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Niki Lauda livid with Mercedes; calls error 'unacceptable'

1.57K   //    25 May 2015, 17:36 IST
Extreme right, a disappointed Lewis Hamilton with winner Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel (2nd)

Legendary F1 driver Niki Lauda branded the error that cost Lewis Hamilton his win at the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix ‘unacceptable’. The Austrian driving legend is the non-executive chairman of Hamilton’s team, Mercedes. When asked by journalists whether it was the engineers who had cost Lewis Hamilton to drop to, and end the race at 3rd after beginning the race in pole position, he unequivocally agreed. “‘It is clear, no discussion,” he said, continuing that he “felt sorry.... and I apologised to his engineers. This is for me unacceptable. To bring him in was completely wrong.”

When interviewed post-race, Hamilton seemed to be at a loss for words, but ultimately said  ‘The team has been amazing all year long and we win and lose together. I am sure we will sit down afterwards and try to think of ways we can improve.’   Hamilton recently signed a deal ensuring he continues to drive for Mercedes for the next 3 years. 

Lauda was not the only member of the Mercedes team who thought the error was a terrible, glaring one: team boss Toto Wolff admitted Mercedes were at fault for Hamilton’s ‘We’ve lost Lewis the grand prix with a mistake,' he said. 'We thought the gap was a different one then it actually was. It was a complete misjudgement. We screwed it up for him.' Engineers were also heard apologising to Hamilton over the team radio. 

Teammate Nico Rosberg, the winner of the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix, who secured his third win in a row at the track, admitted it was Hamilton who deserved the win. In a statement released on Facebook, he said Hamilton had “done a perfect job, he was better than me over the weekend, so he definitely deserved the win.” He expressed sympathy for Hamilton as well, saying “ I know how horrible he must feel now.”

Displeased as Hamilton and Mercedes bosses all are, he will have to recoup in time for the Canadian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time. Hamilton still retains his lead in the drivers’ championship, although this lead has reduced to 10 points following Rosberg’s victory at Monaco.

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