Ross Brawn has defended his use of team orders at the Malaysian Grand Prix, preventing Nico Rosberg from passing Lewis Hamilton in the final stages of the race.
Hamilton was forced to save fuel, but Brawn told the faster Rosberg to hold position behind the British driver to not put the team result at risk. Both drivers were disappointed with the result, and Hamilton admitted that he did not deserve the podium finish. However, Brawn still believes that he made the right decision.
“I don’t like having to take those decisions, but from a technical perspective we would have looked very foolish if we had run both cars out of fuel,” he told Sky Sports.
“I think what wasn’t fully appreciated at the time is that we had a situation develop on both cars with fuel. We weren’t comfortable with either car and I could see a scenario with both drivers competing against each other, in a strong way, it is difficult to marry managing the fuel with a full blown fight with your team-mate.”
Brawn did come under fire from Mercedes managers Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff, but the team principal is happy to have made the call.
“I had all the information, I had all the facts. I had what I feel was all the information to make that decision and they didn’t and I think they both recognized after the event that it was the correct decision.”
There is a great deal of movement behind the scenes at Mercedes, with Paddy Lowe set to join the team for next season. Brawn has previously said that he would not remain at the team if Lowe joined, and this latest debacle could only increase the pressure on the former team owner.