lewis didn’t let me by although he was ordered to, so that’s obviously not good.”

Immediately after the incident the Mercedes F1 bosses were not on the same page with Niki Lauda siding with Hamilton, while Toto Wolff aligned with Rosberg.

Only days after the race did Wolff accept Hamilton’s version and concede that him slowing down to allow Rosberg through was not an option.

Now with Zetsche throwing his weight behind the matter, the team will be under pressure to effectively manage a feud which is only going to intensify in the final stages of the season. (GP247-GMM)