Again with the Lewis/Nico scolding

15

I’m unclear on how may times Mercedes boss Toto Wolff feels he needs to publicly warn his two driver, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, that their rivalry needs to be tamped down in 2016 lest the team be forced to jettison one of them.

It’s the second or third comment to the press in the last week about the issue:

“It’s very important to keep the spirit within the team, and the competition between Nico and Lewis has been very fierce, very competitive at times,” said Wolff.

“It’s understandable because they are fighting in a car that is capable of winning the championship against each other.

“The guy in the other car cannot be your friend, but we need to be careful that it doesn’t spill over on both sides of the garage.

“We’ve seen teams in the past where there is a competition being created that is not good for the dynamics within the team.”

So the final sentence must be where he feels this intra-team battle is heading and it’s what he wants to avoid. At the same moment, you have Paddy Lowe from Mercedes saying that Lewis is going to have an uncomfortable winter given that he’s been beaten by Nico in the last three races.

It’s the third time I’ve considered their remarks within the context of the team and perhaps this battle is galvanizing each side of the garage against the other but that’s nothing new in F1. Each crew wants their driver to win. Just ask NBC’s Steve Matchett.

I don’t envy Toto with two competitive drivers in the most dominant cars on the grid and both know this may be their final chance at getting so many titles on the trot. You have to strike while the iron is hot and Lewis has done so while Nico, no doubt, wants to.

Perhaps for the harmony within the team, it would be best if Ferrari, Red Bull or Williams somehow found massive performance gains over the winter and rendered this entire situation a moot point by beating Mercedes like a rented mule. That might be a win-win for everyone. No more F1 domination creating boring seasons and Lewis and Nico together again in harmony trying to beat another team instead of each other. No pressure or anything, Ferrari.

Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT

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Richard Piers

Like most of your comments, this was a non-event. Better next time ,I hope.

Joe Mama

It occurred to me the other day that Lewis should be thanking Nico for keeping the game close, and encouraging him to push even harder. The closer Nico is to him as he hauls in wins and titles, the more human he seems, the more vulnerable, and thus in a perverse way, the more deserving of his success. We can’t help but perceive that a runaway winner has got at least a bit of unfair advantage, which undermines the accompanying perception that he winning because he is a great driver. But with a talented teammate hot on his heels, everyone’s… Read more »

Paul KieferJr

Memo to Toto Wolff: If you say you’re going to do it, then do it. Otherwise, shut up. At some point, the “all-talk-no-action” gets a little tiring and you become just a noisy gnat that I need to swat.

Abhishek Choudhury

On the topic of boring seasons, I wonder if F1 is boring, because Mercedes is winning them all or the fact that Ferrari isn’t winnng half as much or simply because there aren’t enough duels on the racing track to get excited about. I think viewers /commentators/writers all use the three interchangeably to justify their position. Now if you aren’t Ferrari fan and you have nothing against the best car and driver winning, then whats left to crib about is the fact there aren’t enough racing duels, which is what matters in the end and nothing more.

runnah

Considering that both have been pampered racing drivers for the majority of their lives is it any surprise that they act like utter twits?

Dang I made a spelling error. ;)

jakobusvdl

Udder?

jakobusvdl

Toto might be serious, after all when there was friction between Ross Braun and Paddy Low, they stunned us all be letting Ross Braun go. So Nico and Lewis might well be dispensable if they are seen to be harming the function of the team.

Negative Camber

I think that was more Ross telling them to stick it than it was Toto firing him.

jakobusvdl

More than likely, but they (Toto /Mercedes) didn’t concede to Ross’ s views on his position as the technical head of the team, which precipitated his decision to leave.

thomin

Also, keep in mind that Mercedes have Pascal Wehrlein who’s their home boy and who seems to be bound for a Mercedes F1 cockpit.

jakobusvdl

So who do you reckon should be most nervous, Hamilton or Rosberg?

thomin

It’s close, but I’d say Rosberg. It’s hard to see them fielding two German drivers, Hamilton has proven to be slightly quicker, won two titles for the team plus he brings the bling-factor. On the other hand, Rosberg is the more corporate guy, has proven to be reliably fast, almost on par with Hamilton and of course has a long term contract. So both seem to be secure for now, with Hamilton being in the better position. However, if there were a fallout between one of the drivers and the team, they would have someone else to immediately come in.… Read more »

jakobusvdl

Hi Thomin, I think that is a pretty good assessment, based on what we know from the outside. What we don’t see is what is happening inside the team, if one or other if the drivers is being disruptive, I’d pick they’d be the one heading for the door. As you say, in terms of pace there is so little in it that as long has Mercedes have the dominant car, their drivers will be finishing 1 and 2 in the WDC, so it would be a foolish move to leave the team, or put yourself in the position of… Read more »

thomin

Exactly. But it the fact that Mercedes have their local hero ready also may influence their Behavior within the team. It’s always hard to judge personalisies from the outside, but imagine that Nico begins the next season like he ended the last whereas Lewis suffers a couple of DNFs, so that by half time, Nico is clearly ahead and hence is awarded No1 status, something Lewis has enjoyed so far. I could easily see Lewis feeling betrayed and not valued enough by a development like this. In the past, Mercedes may have been tempted to accommodate Lewis in a situation… Read more »

jakobusvdl

It would be great if the WDC isn’t just a playoff between Hamilton and Rosberg. But if it is it will be fascinating to see how the battle plays out. Both of them have shown they can behave pretty poorly when the pressure is on them – in my mind Hamilton more so than Rosberg, but its not a very edifying sight to witness.