Mercedes thought about retiring Rosberg – Wolff


Nico Rosberg would have “suffered” had he not beaten Lewis Hamilton in Sunday’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Mercedes boss Niki Lauda has said.Hamilton was third running into the first corner after Rosberg and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel made better starts than him and then immediately dropped to sixth after being pushed wide by his team-mate.The red flags came out after a high-speed collision between McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutierrez of Haas about a third of the way through the race.Daniel Ricciardo’s fourth place finish equalled the best result for an Australian driver on home soil – a tie with Mark Webber’s fourth place in 2012.New American team Haas would have been thrilled with its debut, Romain Grosjean finishing a creditable sixth. Gutierrez spun several times into the gravel but Alonso’s momentum caused him to roll through the air, flipping more than twice, before colliding with the wall upside down.”This year you have more choices with the tyres, so it’s a bit hard to chose and this weekend with tricky conditions we didn’t really know how the tyres would have worked”. Fernando Alonso walked away from a spectacular crash that reduced his McLaren to a mangled wreck. The race was stopped for 22 minutes before resuming.When the race restarted, Vettel was on super-softs, Hamilton unchanged after his stop on mediums and Rosberg also on the same, which meant the race was there for the taking for Rosberg, who only had to wait for Vettel’s inevitable stop to take the lead, and the race. Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg took seventh ahead of the Williams of Valteri Bottas. the squabbling Torro Rosso pair of Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen rounded off the top 10.After coming out of that, Rosberg swapped his cars soft tyres to the mediums and only had to wait until Vettel had to make his stop, which happened on lap 35.”The strategy was crucial, I am really thankful for that, the team did a great job”, Rosberg said.NO sooner had the race got into a pattern, a huge incident, suspended the action at Albert Park. I’ve had it much worse in the first race.During the race in Melbourne, Vettel and his teammate Kimi Raikkonen were leading the pack after an impressive start saw them jump the two Mercedes’.”Maybe in hindsight we could have done something else [with tire strategy] but I’m not willing to blame anyone”.