Mercedes chief lauds Hamilton and Rosberg

07 Jul 2014 14:46

Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff heaped praise on the resilience and talent of both of his team's drivers on Monday in the wake of Lewis Hamilton's victory and Nico Rosberg's retirement in Sunday's stirring British Grand Prix.

Wolff said both men, who are locked in a titanic duel for this year's drivers' world championship, had shown mental strength and set a fine example in recent weeks as they coped with the pressures of expectation.

He particularly praised Briton Hamilton for keeping his nerve during the stressful approach to his home race when he was trying to claw back a 29-point deficit in the drivers' championship despite making an error on Saturday during qualifying when he gifted pole position to German Rosberg.

Wolff said: "I think, different to what the perception is, mentally Lewis is very strong. He can cope well with having had problems. One of the examples in the race was when he had another pitstop that wasn't perfect on the left rear.

"The first thing he did was he came on the radio and he said: 'Don't worry, let's make the next one better'. You can see the momentum in the team. It's not a blaming culture in here and we are trying to improve all together.

"So he would have moved out of his low anyway, but winning at home, in front of such a crowd, that's going to give him a big boost now."

He also praised Rosberg for his demeanour on Sunday when he started from pole, led the race but then suffered his first did not finish result this year, after retiring with gearbox problems.

Wolff said he felt both drivers proved they are handling their emotions better than it seems to many observers on the outside of the team.

"I'm on the inside, and if you see how the radio communication goes, and how calm everything happens, there are no bad words anymore," he said. "There's no negative excitement emotion.

"For Nico it's the same. He was facing a disaster and retirement, and he was very calm trying to go through the settings.

"It was the same with Lewis. The way he communicates with his engineers is, for me, 10 out of 10. We spent a lot of time with each other. Even on Saturday night he had a very stable and sure way of tackling things."

- Family matters -

Hamilton's fifth victory of the season enabled him to cut Rosberg's lead in the title race from 29 points to four after nine of this year's 19 races.

On Sunday night he thanked his family and close friends for their support and inspiration -- and the home cooking that helped him relax and re-focus after his nightmare decision to abort his final qualifying lap.

"I stayed at my dad's home for the weekend and it was great to be with my family, my sister and with her dogs and surrounded by them," he said.

"I was able to move back to some positive energy -- and it was so nice to have some home cooking at the right time.

"I was able to move on and get myself into the right frame of mind for the race."