• Hungarian GP - Race

Hamilton was right and the team panicked - Lauda

ESPN Staff
July 27, 2014
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Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda said Lewis Hamilton was absolutely right to ignore team orders at Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix and admits the team panicked.

After their second pit stops in Sunday's race, Hamilton and Rosberg were on different strategies, with Rosberg set to pit again and Hamilton intending to go to the end. Hamilton was leading Rosberg around lap 50 and the team radioed him to tell him to let Rosberg through on the straight - an order Hamilton later said he was "shocked" by.

Lauda agrees that Hamilton should not have been put in that position and said the team panicked under the stress of the conditions.

"Mercedes has been used to being in the lead and racing against each other, but this race, with the safety car at the beginning and the wet conditions, was a completely different race," Lauda said. "So every minute you had to decide something different and in this stress the team told Lewis he should let Nico by because he was on softer tyres and has to come in anyway.

"But in Lewis's position he was clear that if he had been in the DRS position - Nico one second behind - for sure he would have let him by. But Nico never got that close. Therefore I do understand that Lewis said 'Why should I stop now in the middle of the circuit to let my team colleague by?' He is fighting for the championship anyway.

"So from my point of view Lewis was right. And why the call came, this happened out of the panic and we had to make up for what we were losing."

Asked what he would have done if he had been radioed by a team with similar orders, Lauda added: "I would have not even answered."

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