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Mercedes F1 team says it could have been harder with Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton leads Nico Rosberg, Hungarian GP

Mercedes has admitted that it could have been harder with Lewis Hamilton after he ignored team orders in Hungary, but it felt the situation was "difficult to judge".

Hamilton ignored a request from the team to let Rosberg - who was on a different strategy to him and still had to make another pitstop - pass him to benefit the German's strategy.

But unlike in previous situations where the team's top brass have interfered - such as when Mercedes executive director (technical) Paddy Lowe gave the drivers instructions during the Bahrain Grand Prix - the request to Hamilton was not enforced.

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said: "I don't want to play here the vicious general and say 'you must obey the rules'.

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"We could have come over the radio in a harder way, Paddy could have come over the radio and he didn't.

"The reason was because it was very difficult to judge what was right or wrong at that stage of the race."

The Brackley-based team is set to hold talks with both its drivers over the next few weeks to try to establish new guidelines for racing following the Hungarian GP.

"We needed to split the strategies because it was not clear what was going to happen," Wolff said while explaining how the situation arose.

"One strategy could have been better than the other one, but if you let your team-mate by easily to win the race and you lose another 8/10/12 points to him, you damage your own campaign."

Hamilton said that as soon as he heard the order over the radio he could not quite understand why the request had come, because he was battling with Rosberg.

"At the time I was trying to weigh up [the situation]," he said.

"I was in third, and I was thinking 'I am in this race', so I don't understand why I had to let him past.

"If I was eighth and he was fighting for first then maybe, so it is hard to understand, but I am sure the team did it for the right reasons."

Daytona Competition
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