Wolff: Let drivers show emotions

Published: Friday 17th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has made it clear he will never make any attempt to quell the emotion of drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

Rosberg has come under fire this past week for turning on Hamilton in the post-Chinese Grand Prix press conference on Sunday.

Whilst Rosberg was valid in his call over the radio for Hamilton to speed up during the crucial middle session of the race for fear of falling into the clutches of a chasing Sebastian Vettel in his Ferrari, his highly-emotional dig at Hamilton has been questioned.

Damon Hill, the 1996 world champion, suggested Rosberg had shot himself in the foot by airing his grievances in such a public way.

Wolff, though, insists Rosberg and Hamilton are clear to vent their feelings, so he was unsurprised at what transpired after the race at the Shanghai International Circuit.

“That scenario (what happened in the race) was discussed on Sunday morning and you must understand the emotions in that moment,” said Wolff, speaking to Press Association Sport ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

“We don’t sensor them being emotional. They get out of the car after two hours and they’re either happy or frustrated, and you need to allow that.”

Despite all within Mercedes learning from what transpired between Rosberg and Hamilton last season, Wolff concedes that whilst he does not believe their rivalry will boil over this term as it did in Belgium in August, not every scenario can be accounted for.

“You can try and have a handle and be on top of situations and try to understand where it’s heading to, whether it’s dangerous ground or not,” said Wolff.

“But it’s still racing, there is a certain degree of unpredictability in the sport.

“Of course, both of them know of the responsibilities they have towards the thousand people who are behind the performance of the car, and they appreciate that and honour that.

“But then it’s also a drivers’ championship and they know the priorities pretty well.

“They have functioned well since the beginning, with a little wobble here and there, and probably this is how it’s going to continue.”

At present, Hamilton appears to have a clear edge over Rosberg after finishing ahead of the German in all three qualifying sessions and the races.

Wolff, though, has no doubt Rosberg will hit back at some stage, as was the case last season after Hamilton’s storming four-race run which followed his retirement in the season-opener in Australia.

“When you look at the performance in qualifying in China there were just four hundredths (of a second) between them. That is not someone who is clearly beaten,” said Wolff.

“That is a tiny little edge which was enough for Lewis to make it on pole and control the race. It could have been completely different if Nico had been on pole.

“We’ve only had three races and the last one could have ended differently. Let us look at it after another couple of races.

“But Nico wouldn’t be in Formula One as a multiple race winner and a challenger for the championship if he allowed himself to be destabilised after three races.

“I fully expect him to come bouncing back. I don’t know when it will happen but he’s always going to be there, no doubt.”

Published: Friday 17th April 2015 by The News Editor

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