Mercedes F1 team boss says drivers will stay free to race

The Mercedes Formula 1 team will only reconsider its policy of allowing Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to race wheel-to-wheel if they hit trouble

Mercedes F1 team boss says drivers will stay free to race

Hamilton and Rosberg produced a thrilling battle for victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, with Mercedes chiefs having made it clear that they were both free to fight it out all the way.

And although Hamilton admitted that his battle with Rosberg was "on the knife edge", Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has made it clear that he is happy for his drivers to deal with the situation themselves until there comes a time when they overstep the mark.

"It's great watching two drivers of that level racing each other, fair and square, not risking the other car and still delivering a mega show," he said.

"It doesn't get any better. It's advertising for Formula 1 in a moment where lots of people are talking Formula 1 down."

When asked if they will be free to continue racing like that all year, Wolff said: "Yes, until we lose some front wings and then we'll sit down again and discuss whether this was the strategy. But they are racing drivers so it is all academic...

"I think you need the drivers to understand where the team came from and it's important not to risk the image of our brand.

"We represent a big brand so we need to know what to do. And they did it in a fantastic and spectacular way."

TEAM ORDERS CAUSE TOO MUCH POLITICS

Paddy Lowe, Mercedes' executive director, said that the team was happy to put faith in its drivers, and reckoned it was easier dealing with the stress of seeing close racing than the politics of having a number one and number two driver.

"Team orders - putting in artificial constraints - is such a terrible thing for the entertainment/the spectacle, so we believe we should let the guys race, particularly in a situation where we have a pretty dominant car, which has become clear now," he said.

"It is all the more important to keep providing that entertainment and that excitement, for all of us. That is what it is all about.

"In any case, when you start putting in team orders, everyone gets unhappy. You just end up with everyone being a loser.

"We determined from the outset that we would want our drivers to race from lights to flag and that is what we did."

shares
comments
Red Bull F1 team focused on 'damage limitation' for now
Previous article

Red Bull F1 team focused on 'damage limitation' for now

Next article

Formula 1 the winner in Bahrain, according to leading figures

Formula 1 the winner in Bahrain, according to leading figures
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Plus

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Plus

Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022
How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector Plus

How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector

In 2026, Formula 1 plans to make the switch to a fully sustainable fuel, as the greater automotive world considers its own alternative propulsion methods. Biogasoline and e-fuels both have merit as 'drop-in' fuels but, equally, both have their shortcomings...

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far Plus

The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz came close to winning in Monaco but needed that race’s specific circumstances for his shot at a maiden Formula 1 victory to appear. Last weekend in Canada, he led the line for Ferrari in Charles Leclerc’s absence from the front. And there’s a key reason why Sainz has turned his 2022 form around

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

Plenty of high scores but just a single perfect 10 from the first Montreal race in three years, as Max Verstappen fended off late pressure from Carlos Sainz. Here’s Autosport’s assessment on the Formula 1 drivers from the Canadian Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022
Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP Plus

Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP

On paper the Canadian Grand Prix will go down as Max Verstappen’s latest triumph, fending off late pressure from Carlos Sainz to extend his Formula 1 world championship lead. But as safety car periods, virtual and real, shook up the race Ferrari demonstrated it can take the fight to Red Bull after recent failures

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022
The in-demand helmet designer creating works of art for F1's best Plus

The in-demand helmet designer creating works of art for F1's best

GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV pays a visit to designer Jens Munser, to observe the production of Mick Schumacher’s special helmet for the Miami Grand Prix. What follows is some fascinating insight on the mindsets of Mick’s dad Michael, and family friend Sebastian Vettel

Formula 1
Jun 19, 2022