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Rosberg and Wolff deny Mercedes Monza madness

Controversy regarding Mercedes continues this Formula 1 season, with widespread suggestions claiming Nico Rosberg handed teammate Lewis Hamilton victory at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza.

Hamilton was on pole but dropped behind at the start after technical difficulties, meaning Rosberg took the lead. But as the race continued, the German inexplicably missed the first chicane twice – the second time allowing the Briton to overtake him and ultimately win.

The incident followed events at the previous race in Belgium where the two Drivers’ Championship challengers crashed, with Rosberg taking the blame.

However, the leader this season (now by 22 points) was quick to deny claims he let Hamilton win, saying: “What would be the reason for me to do something like that deliberately? There is no possible reason.

“If you’re ordered by the team to do it then you would do it, but there is no reason why the team would ask me to change position, or something like that.

“The only thing in people’s minds could be Spa [in Belgium], but Spa was a mistake which I’ve apologised for.

“It’s not something where I have to give back something. Mistakes happen and that’s the way it is, (I made) an apology and on we go.”

While Rosberg’s quotes seem to make sense, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff was seen smiling immediately after Hamilton overtook his teammate.

But the Austrian was also stern with his response. “What is really crazy is that whoever picks that up and tries to interpret anything must be out of his mind,” he said. “First of all, [the TV footage is] not live, so whenever the camera is pointing at you the signal comes later, so it wasn’t synchronised with the picture.

“I feel like Big Brother is watching; I will hide in the engineering office next time.

“When the two were closing up to each other there was a smile – ‘Here we go again, in a close battle’. That was the smile,” Wolff explained.

“There was lots of pressure on Nico because Lewis was so quick yesterday and you could see that today as well.”

Three-time World Champion Jackie Stewart, though, had his own view: “I thought it was a bit too easy. I thought he could have at least made an effort to get round the corner. I first thought, ‘that’s wise’, because he knew it wasn’t a difficult thing to believe; the second time I thought, ‘hello what’s going on here?’”

Hamilton’s victory has now cut the gap by seven points on Rosberg, with six races to go. Despite that, Coral make the Englishman 4/5 odds-on favourite to win his second Championship, with the German priced at evens.