Toto Wolff says a meeting last winter with Lewis Hamilton was key to helping reset the driver's relationship with the Mercedes Formula 1 team.
Having won the 2014 and '15 F1 championships with Mercedes, Hamilton endured a frustrating '16 season as team-mate Nico Rosberg beat him to the title by five points.
Hamilton was unsettled by a pre-season move of mechanics between his and Rosberg's side of the garage, and had to deal with unreliability headlined by an engine failure while leading the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Briton won the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP but could not stop Rosberg wrapping up the title, even after backing him up with tactics that defied instructions from the team.
Wolff hosted Hamilton in the kitchen of his Oxford home several weeks later, which was crucial in clearing the remaining tension.
"When it gets intense during a season between two drivers, sometimes things remain unspoken and not discussed," Wolff told Autosport.
"At the end of the season is a good moment, where you can put everything on the table, some of the frustrations and undiscussed topics, and to reflect on them, and to analyse them and to agree or find out what actually happened.
"There's never an ultimate truth to say somebody is 100% right or 100% wrong, and so it was very important to find the cause."
Wolff admits the chat highlighted things that both he and Hamilton could have done differently in recent years, but he says such moments are to be expected when a team and driver are fighting for world championships.
"It's a learning process," he said.
"You cannot on one side expect to have the most ambitious driver in the car that will score the result that you are trying to achieve and on the other side expect them to be corporate robots.
"Nico and Lewis, and it's the same for Valtteri [Bottas], understand the huge effort that's being made behind them to deliver those cars and they understand the responsibility towards the brand and all these people they represent.
"But sometimes the DNA of a racing driver is going to make him look after himself.
"Over four years, we had these very rare moments of a situation where there wasn't an alignment on interest.
"And in hindsight there are things that we could have done better. It's important to realise and develop as a personality."