Mercedes AMG F1 have issued a statement today denying that Lewis Hamilton damaged his personal ‘ready room’ at the European GP. Further, the team denies Lewis lied about being friends with Nico Rosberg.
“Following his appearance on a television discussion show on Servus TV recorded prior to last weekend’s Austrian GP, Niki Lauda would like to set the record straight and state the following:
“Lewis Hamilton did not in any way damage a hotel room or his private driver room at the circuit during the race weekend in Baku; and
“Lewis Hamilton did not lie about his relationship with team-mate Nico Rosberg.
“Niki regrets any misunderstanding caused by comments that have been blown wildly out of proportion compared with the casual context in which they were made.”
This is as amusingly inelegant as the Lauda interview on Red Bull’s Servus TV station broadcast on Sunday evening. Clearly Niki Lauda did believe Lewis had damaged property and ‘would have to pay for it’.
Further, Mercedes may well be developing mind reading equipment to further a futuristic driverless car programme, yet how this device knows whether Lewis did lie about being friends with Nico or not is at this time unclear.
The kind of PR Mercedes are generating at present would send Dietrich Mateschitz and Spice Boy Horner into realms of ecstasy never previously known. For Red Bull all publicity is a marketing ‘ker-ching’ as the Red Bull name is punched into an internet interface keyboard time and again.
Yet for the establishment that is Daimler Benz, a company steeped rich in Germanic heritage, the Lewis-Nico on track wars and the Hamilton bad boy PR is not exactly what the executives in Stuttgart believe to be in the best interests of the company.
Mercedes have had their PR struggles with Lewis Hamilton already over the last year when Lewis was widely photographed at an Alexander McQueen show in London. He also tweeted an image from a John Elliott show during New York Fashion Week and wrote an article for the BBC promoting Stella McCartney, Valentino and Chanel. All this while making no mention of the team sponsor Hugo Boss.
With the British GP almost upon us, it will be interesting to see the fall out from this latest Mercedes PR nightmare – and whether we will see ‘happy Lewis’ or ‘moody Lewis’, sullen and grumpy due to the revelations made by Lauda this week.
In spite of the Lauda revelations, Hamilton’s mood may be set to worsen anyway as the Thursday deadline for a decision from Mercedes boss Toto Wolff looms on team orders during the up coming race.