'Not quite the truth': F1 great calls out Lewis Hamilton fallacy

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Pictured here is Mercedes F1 star Lewis Hamilton during pre-season testing in Bahrain in 2022.
F1 icon Nico Rosberg has accused Mercedes of bending the truth to protect seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton. Pic: Getty

Formula One icon Nico Rosberg says Mercedes haven't exactly been truthful about Lewis Hamilton's struggles in 2022.

Hamilton, the seven-time F1 world champion, admitted his title chances are effectively over after hitting a new low at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

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The Brit's season went from bad to worse after he finished 13th and was lapped by defending world champion and race winner, Max Verstappen.

Hamilton is now 31 points behind Verstappen in the championship and 58 behind Ferrari's current leader Charles Leclerc.

Following the race, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff absolved Hamilton of blame and insisted the car the 37-year-old has been given to drive this year is not up to scratch.

Despite the impressive showing from fourth-placed Russell, Wolff said it was clear his team had not delivered a car fit for a seven-time world champion.

"Sorry for what you have needed to drive today, I know this is undriveable," Wolff told Hamilton on team radio.

"This was a terrible race."

Speaking on Sky Sports, Rosberg - who won the 2016 world title as Hamilton's teammate at Mercedes - accused Wolff of not entirely being truthful about the situation.

"Toto was playing the mental game which is very smart on his behalf again," he said.

"Taking the blame themselves and really trying to support Lewis mentally. Lifting him up and saying that it wasn't Lewis' doing, it's on us.

"It's very smart because it's not quite the truth and let's not forget that Russell is in P4 with that same car, so Lewis definitely had a big role to play in that poor result this weekend."

Indeed, Hamilton's younger teammate Russell has now finished higher than the seven-time champion in the last three races.

Adding to he intrigue is the fact Hamilton and Wolff were spotted engaging in a heated argument in the Mercedes garage after qualifying at the Emilia Romagna GP.

Wolff brushed off any controversy surrounding the exchange by insisting it was simply "shared frustration" at the fact neither Mercedes driver reached Q3 in a 10-year first for the team.

"You can see how the tension is rising," Rosberg said.

"We saw how Toto, in my view, was angry at Lewis [after qualifying], because maybe Lewis criticised the team a little bit too harshly over the team internal radio about something they did.

"The tension's rising, and that's natural, and Lewis will obviously start to show those emotions a little bit."

Lewis Hamilton concedes 2022 title hopes are over

Mercedes have struggled in 2022 because they've been unable to come up with a solution to their new car 'porpoising' – bouncing at high speed – and not racing at the optimum height.

Following his 13th-placed finish at the Emilia Romagna, Hamilton made the staggering admission that he was "out of the championship, for sure."

Pictured here, Lewis Hamilton looks on before a race in the 2022 F1 season.
Lewis Hamilton has all but conceded that his F1 world title hopes are over in 2022. Pic: Getty

"There's no question about that, but I'll still keep working as hard as I can and try to pull it back together somehow," the Brit said.

“Theoretically yes, it’s still possible, but one has to be realistic.

“The problems we have are not small. The car, in terms of how it drives, the issues we have in the way it behaves… these guys are seconds, over a second ahead. There’s a worst-case scenario.

“If we happen to fix this at the next race, which we don’t currently have anything coming to fix it for the next race, we don’t have a solution just yet.

“Even to design something – if we do find what the solution is and we have to change it – the team will work as hard as it can, but things could take a month in design, and getting those things built could take some time.

“So, I think we just keep our heads down. We remain hopeful. We continue to chase but you just have to try and keep an eye on the realistic position we’re in and just got to work hard to make sure that we’re not in this position next year.”

with agencies

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