Mercedes F1 boss says Hamilton/Rosberg not like Senna/Prost

The tense relationship between Formula 1 rivals Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg is "very different" to that of Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, according to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff

Mercedes F1 boss says Hamilton/Rosberg not like Senna/Prost

The personal battle between Mercedes team-mates Hamilton and Rosberg descended into bitter acrimony during last weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, where Hamilton felt Rosberg had deliberately run down the escape road in qualifying to bring out yellow flags and spoil Hamilton's attempt to snatch pole.

Hamilton suggested he would deal with the situation by taking a "page out of Senna's book", leading to further comparisons with the bitter rivalry that dominated F1 in the late '80s and early '90s, though Hamilton later said this was intended as a joke.

Gary Anderson: Managing the Mercedes drivers

The 2008 world champion also complained about Mercedes' strategy during the race, feeling he should have been allowed to pit earlier than his team-mate in order to try to pass him, and the pair refused to speak to each other on the podium after the race, leading to criticism from Mercedes executive Niki Lauda.

Wolff played down the historical comparison with Prost and Senna, despite the obvious tension between his drivers.

"There have been a lot of comparisons to the Senna/Prost scenario, which is a kind of compliment to Lewis and Nico, but the situation here is very different," Wolff told Mercedes' official website.

"The racing philosophy of Mercedes is to allow our drivers to compete: we let the boys play with their toys, unless they break them.

"It can be pretty tense when they are racing so hard, but the drivers know we will not tolerate any incident."

Wolff also reckons the fact Rosberg was not found guilty of any wrongdoing by the Monaco stewards suggests no underhand tactics were employed in order for him to gain an edge on Hamilton.

"The race stewards are the impartial authority. They saw the data, they gave Nico a pretty good grilling and they found no reason to believe it was anything other than a mistake, so in that situation you have to believe it was an honest mistake," Wolff added.

"Within the team we are transparent with our data and we give our drivers equal equipment and equal opportunity to succeed.

"We have fair processes in place to handle things like which driver runs first on the road in qualifying, or who has the priority with race strategy.

"We constantly question any area in which we think we can improve but we are not planning to make any changes.

"Our priority at every race is that a Silver Arrows wins, not which driver wins."

shares
comments
Alain Prost believes Formula 1 is letting its fans down in 2014

Previous article

Alain Prost believes Formula 1 is letting its fans down in 2014

Next article

Alonso thinks Mercedes and Red Bull deserve their F1 success

Alonso thinks Mercedes and Red Bull deserve their F1 success
Load comments
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021