Toto Wolff says he feels for Nico Rosberg following the United States Grand Prix and the way his error in the closing stages cost him both a race and his slim title dreams.
Rosberg endured a tumultuous race at the Circuit of the Americas, dropping to fifth early on after team-mate Lewis Hamilton nudged him wide in slippery conditions, only to aggressively work his way back up the order to lead into the closing stages.
However, wheelspin coming into turn 17 with eight laps remaining, which sent him wide across the run-off would open the door for Hamilton to come through, snatching a tenth win of a season that in turn meant he would celebrate becoming world champion for a third time.
A galling defeat for Rosberg against a fierce foe, the German expressed a sullen demeanour on the podium and in the immediate press conference, but even after a scathing critique of Hamilton for their turn one clash, Wolff was nonetheless sympathetic in the circumstances.
“Yes [I feel for him]. He is a racing driver who has just lost a world championship for a second time against his team-mate in a tough race. Certainly Turn 1 wasn't very nice and then he lost by his own mistake. It's clear that if he is upset we have to have respect for that.”
With Wolff previously suggesting that he fears a deterioration of relations similar to that of the Spa 2014 fall-out, he nonetheless admits he doesn't expect Rosberg to be happy for Hamilton.
“That is never going to happen. They are enemies in the same team and it is clear that we cannot expect him to cheer up in such a situation.”