Nico Rosberg: Letting Lewis Hamilton past in Monaco 'very painful'

Nico Rosberg has claimed it was "very painful" allowing by Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton during the Monaco Grand Prix, but believes it made the team's victory possible

Nico Rosberg: Letting Lewis Hamilton past in Monaco 'very painful'

With polesitter Daniel Ricciardo opening up a lead over the two Mercedes at the start of the race, Rosberg was told to let Hamilton pass.

Rosberg was struggling to get his brakes and tyres up to temperature, and his failure to do so resulted in the order from the pitwall.

With Rosberg ultimately falling to seventh while Hamilton won, the gap between them in the drivers' championship came down from 43 to 24 points.

Asked whether he had any regrets about assisting Hamilton, Rosberg replied: "At the time, it was pretty simple because it's a rule we've had for many years now.

"It was pretty damn obvious at the time I wasn't going to be able to fight for the win with that pace, so clearly I needed to give Lewis the chance to do it.

"They gave me a warning to try and up my pace, but I wasn't able to, so the next step was to let Lewis by.

"The final result made it worthwhile for the team. That proved it was the right thing to do at the time because Lewis wouldn't have won otherwise.

"It got the team the win in Monaco, so [the call was] fully understandable. Very painful, of course, that's clear, but easy to decide to do that."

It was only when listening to Rosberg during post-race media sessions that Hamilton learned what had unfolded, and he went up to his team-mate to express his thanks afterwards.

"Until then I didn't know what happened," Hamilton said.

"I knew when I was behind Nico I was much quicker than him. I thought he had a problem, and as he said he had a problem with keeping the temperatures in.

"I was conscious neither of us would win the race [at that pace], which is why I was able to drive by.

"As he also said we kind of have an agreement, particularly when the team ask you to push and you are unable to and it's hindering the team's chance of winning.

"But I didn't know [he did that] until I heard it here so I just said 'Thanks for being a gentlemen'."

Rosberg's actions naturally earned respect from Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff.

"In such a difficult situation, to give up the position and understand the global situation was great team play from Nico," said Wolff.

"For any driver, it is extremely difficult to accept such a call, and we understand that."

shares
comments
Renault F1's Vasseur slates Kvyat after Magnussen Monaco GP clash
Previous article

Renault F1's Vasseur slates Kvyat after Magnussen Monaco GP clash

Next article

Max Verstappen apologised to Red Bull F1 team for Monaco GP crash

Max Verstappen apologised to Red Bull F1 team for Monaco GP crash
Load comments
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay Plus

Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021