FOM have released the full team radio transcript from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, allowing us all to enjoy the ‘discussions’ between Mercedes and their drivers.
It’s a good job the team radio rules were lifted earlier this year because without it the dramatic conclusion to this year’s World Championship would have been a lot less interesting.
Of course, it was obvious that Hamilton was trying to back Rosberg into Vettel and Verstappen, but the way Nico and especially Lewis were talking to the team added a whole new dimension to the situation.
Here’s what Mercedes and their drivers were saying towards the end of the race:
Mercedes: “OK Lewis really need to pick up the pace. Need high 44s. Vettel imminent threat.”
Nico Rosberg: “This is really slow pace so maybe at some point invert the cars and if by the end of the race Lewis is still second I’ll let him by again. I know that’s a really stupid request but this is really slow at the moment. He’s doing exactly… he’s quick in sector one so it’s difficult for me.”
Mercedes: “OK Lewis this is an instruction. We need 45.1 for the win.”
Lewis Hamilton: “I suggest you guys let us race.”
Mercedes: “Seven laps remaining. Gap to Verstappen 1.5. He’s obviously backing you up.”
Nico Rosberg: “Consider doing something. I can go so much quicker.”
Consider doing something. I can go so much quicker.
Mercedes: “Yeah, copy that.”
Mercedes: “Lewis this is Paddy. We need you to pick up the pace to win this race. That is an instruction.”
Lewis Hamilton: “Paddy, I am actually in the lead right now I’m quite comfortable here.”
Mercedes: “OK so four laps remaining. Remember we can afford P3, we can’t afford damage, so just be cautious with Vettel.”
Mercedes: “Lewis we need to target the 45s if we’re going to win this.”
Right now I’m losing the world championship so I’m really not bothered.
Lewis Hamilton: “Right now I’m losing the world championship so I’m really not bothered if I’m going to win or lose this race.”
Mercedes: “So this is the last lap. Try and get within DRS of Lewis. Remember you only need P3.”
Mercedes: “Yes! World champion! Fucking brilliant! Nico you are world champion!”
Nico Rosberg: “Thank you so much guys. That’s a childhood dream come true. Thank you so much, amazing job I’m so proud of you, you’ve done amazing! Woohoo! We did it, we did it!
Overall a pretty disappointing lack of swearing, but then I guess Vettel wasn’t involved!
OK, so Mercedes trying to intervene in a championship battle between their drivers after they’ve already won everything was a bit uncalled for. But it’s pretty clear Hamilton had no intention of obeying those orders and Rosberg felt awkward about asking for help, but with a title on the line drivers will do everything they can.
That must have been a pretty frosty debrief for Lewis though. When a senior team member like Paddy Lowe has to come on the radio to give you an instruction and you ignore it, you know you’re pushing some boundaries!