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Split in Mercedes management over team orders

Mar 28, 2013, 6:15 PM EDT

Mercedes Formula One driver Hamilton and team mate Rosberg congratulate each other after their 3rd and 4th respective positions during the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit outside Kuala Lumpur Reuters

Although much of the focus surrounded Red Bull’s team orders following the Malaysian Grand Prix, the internal relationships at Mercedes have also been tested following a contentious race last Sunday.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were in third and fourth place respectively, but the British driver was forced to save fuel, and was therefore holding his teammate up. Despite Rosberg asking to be let past, team principal Ross Brawn refused to let the drivers change position, which has received differing opinions from the team’s management.

Niki Lauda has criticized the decision, believing that the quicker driver should have been allowed to finish in P3.

“From a sporting perspective, that was wrong. They should have let [Nico Rosberg] go. We need to talk to Ross, if this is the strategy to be used from now on,” Lauda told The Times of London.

On the other side of the fence in Toto Wolff, who believes that there is no issue to be addressed.

“There was no controversy,” Wolff said. “Both had a bit of fuel issue and we were not sure if we could run them until the end and both of them were advised they had the issue.

“Nico showed that he is a fantastic team player and he held onto the position and we would have done it in the opposite way as well.”

Rosberg did not make his distaste public, but he did tell Brawn over the radio “I’ll remember this,” implying that should the inverse of the situation arise in the future, he would expect similar treatment.

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