Murray Walker: Mercedes team orders very tough for fans
Mercedes team orders will be “very tough” for Formula 1 fans to accept, but the controversial proposal may be the only way to prevent Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg from crashing again, Murray Walker has warned.
A record crowd of nearly 140,000 fans are set to descend on Silverstone for the British Grand Prix, and most will be there hoping to cheer on Hamilton to his third victory in as many years.
But following the Briton’s collision with Rosberg on the last lap of a dramatic race in Austria, Mercedes are weighing up whether to impose team orders to avoid what would be a fourth coming together of the season.
“It would be very tough for the fans to take,” Walker, the ‘voice of Formula One’, told Press Association Sport.
“Mercedes, with all the money, effort, and facilities that they have put into Formula One, want their cars to finish not only first, but first and second. And if that involves team orders than so be it.
“The only way to solve the problem is for Mercedes to say at a certain stage that this will be the position, and whoever is in the lead will retain it for the rest of the race.”
Mercedes bosses Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe as well as other members of the team’s hierarchy will determine before the race at Silverstone what course of action they will take.
Another crash may see Hamilton and Rosberg fined, or even suspended – a threat Press Association Sport understands that a furious Wolff issued his drivers with following their very first collision at the Belgian Grand Prix nearly two years ago.
For now, Rosberg holds an 11-point lead over his team-mate, but Walker, who turns 93 later this year, is confident that Hamilton will win the title.
“I have no doubt in my mind that, provided he doesn’t keep on having problems, Lewis will win the championship,” Walker, a pundit for Channel 4’s F1 team, added.
“Lewis has been accused of not being as good a thinker as Rosberg, but he is a better driver. If you put the two of them in the same car, and both cars last the distance, I would always expect Hamilton to win.”