OCTOBER 12, 2016
Lauda will talk to Hamilton about media blow-up
Niki Lauda thinks Lewis Hamilton will be back up to speed in Austin next weekend -- even when it comes to his media responsibilities.
While his engine was smoking in Malaysia, it was the reigning world champion's relationship with the press that blew up a week later at Suzuka.
He was chided for playing with Snapchat throughout Thursday's FIA press conference, and then he walked out of a post-qualifying Mercedes press conference without answering questions.
Asked if Hamilton is wasting energy at a crucial phase of the season with a media run-in, team boss Toto Wolff admitted: "The danger is that you can't check off these things easily.
"On the other hand, Nico (Rosberg) does everything right, pushing all distractions aside, which is working for him this year," he told German television.
Mercedes team chairman Lauda, on the other hand, does not think Hamilton is blowing energy by rowing with the press, but he vowed to help the Briton move on anyway.
"It will not get out of hand," he said. "We will talk to him so that he can politely proceed with the media, especially when we convene our press conferences."
Rosberg said after Suzuka that Hamilton is actually working harder than ever before, and Wolff agrees.
"In Malaysia, I saw a Lewis who dominated the weekend and then he had the engine failure, and if he had had a week (to move on) it would have been all ok," he said.
"But then there was the press conference and this media story. Whether it influenced him? I don't think so. I don't think it's his priority," added Wolff.