Mercedes rule out any bias in open letter to fans

Wed May 4, 2016 12:57pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Mercedes published an open letter to Formula One fans on Wednesday to emphasize team unity and counter accusations that championship leader Nico Rosberg is favored over Lewis Hamilton.

German driver Rosberg has won seven races in a row, including the first four of 2016, while Briton Hamilton has not triumphed since he won his third world title in Texas last October.

Hamilton has also had two engine failures in four races.

Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff spoke out against social media critics and conspiracy theorists at last weekend's Russian Grand Prix.

The team returned to the theme, addressing "the haters, the naysayers, the conspirators" and pointing out how much hard work was done behind the scenes to give each driver an equal chance.

"We have seen a lot of frustration aired online after the mechanical issues experienced in Sochi. We share those same emotions -- but for us it goes far beyond frustration," the letter said.

"There is no 'A' or 'B' team here," it said after chronicling the amount of work put in by more than 1,000 employees at the factory and racetrack to make the team successful.

Rosberg and Hamilton finished one-two in Russia but Mercedes said that had been little short of miraculous, despite appearances.   Continued...

Formula One - Bahrain F1 Grand Prix - Sakhir, Bahrain - 03/04/16 - Mercedes F1 driver Nico Rosberg of Germany sits in his car. REUTERS/Andrej Isakovic