Rosberg defends Hamilton’s tactics
FORMULA 1 world champion Nico Rosberg has said the debate around Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s tactics in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is “pointless”.
Hamilton ignored team orders and drove deliberately slowly in an attempt to back Rosberg into rivals.
Mercedes could take action against Hamilton, but Rosberg said he “understood” the Briton’s tactics.
“It’s done, it’s a thing of the past and it’s fine,” said the German, 31.
Hamilton, 31, went into the race 12 points behind Rosberg and needed to win — with the German finishing lower than third — to take the title.
Mercedes repeatedly ordered Hamilton to speed up during the race, but he ignored their commands and told his team to “let us race”. Rosberg still finished second to secure his first F1 world title.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 live, Rosberg refused to be drawn on the subject, saying he “respected” Hamilton because they were “really good friends back in the day”.
Meanwhile, The new boss of McLaren’s Formula 1 team, Jost Capito, is determined to retain Fernando Alonso beyond 2017.
Two-time world champion Alonso is under contract until the end of next season.
However, the Spaniard, 35, has said he wants to see how the new 2017 cars behave before deciding on his future.
“If the car and the engine are good, and he enjoys the new rules, there is no reason why he shouldn’t stay,” said Capito, who became McLaren Racing CEO in September.
“Fernando is a great asset for the team and we should do everything to keep him.”
F1 is introducing rules that will make the cars up to five seconds a lap faster, while Pirelli has been tasked with providing tyres on which drivers can push to the limit throughout races, which has not been possible since the Italian company introduced fragile rubber six years ago.
Capito, speaking exclusively to BBC Sport in his first interview since joining McLaren, said his friendship with two-time Spanish world rally champion Carlos Sainz, who drove for the German in his previous role as head of Volkswagen Motorsport, had helped him form a bond with Alonso.
He said: “Carlos has a good relationship with Fernando and I have a good relationship with Carlos — that helped quite a lot to create very quickly a very good and close relationship with Fernando.” — BBC Sport.