How different Monaco could’ve been for Mercedes had it not been for some timely team orders following which Nico dutifully allowed the 2008 Monaco winner Lewis Hamilton through. The pitwall ensured that they wouldn’t endure another disaster of a similar magnitude to that of Barcelona by ordering Rosberg to allow Hamilton to pass.
Speaking to Speedweek.com it’s revealed that Lewis was genuinely unsure Nico would gift him a pass on the notoriously difficult to overtake circuit of Monaco. It seems the team might’ve known that Hamilton might’ve forced the issue. But Lewis denies asking the team to allow him to pass, revealing that his engineer enquired why he was so slow.
“During the race I did not know anything of Nico’s issues,” said Lewis after the weekend.
“I learned only after the Grand Prix he had problems but it was clear to me I could go much faster.”
With frustration setting in, the 3 time champion formulated a plan to force a pass on his team mate.
“I could barely see anything from the spray, I thought to myself: If this continues, then none of us will win this race.”
“I studied his weaknesses, and waited for the right moment in which I could get close enough. I had secretly planned a surprise attack at the approach to casino, and pass around the outside! I know that this is not the usual place to attack in Monte Carlo, but this place I had chosen.”
Clearly an attempted pass at the part of the circuit young Max grew to know very intimately, would’ve been a serious gamble (pun intended), but perhaps more tellingly shows us how desperate Lewis was to turn his season around. Maybe he didn’t trust Nico to obey any likely team order sent to him? The Mercedes driver dynamic will surely only get more interesting as the season progresses.