Nico Rosberg says the interests of Mercedes will continue to have priority as Ferrari’s pace has an impact on his battle with Lewis Hamilton.
In China Rosberg asked for Lewis to speed up as he was at risk of being jumped by Sebastian Vettel in the pits, and afterwards he was clearly not happy with the way things played out, as he felt the team’s one-two had been under threat.
“It’s always the same and it will not change,” he said. “It’s something that we have agreed together, it’s an agreement we have, that when the team’s one-two is at risk to another team then some measures will be used to ensure that, and that might mean the disadvantage of one or other driver or whatever. We want to finish one-two and get the most possible points, so the more annoying a Ferrari like Sebastian becomes in China, the more those measures are going to be used. Just like in China, where Lewis was told to speed up.”
Asked when a driver would put his interests above those of the team he said: “It’s impossible to say the situation. We could say Abu Dhabi. The team said, ‘Nico stop, drive the car into the garage,’ and I asked ‘Can I please finish the race?’ That could be putting my own thing in front of the team if you want to see it that way.
“So it really depends, and it’s not possible to go into individual scenarios, but of course we have to respect what the team wants, because you’re driving for the team. It’s always such a fine line, but in the end yes, I have to respect the team.”
Rosberg was asked if he had changed his opinion about Lewis running too slowly in China: “It’s not an opinion, I was stating facts. I never stated an opinion. So my facts are still the same. Facts are facts, it’s not opinions.”
He said he would still speak out after the race, given the same situation.
“I would do it again because I felt the need to state the facts, because there was a need to discuss things after that race. Everybody saw that need, not only me. That’s it. Now for me, except for standing in this room and discussing it with you, it’s a long time since I last discussed it. It’s in the past and I’m moving on. The best answer I can give is on the race track, and I’m going to try to use that opportunity.”