Nico Rosberg says the decision to let Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton through in the Monaco Grand Prix was “pretty simple” but also “very painful”.
Starting from second place, the German could not keep up with race leader Daniel Ricciardo during a wet first stint, which led his team to ask Rosberg to move over so title rival Hamilton could start chasing the Australian.
This allowed the Briton to stay in contention until Ricciardo’s botched pit stop handed him the win.
“First of all, at the time it was pretty simple because it’s a rule that we’ve had for many, many years now and it was pretty damn obvious at the time that I’m not going to be able to fight for the win with that pace,” Rosberg said.
“It’s clear that we need to give Lewis the chance to do it and they gave me a warning to try and up the pace and I wasn’t able to and then the next step is to let Lewis by and I think obviously the final result made it worthwhile in that sense for the team. So it proved that was the right thing to do at the time otherwise Lewis wouldn’t have won.”
Rosberg eventually slipped all the way down to seventh by the flag and saw Hamilton cut the championship gap from 43 to 24 points. But the German says he was prepared to see the momentum ebb and flow after his perfect start.
“I’ve been saying I’m not thinking about the championship at the moment. I am disappointed because I wanted to win Monaco, I wanted to win my home race, it’s the most exciting race of the year and that’s what I was out there to do and I’m very disappointed because I was absolutely miles off it and that’s it. So asking how many points ahead, I don’t know, because I am not looking at it.”
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