B After the GP Abu Dhabi they were a Mercedes torn. On the one hand there was the eighth double victory that made Nico Rosberg world champion. On the other hand, Lewis Hamilton's interference, who took the team's racing strategy out of hand and pulled out all the stops to become world champion after all.
Team principal Toto Wolff had already hinted at it at the press conference. Even those responsible at Mercedes have two hearts beating in their chests. That of the racer and that of the team boss. And with everything you had to be fair to the drivers as a team. What a balancing act! It was no different with Foreign Minister Niki Lauda. He was pleased with Rosberg and tried to understand Hamilton. But maybe only people who have raced themselves can do that.
Hamilton woke up too late
Lauda pulled his red cap in the hour of triumph. This time not just symbolically. “I am so happy. It is moving that Nico is finally world champion. He deserved it. With a perfect season and an incredible performance. To straighten up again after the defeat last year, I can only take my hat off. ”
Lauda's season conclusion is, as usual with him, short and precise. “Lewis woke up too late. From the beginning, Nico dealt better with the details of the car and the tires. Over the winter he has trained what he missed about Lewis. Only after the defeat in Singapore did Lewis take care of every little thing again. But by then it was already too late. ”
Hamilton put victory in danger
It was to be expected that Hamilton would slow down in the last race. Winner types, we think so. Otherwise they would not be so successful. Niki Lauda also had his tricks when he had to regain the number 1 position at Ferrari against Carlos Reutemann in 1977 because Enzo Ferrari wanted to drop him. And also when he became world champion at McLaren in 1984 against the faster Alain Prost. Success comes from the willingness to dedicate 100 percent to it.
Lauda therefore shows Hamilton a certain understanding: “As a racing driver, I understand that he tries every tactic that ultimately makes him world champion. But I haven't understood until now why he got so slow in the end that he almost threw away the victory and thus his title. He has itreally let it come so brutally that in the end the Vettel almost benefited. If Lewis makes the slightest mistake, Sebastian wins the race. ”
That's why Lauda also says:“ In my position at Mercedes, I can't approve of that. Because he risked a win. Lewis knows that victory is the team's ultimate goal. He has to respect that. ”
Hamilton puts Rosberg on the pedestal
Lauda can also easily put himself in Rosberg's position. The new world champion must have suffered agony, especially in the final laps. His dream threatened to burst like a soap bubble, just because his teammate deliberately let him fall into the trap.
'If I had been Nico, I would have been annoyed green and blue. The teammate is slowly driving around in front of my nose. My car is getting bad air, starts to slip and the tires start to deteriorate. You don't know what's going on behind you and whether you can control it all. ”
Even in Lauda's opinion, Hamilton missed all targets. He is neither the right nor the moral world champion. “If he'd run full at the front, everyone would probably have said: This is the real world champion. As it is, he put Nico on a pedestal that is as high as if he had won the race. Nico defended himself well under insane pressure. We offered him that he could let Vettel pass because third place was enough. Nico chose to fight. There he showed that he is rightly world champion. “