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.”

Hunter and Jett Lawrence walk a delicate balance between winning races and favoring the fans

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ANAHEIM, California – Hunter and Jett Lawrence are two of the most popular riders on the Monster Energy Supercross circuit, with fan bases that established and grew immediately when they came to America to ride for HRC Honda. Connecting with those fans came naturally for the charming Australian brothers, but it has not come without cost.

“It’s cool they’re there and it’s one of the things we try to do is give the fan that interaction,” Hunter told NBC Sports during Supercross Media Sessions ahead of the 2023 season. “It’s why we do ride days, meet-and-greets, press conferences  – all that stuff, because it’s exciting for them. We are trying to bridge the gap so they get personal interaction. Because that’s all they’re after. It’s all about getting that fan to think, ‘I know that guy. I didn’t meet him, but I get him. I get his humor.’ ”

There is no artifice in either brother. Their fan appeal is directly attributable to who they are at their core. And it’s that very genuineness that has throngs of fans standing outside their hauler, waiting for just a moment of their time.

“It’s about being yourself – talking to people,” Hunter said. “It’s not like I turn it on or turn it off; it’s just about being yourself. This is who we are, this is who you get and this is how it will be. You can’t portray something you’re not. If you keep saying you’re an orange, but apples keep popping out, it’s only a matter of time [until they figure it out].”

The key word is ‘throngs’, however. One person wanting just a few moments of time is incidental. Dozens are an entirely different matter.

“It’s tough in Supercross because it’s such a long day,” Hunter said. “The recovery side of it’s tough to do everything. We get stuck outside the grid; we can’t be there for like 10 minutes. We’re stuck there for like an hour. It gets overwhelming at times.

“You feel bad because you want to sign everything, but you’re still here for a job. Every race day is like that. We do the best we can, but there are so many people who wait out front. They’re screaming for you. Even when we’re coming off the sessions, they’re already yelling before you put your bike on the stands. You don’t even get time to take you helmet off.”

It can be a double-edged sword. Personality is only one part of the equation. A much bigger part of the brothers’ fan appeal comes because of their success. Hunter finished second in the last two Supercross 250 West title battles and third in the past two Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships.

Jett won the last three titles he competed for, including last year’s 250 East Supercross Championship and the last two Motocross contests.

“I think they expect me to have nothing else to do on a Saturday and that I have unlimited energy,” Jett said. “But, I’m trying to recover for the next race.”

It’s a matter of timing. Jett has gained a reputation last year for handing out hundreds of donuts before the races during Red Bull fan appreciation sessions. And after the race, once the business at hand has been settled, Jett is equally available to the fans.

“After the race it’s fine; I’ll stay behind.” Jett said. “My job is done on the racing side of things, but until that last moto is done, my main thing is dirt bikes. The fans come along with it. The fans are part of the job, but main job at hand is the racing side of things. After the race, I’ll stay there for an hour or so. It’s a lot calmer.”