Date: 31st May 2016 at 10:38am
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Prior to the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg held a 43-point lead over Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the F1 standings.

After out-qualifying Hamilton, Rosberg held the advantage over his team-mate during the opening stages of the race at Monaco on Sunday.

Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo was clearly faster than Rosberg and was pulling out a quite significant gap during the opening laps and the race victory was quickly slipping away from Mercedes.

The German had no confidence around the streets of the town where he resides in the rain, but Hamilton however was full of confidence and was all over his team-mate for numerous laps before Mercedes ordered Rosberg to pull over.

As a team request, it made perfect sense, Hamilton was clearly faster and had the better feel for the track under those conditions, but in the race for the drivers title, Rosberg could have argued that he held the advantage over this team-mate.

But according to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, Rosberg didn’t hesitate to allow his rival through.

‘[There was] not one single question, First we asked him to pick up the pace if he would be capable of doing that. If not he had to let Lewis by. A lap later we gave him the call just let him by and he did it immediately.’ Wolff told motorsport.com.

‘The way that Ricciardo was pulling away, it was clear that not reversing the situation between Nico and Lewis would definitely lose us the race. So we waited for quite a while and gave him more laps for the tyres to come in, but it didn’t.

‘Then finally we decided to call it because the pace was just so much slower and it was the right decision.

‘One thing that is maybe good to say immediately ? and if I had Niki’s red cap I would take it off ? because it is such a difficult circumstance, to give up the position and understand the global situation. So it is great team play from Nico.’


The team order released Hamilton and immediate he was ridiculously quick in comparison to his team-mate, sometimes pulling out 3 or 4 seconds per lap.

The switch itself was not enough on it’s own to give Hamilton the chance of victory, he also had to drive extremely well, make the correct tyre strategy decisions and cash in on the misfortune of a mistake by Red Bull.

With Nico Rosberg continuing to struggle throughout the afternoon and eventually finishing seventh, Hamilton slashed the championship lead from 43-points to 24.

 

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