Mosley: Mercedes shouldn’t publicly chastise Rosberg

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Former FIA president Max Mosley has criticized the management at Mercedes for its handling of the recent fall-out between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

On the second lap of the Belgian Grand Prix, the two F1 title protagonists made contact, with Rosberg appearing to be the aggressor. Although it was deemed to be a racing incident, Rosberg admitted after the race that he could have pulled out of the move, but opted not to so he could “prove a point” to Hamilton.

Many speculated about how Mercedes could move on from the incident, and the team decided to hold a meeting with both Hamilton and Rosberg earlier this week.

Mercedes confirmed that Rosberg had apologized to Hamilton, and would be disciplined internally. However, Mosley believes that the team should have dealt with the matter behind closed doors.

“In every respect but one I think Mercedes dealt with the incident in the right way,” Mosley told British newspaper the Daily Mail. “If they decided to fine or punish Rosberg they should not have announced it.

“It’s as if the team are blaming him publicly. That’s not really right.”

Mosley, who served as FIA president for 16 years, believes that the team should have accepted the decision of the race director, Charlie Whiting, and not made the incident so public.

“The way I see it, and I’m on the outside now, is that the very experienced race director and the stewards decided to act because it was a ‘racing incident’,” Mosley said. “That was more or less that. It was a minor incident with serious consequences.

“What the drivers did or not say afterwards is not clear. On that basis the FIA could not get involved.

“It’s then a matter for the team. A lot goes on behind closed doors. What is unusual is announcing it.

“Personally, I wouldn’t have done that.”

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.