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Mercedes deny team orders speculation at Italian Grand Prix

Mercedes pair Nico Rosberg and Toto Wolff shrugged off suggestions Lewis Hamilton won the Italian Grand Prix thanks to team orders.

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Rosberg had jumped Hamilton off the line, but conceded the lead - and ultimately the victory - when he missed the braking zone and was forced to take to the escape road at turn one on lap 29.

Lower downforce on cars due to the new regulations in place this season saw a large number of drivers struggle in the same area all weekend.

Some had suggested Rosberg had handed his team-mate the victory after causing his retirement from the Belgian Grand Prix in the previous race.

However, the German - who remains 22 points ahead of Hamilton in the drivers' standings - denied he had been instructed to make up for that error by the team.

Aware of the gossip, a dismissive Rosberg said: "They [the incidents] might look a bit strange, but it happened in practice.

"I could have made the corner, no problem, but there was an extremely high probability my tyre would have been square afterwards, and so I would have needed to have made two pit stops and lost a lot of time.

"With Lewis I should have tried to see how it went. I don't know, I just messed up.

"And I've heard about the theory, but what would be the reason for me to do something like that deliberately? There is no possible reason.

"If you're ordered by the team to do it then you would do it, but there is no reason why the team would ask me to change position, or something like that.

"The only thing in people's minds could be Spa, but Spa was a mistake which I've apologised for.

"It's not something where I have to give back something. Mistakes happen and that's the way it is, [I made] an apology and on we go.

"It's not like we now start shuffling and things like that."

Mercedes executive director Wolff was equally dismissive, and slammed suggestions he had been caught on camera smiling after seeing Hamilton move ahead.

He said: "Only a paranoid mind could come up with such an idea.

"Whoever picks that up and tries to interpret such a picture must be out of his mind.

"First of all, it's not live. So whenever the camera is pointing at you, the signal comes later. It wasn't synchronised with the picture.

"I feel like Big Brother is watching you, so maybe I will hide in the engineering office next time.

"There was a smile. I think it was when the two were close to each other, or closing up on each other. It was a smile for 'here we go again', a close battle."

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