Wolff relaxed about driver rivalry


Published: Wednesday 18th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff is convinced the lessons learned last year will serve the team well should issues again arise between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg this Formula One season.

The occasionally bitter rivalry was one of the highlights of 2014, notably in Monaco and Spa where tempers flared and a friendship harking back to their karting days foundered.

The duo tested the patience of Wolff and non-executive chairman Niki Lauda, with the law laid down after Rosberg collided with Hamilton at Spa.

Wolff appreciates new incidents may occur this season should the pair again go head to head for the championship, but feels they will be suitably equipped to deal with them.

“They are team-mates fighting against each other for the Formula One world championship so you cannot expect them to be best friends,” Wolff told Press Association Sport.

“They have a very long relationship with one another, but the team never expected it to be any different (last year) to how it was.

“They are very professional, very respectful of one another, and this is what is important – to keep the spirit within the team.

“But we were very well aware last year they could run into difficult moments, and we are very well aware this could happen this year as well.

“But we’ve learned a lot from last year, learned a lot from working with each other, analysing our mistakes and we will be trying to do things better in 2015.”

Wolff concedes last year proved to be a steep learning curve given the events that transpired, adding: “We had our ups and downs.

“We had so-called rules of engagement within the team, and those rules developed throughout the season.

“There were situations we hadn’t discussed before, which we didn’t expect.

“One of the key moments was Spa, and thereafter we had a very successful run as a team.

“Now are there areas for improvement? There are always areas for improvement.

“It’s about the interaction between humans, high-performing individuals, and therefore it’s not always easy.”

Published: Wednesday 18th February 2015 by The News Editor

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