Nico Rosberg has played down a controversy about an episode of apparent radio coaching which prompted accusations leveled at Mercedes that they favoured winner Lewis Hamilton during the Canadian Grand Prix.
During the Montreal race, Lewis Hamilton’s engineer told the British driver that while his Mercedes teammate Rosberg has no problems with fuel consumption, the German’s brake situation was “critical”.
But when Rosberg asked about the state of Hamilton’s car, his engineer replied that the ‘radio coaching’ ban meant he was not allowed to answer.
Told that the episode might imply favouritism towards Hamilton, team boss Toto Wolff insisted: “We have already clarified the matter internally.
“The statement from Lewis’ engineer had no impact on the race. I stress once again: the drivers have absolutely equal treatment.”
In his latest column for Bild newspaper, Rosberg has backed Wolff’s claim that both Mercedes drivers are treated equally.
“There has been a lot of debate about whether Lewis received more information than me during our battle,” he said.
“But there is definitely no difference in how the team treated us as drivers,” Rosberg insisted, “no matter what they said to Lewis” during the race. I have 100 per cent confidence in the team.”
He said that level of equality actually makes it harder for him to fight Hamilton during a race.
“People often ask me why I don’t just push a bit harder and overtake Lewis,” said Rosberg. “But you can’t forget that my main rival has exactly the same car as me, and also that it is always possible for the other side to look at my settings and copy them.”
“In this situation, I just need to be ahead on Saturday, as qualifying is now more important than ever,” he added.