With at least three public warnings that I can count over their behavior, the two Mercedes drivers have been told that team spirit and harmony is essential. In one such case, team boss Toto Wolff even suggested dumping one of the drivers if they continue to be divisive. Many F1 fans opined on which one should go but perhaps Wolff’s recent comments about Nico Rosberg’s contract extension is the first sign.
Coming in to the final year of a three-year deal, Rosberg’s contract will expire at the end of 2016. You’ll recall the contract negotiations last an incredibly long time last year and it took the team from the fall into May of 2015 to get a deal done with Lewis Hamilton. They don’t seem quite as determined now, do they? Wolff told AUTOSPORT:
“The line-up is a great line-up.
“Both of them are a major part of the team and responsible for getting the team to where we are today.
“But it’s early days to discuss that [Rosberg’s contract]. I want to see how the season pans out.
“There are areas we want to develop altogether as a team, and let’s see how that goes.”
If you’re Nico, do you see writing on the wall here? Do you go after the title knowing this may be your last chance? In doing so, do you battle it out with Lewis and let the carbon fiber fly regardless of what the team would like from both drivers which is some sort of harmony?
F1 is a selfish game and Hamilton has three titles not by being amenable and collegial with his teammates. Rumors also have the team looking at Max Verstappen as well so it seems it is time to shoot the moon for Nico.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT