Hamilton has “full confidence” in Mercedes after differing opinions in Mexico

Published: Monday 2nd November 2015 by The News Editor

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Lewis Hamilton has “full confidence” in his Mercedes team despite opposing their strategy call to pit him for a second time in Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix.

After Nico Rosberg, winner of Formula One’s first race back in Mexico following a 23-year break, was called into the pits for new tyres, Hamilton was urged by his team to follow suit.

But the 30-year-old Briton defied his team and claimed he would be able to get to the end of the race on his current set of tyres.

Hamilton’s engineer Peter Bonnington said the decision to pit was based on “safety reasons” and issued a team order for the triple world champion to stop with 23 laps remaining.

Hamilton replied: “I think that’s the wrong call, but I’m coming in.” As such Rosberg re-claimed the lead of the race before sealing his fourth victory of the season with a 1.9-second winning margin over his team-mate.

“At the time, I just didn’t agree with the decision to pit for a second time,” Hamilton, who claimed his third title in Austin last weekend, said.

“The team takes these decisions and I abide by them but I initially wasn’t sure on this one.

“As it turned out, there was then a safety car anyway. I have full confidence in these guys and we still got the one-two as a team, so that’s positive.”

In contrast to his title-clinching victory in Austin a week ago, Hamilton cut a glum figure after the race. Naturally, sceptics were speculating about team orders after the race.

But Hamilton’s team boss Toto Wolff said the Briton was right to query the decision from the pit wall.

“It’s emotions and a race driver in a car,” Wolff told Motorsport.com. “He needs to question and needs to ask. It’s perfectly reasonable. Do I want to have a robot in the car? No. I want the best racing driver. That’s how it is.

“It’s no problem as long as the team keeps the overview. No issue at all for me.”

Rosberg, who claimed his first victory here since June’s Austrian Grand Prix, for his part also did not want to pit for a second time.

The German who controlled the race after resisting the challenge from Hamilton on the 900-metres stretch to turn one, added: “I didn’t want to come in because I was really comfortable at the time.

“I had a good gap to Lewis so it sort of reset things a little bit by going on another set of tyres.

“So, I wasn’t too happy with that but I understand that it was the better thing to do – especially in light of the safety car that came out because it was important to have fresher tyres at that point in time.”

Published: Monday 2nd November 2015 by The News Editor

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