Niki Lauda praised Nico Rosberg for driving "a perfect race" as he bounced back from his title disappointment to win the Mexican Grand Prix.
Following Lewis Hamilton's victory in Austin which secured the Briton's third world championship, Rosberg hit back in Mexico by taking pole position and leading almost every lap. Rosberg only dropped to second during the pit stop phases and Lauda praised his performance even in the face of an unplanned second stop for both drivers.
“Nico drove better, no question," Lauda said. "Nico won the race, did a perfect job and was quicker than Lewis. Then there was maybe a discussion about pit stops. The strategy was to have one pit stop but then when we looked at the tyre wear and the safety we had to the third guy it was logic to make the second pit stop. Then the team decided we would do another pit stop. Then Lewis says: ‘Why the hell do I have to do another pit stop?’
“Then he came in the next lap, but it’s simple to explain; the strategists sit on the pit wall and they take a decision. If the drivers like it or not, that’s the way it is. But I don’t think Lewis is upset, I’m just saying this might be the next question and I give you the answer right away.”
And Lauda insists he was not concerned about the two drivers potentially having a flashpoint at the start of the race. Asked if he had been anxious, Lauda replied: “No, not at all.
"No pre-race discussion. No there was no discussion before. They did everything themselves, we didn’t say anything and that was it.”
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