Mercedes Reject Conspiracy Theory Talk in Lewis Hamilton's Italian Grand Prix Triumph
Mercedes team chief said suggestions that Mercedes had wanted to see championship leader Nico Rosberg miss his braking point at the first chicane and so hand the race leadership, and victory, to the Briton were entirely groundless.
Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff has rejected all post-race conspiracy talk surrounding Formula One's leading team in the aftermath of Lewis Hamilton's victory in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.
Wolff said suggestions that Mercedes had wanted to see championship leader Nico Rosberg miss his braking point at the first chicane and so hand the race leadership, and victory, to the Briton were entirely groundless.
British media had made much of speculation that the German had been following possible team orders to ensure that Hamilton profited from his first pole position in eight races.
The latest conjecture came just two weeks after the pair had collided on the second lap of the Belgian Grand Prix in an accident that resulted in Rosberg enlarging his lead in the title race to 29 points after Hamilton retired.
Hamilton's win on Sunday trimmed the lead to 22 points as Rosberg came home second in a Mercedes one-two.
Wolff said it was virtually impossible for a team to have executed what happened in the race deliberately.
He said: "Only a paranoid mind could come up with such an idea... If it had been our idea, it would have been bloody well done!
"There was lots of pressure on Nico because Lewis was so quick in qualifying and you could see that in the race."
Wolff added that there was no technical reason to explain why Rosberg went down the escape road twice in the race, but he explained that the brake balance on his car had been changed twice.
"We tried to protect the rear brakes so we went forward with the brake balance. He hit the brake hard and missed the braking point -- it was bizarre, but there isn't any mechanical reason behind it."
Rosberg also dismissed the speculation and said there were no reasons for Mercedes to have asked him to sacrifice a win for Hamilton.
He said: "I've heard about that [the conspiracy theory], but what would be the reason for me to do something like that deliberately?" he said. "There is no possible reason.
"If you're ordered by the team to do it then you would do it, but there is no reason why the team would ask me to change position, or something like that."
Hamilton lost out at the start, fell to fourth and then recovered to win.
Wolff said an electronic issue on Hamilton's car had been the reason for his bad start.
"We had an electronic problem which we had on the warm up lap and also at the start," he said. "We need to find out what it was exactly, but we got it wrong. We will see."
After the furore following the Belgian race the Mercedes men were glad to be celebrating a one-two again.
"That was a perfect result, it was very exciting, there was no touching but still some great racing," he added.
"Did we tell Rosberg to miss his brakes and miss the chicane and allow Lewis to pass him? No not at all!
"This is for the drivers world championship, Nico was under massive pressure from Lewis and Lewis deserved the win today. His pace was awesome and that's why he won it."