Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says that the team have relaxed their position on intra-team orders regarding their drivers for the 2016 season. The battle between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg has had its moments in the past as the team were very integrated in the lap-by-lap management of both drivers. Toto said:
“We are reducing the rules because we have got more comfortable in working with each other.
“There is great respect among the individuals. I don’t feel it will be different than it has been in the last years.
“The regulations help us because there is much less engineering input into the car and into the driver.
“There much is less guidance in terms of strategy, tyre optimisation and how to drive the car so it is much more down to them to drive the car anyway.
“That’s very good for the sport. It puts more pressure and brings in additional new effort for the drivers.
“By continuing with those regulations, our role has been to step back a little bit. It pretty much fits our strategy in leaving it up to these two to fight it on track.”
That all sounds good from a competitive standpoint but we will see how relaxed the team are if another incident like Spa Francorchamps happens with Nico and Lewis coming together and ending one of the driver’s race.
Letting the two drivers race against each other is a concept the team have always tried to uphold but there have been times when on-track clashes were met with public scolding and mot notably for Nico Rosberg.
With an expiring contract, it will be interesting to see how Rosberg handles this season. Will he be a team player in hopes of re-signing or will he go great guns to win the title regardless of what happens on track between he and his teammate? That’s how Lewis approaches each season but Nico has a contract to think about as well.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT