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Mercedes boss Paddy Lowe: “This is not a school playground”
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Posted By: James Allen  |  07 Jun 2014   |  12:31 am GMT  |  29 comments

Mercedes technical boss Paddy Lowe has said that he is pleased that Lewis Hamilton took the initiative to make peace with team mate Nico Rosberg after Monaco and says that he does not feel that it’s the team’s job to manage their relationship.

Tensions arose when Hamilton suspected Rosberg of deliberately preventing him from taking pole in the closing moments of qualifying. Rosberg went on to win the race and take the championship lead.

“I’m not going to spend any time managing the relationships between the drivers in a direct manner,” Lowe said in an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live this evening. “That’s something they really need to work out between themselves. It’s not a school playground.”

Lowe worked with Hamilton for all of his McLaren career, but this is only his first full season of working with Rosberg.

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“The great thing is they’re both mature guys. They’re of course very, very competitive, which is why sometimes there is friction, and they have had various conversations with each other over the last 10 days, unprompted by any of the management and they have come back here in great shape, and that’s how it should be.

“The main point for me is what happens on the track in the end.

“There were various issues over the (Monaco) weekend that one might describe as relationship issues, but as far as I’m concerned there were no team or technical issues and how the track running worked I had no issues with it.

“As far as Toto and I are concerned, that’s the bit we focus on.”

Mercedes look unstoppable again this weekend in Montreal, a circuit which suits the characteristics of the Mercedes, with its powerful engine, excellent traction out of low speed corners and braking stability.

Asked whether he saw any areas in which the opposition were catching Mercedes, Lowe said, “I know we’ve had a fantastic record so far this year but we have to work very hard, we’ve got some great competitors out there who will grab everything we leave behind. We’ve just got to make sure we don’t.

“We take each race at a time. They’re all different circuits with different challenges. This one in particular, very hard on the brakes and difficult to manage the fuel. I think we’ll all find that on Sunday. ”

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29 Comments
  1. james encore says:

    I know Paddy Lowe has been in F1 for years and years, but he had a low profile at McLaren. Being more in the limelight now, I have to say I like his “let them race and don’t interfere” attitude. It seems to come from Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda too, in their own styles. Good on them.

  2. luqa says:

    “I’ll have my people call your people to work out a compromise.” Is this how all these sports management companies justify their existence and fees? Handle their client’s personal life?

    Interesting to note, on another site quoting the same interview, Paddy Lowe indicated there are “agreements” in place who gets to choose when the drivers go out in qualifying- first or last. Basically it alternates. It begs the question who had priority in Monaco and what did they choose..

    1. Mark says:

      On another site it was mentioned that it was Nico’s turn.
      He chose to go first and for the reason that a yellow flag could ruin your last run.
      It’ll be interesting to if Lewis chooses to stick with going out last for the reason of the track getting faster or will he go the safer option this time due to the nature of the track.

  3. Brace says:

    Unfortunately, Lewis is the most immature driver I have ever seen in F1.

    1. London Cabbie says:

      Thats “tough luck” on Vettel!

    2. timw says:

      you cant have been watching for very long then!

  4. Michael says:

    Well Paddy’s word sound very much like a quiet Head Master’s warning to his First Grade student Lewis. He may well be a great driver with a great and committed following, but if he was my child, he’d still be in the naughty corner. His post qualifying and post race behaviour didn’t match his driving skill.

    I hope for the sports sake that he grows up and realises he can’t always have it his way. That doesn’t mean that he needs to prove himself with a victory. It means he needs to be gracious and mature in defeat. And it will happen again.

    1. Nathan Jones says:

      Get off your disciplinarian soap box.

      You think ‘gracious in defeat’ is the same thing as ‘gracious in being cheated’. Or should Hamilton just shut up and suck up the rubbish that you expect him to?

      Get over it and talk about his driving, it’s getting boring hearing people tell a professional sportsman how to live his life. You look after yours, and he’ll look after his. Go discipline your own child. Or are you about 20? You sound a bit uni-student-esque.

      He’s his own man – [mod]

      1. Ellen says:

        Well said, Nathan Jones, I couldn’t put it any better!!

      2. flesh says:

        @Nathan Jones well said I totally agree with you and your support for lewis. everybody wants him to be a puppet on a string. no one gets the grief he gets yet every f1 driver in history has had their strops and moans but that’s ok but when it comes to lewis he has to keep his mouth shut and turn the other cheek.

    2. Gazza says:

      What Paddy was actually saying is that he will not get involved in any spat between the drivers, but then some people will only read into things what they want to see.

      Lewis never had a problem shaking Button,s hand when he lost but would you be happy to shake the hand of someone YOU think as just cheated you.?

  5. Kristiane says:

    I wonder how things would’ve been like had Brawn still be a TP at Mercedes. Things MIGHT have been a little more calm and peaceful.

    1. justafan says:

      Perhaps. But there would probably be team orders as well.

      1. Kristiane says:

        True, Malaysia 2013 springs to mind, but them from that it was felt Brawn was very well respected and had high authority within the team. The same authority seem to be lacking in the current management. That’s not to suggest there isn’t any, obviously Paddy Lowe worked with Hamilton since long long time ago, and that he’s been in the F1 business long enough to know how to approach things, it’s just that things don’t seem to be so well under control as they did under Brawn.

  6. Bryce says:

    Pity that one of the drivers acts like a schoolkid at times.

    1. timw says:

      you mean all of the drivers,

    2. Kristiane says:

      All of them do, lol.

      I recall back in school I wrote a piece of essay on F1. I was told afterwards by my English teacher afterwards that she had a friend who worked for Williams back then and she told her friend of my essay, which her friend laughed and said they are all a bunch of spoilt kids in their very base of their characters. I mean let’s bring Prost vs Senna into this, Senna wins, Prost doesn’t like it, complains. That’s kind of like a kid doesn’t enjoy losing the race and complains to a teacher whom favours him for a re-judgement. F1 has always been a boys-with-toys game.

  7. Urko says:

    I’m totally lost on this new site. And there’s no news from other media (uk, Italy, germany….( I really liked that. And l i can’t even post a comment

  8. Urko says:

    …until now.

  9. goferet says:

    As a team, it was brilliant that Lewis & Rosberg cleared the air for this means the team can focus all their resources on the job at hand instead of drawing battle lines within the team.

    But for the fans, we missed an opportunity for drama, I mean what a story it would have been if the teammate situation turned sour for sure, this would have added spice to the season for ill feelings usually bring out the best in us.

  10. spactus says:

    Mclaren too ,thought they were too big for Lewis……now look at them floundering in mediocrity…….Lewis came and inspired this team to greatness…….now they acting all Hauty toyty ……

    Its Lewis leadership relentless ambition and drive thats catapulted this team to greatness….Is it a coincidence that as soon as Lewis left Mclaren there performance dropped.?……and the team he went to Mercedes suddenly at the pinnacle of Motor racing .

    It would be great to have an analysis of that from the so called unbias journo

    1. Gazza says:

      I’m a big Lewis fan, but even I know that Mercedes success is built upon things put in moition long before he arrived. Rosberg has probably had a greater input, not forgetting Micheal Schumacher and most of all Ross Brawn.

    2. Spinodontosaurus says:

      Mercedes were very quick in 2012 don’t forget, a full season before Hamilton joined. The team had 2 pole positions (well, 1 seeing as Schumi didn’t get to keep his Monaco one), a race victory, and were consistent front-runners for the first half of the season.

      To lay all the credit for Mercedes’ current form on Hamilton is both foolish and disrespectful to all the other people involved with the team. It’s a dangerous game to play too – I would love to see you try and wriggle your way out of explaining why Hamilton couldn’t “inspire his team to greatness” during Vettel’s dominating years.

  11. matthew says:

    the over reaction to the whole thing is funny.other drivers have done far worse,and according to brundle,most ppl in the paddock believed nico cheated.now if someone cheats you,especially someone you thought was your friend,your not going to smile give them a hug and shake thier hand.lewis didnt swear,he didnt shout,he didnt throw any punches,he didnt even say nico cheated,so whats the big deal……..anyway these kind of battles are good for f1.

  12. Gaz boy says:

    Indeed Mr Lowe.
    To behave childish is understandable for somebody who is 16, or even 18, but for two drivers in their late 20s is somewhat misplaced.
    Come on chaps, we’re all mature adults………..not sure about Maldonado though………

  13. Kenneth M'Boy says:

    Mercedes, from an F1 fans point of view, should be commended on letting their drivers race for this championship. The drivers as well, despite not always being popular off the track, should also be recognized for their racing on the track. Despite tensions being high between them, the racing has been spectacular but also mature for motorsports top prize.

    I do suspect, however, that perhaps the team did say to both Lewis and Nico after Monaco that it is a long championship and that if they keep up this war of words it could drain both of them and the team before the final races. Get on with the racing and don’t worry about starting world war 3 until its really necessary.

    I also have a slight suspicion that both drivers are allowed to win their home grand prix with out too much opposition from their teammate provided their is no direct threat from other teams.

  14. aLEX says:

    What could Paddy even say to either guy that wouldn’t alienate, antagonise or cause parania or resentment among them?

  15. Mikeboy0001 says:

    Well, Hamilton has given many proofs of maturity over the years, hasn’t he?
    In fact, he’s given so much of it, that from number 1 fan, with hats and memorabilia, now I dislike him, and even hope Rosbeg gets the title
    Hamilton, great driver, poor man
    What a shame

  16. jmv says:

    Nice to see a picture of Ross Brawn at the bottom of the article.

    Paddy mentions that they need to work hard to keep ahead. He better be, because in my opinion and many others i am sure, Paddy, Toto & Lauda are riding the wave created by Ross Brawn over the last couple of years.

    When Lowe & Toto are holding the WCC trophy I hope they will be humble enough to credit Ross. Not that Ross would loose any sleep over being credited or not…

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