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Former F1 champion, Nico Rosberg, has said that he felt what Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said to Lewis Hamilton over the radio at Imola was “not quite the truth”.

As Hamilton crossed the line in thirteenth place having been lapped by the race winner, Max Verstappen, Wolff apologised to Hamilton saying that the car was not driveable. He said:

“Sorry for what you have needed to drive today. I know this is undriveable and not what we deserve to score as a result.

“We’ll move from there, but this was a terrible race. We will come out of this.”

Even though there is still a long way to go in the 2022 season, Hamilton has already revealed that he now has no hopes of getting the title this year. As Hamilton’s teammate George Russell managed to gain twelve points from the race, Nico Rosberg told Sky Sports F1 that he thinks Wolff was playing the “mental game” with Hamilton.

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Rosberg said:

“Toto was playing the mental game, which is very smart on his behalf,”

“[Mercedes are] taking the blame themselves, really trying to support Lewis mentally, lifting him up and saying, ‘hey, Lewis, it’s not your doing, it’s really on us’. That’s very smart because it’s not quite the truth.

“Let’s not forget Russell is in P4 with that same car, so Lewis definitely had a big role to play in that poor result this weekend.

“Russell still managed to get P4 out of it with a brilliant weekend, so there was more in that car.”

Lewis Hamilton’s car will have a different set-up to George Russell’s but with Russell now having a 21-point lead on Hamilton, it doesn’t look good for the seven-time champion.