Toto Wolff says Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton would lose 'every single race' if they were permitted to choose their own strategies, but says he doesn't believe they would attempt it even if they were allowed to.
Rosberg's fifth win of the season in Brazil ensured him of second place in the overall drivers' standings, completing a set for Mercedes that also includes Lewis Hamilton's drivers' title and the constructors' crown.
However, Rosberg's success at Interlagos was achieved against the backdrop of Hamilton complaining he doesn't have influence over his tyre strategy, speculating that an alternative method may have given him a better shot at victory since he couldn't get close enough to pass on the road in his team-mate's 'dirty air'.
Though Hamilton has since accepted that a two-stop strategy would have been detrimental to his efforts, it did prompt Mercedes to clarify its position on applying strategies, saying drivers can have an influence but that its projections are often accurate.
However, though Wolff says hypothetically that Mercedes would be willing to allow the drivers to determine their own strategies, he doesn't believe they would.
“If you could say we are just giving it a try, and you in the car could decide the strategy, I bet none of them would want to do that. They clearly know what the result would be.”
“The driver in the car is going to lose every single race because that is not an instinct-driven decision. Your instinct might be right sometimes but if you are not having the full set of data you are going to get the majority of your races wrong so that is why we are going to keep it why it is.”
Still, Wolff does say that – going forward -, should the two drivers find themselves in a title-deciding situation, they would potentially be encouraged to follow their own path so as to prevent arguments of team bias.
“I had an interesting question beforehand and I need to think about it: what if this was the title decider. We would never want to interfere into a very important result about who comes first and second, never.
“So, maybe it is worth a thought what would happen if that would be such a crucial race, and how would we tackle that? And I haven't got an answer to that.”