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Wolff threatens changes unless driver tensions end

Toto Wolff says if Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg continue to create tensions inside the Mercedes camp he may be forced to make changes in the future
Toto Wolff says if Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg continue to create tensions inside the Mercedes camp he could be forced to make driver line-up changes in the future.

Mercedes has just completed a record-breaking season in Formula 1; 16 wins, 12 one-two finishes and 18 pole positions while ending the year with the highest-ever F1 Constructors' points tally on 703.

Despite this domination, Mercedes has needed to continually manage its drivers' fractious relationship, with Rosberg's fury at Hamilton's aggressive driving while the Brit has complained about the team's inflexibility with its race strategy, after being unable to challenge Rosberg on track over the final three races.

Wolff says constantly having to pacify and reason with one of his drivers after every race is an issue he wants to end this winter and if the tensions continue he may have no choice but to reconsider its driver line-up.

"We took the decision of having two evenly matched drivers in order to make the team progress faster and better," Wolff told motorsport.com. "It was a very conscious decision three years ago. We will consider if it is the best set-up for the team. Personality and character within the team is a crucial ingredient for the team success.

“We struggle sometimes in winning races on Sunday and having always one [driver] upset and this spills over into the team. It is something that needs to stop."

Wolff also explained it is important for Mercedes to work with 'nice guys' and admits its biggest weaknesses is the strained relationship between its two drivers and the supporting team personnel.

Both Rosberg and Hamilton have publically argued with their race engineers over the team radio this year and Wolff isn't happy that it has also continued in private.

"There is lots going on behind closed doors," he said. "I feel that the team is stronger than ever. We are having huge unity within the team, but the difficult relationship of the drivers is one of our weaknesses. And that is not good.

"The biggest weakness is the dynamic of the relationship between the drivers – and sometimes between the drivers and the team."

Rosberg's current contract with Mercedes expires at the end of the 2016 season, while Hamilton has recently signed a three-year extension to stay with the team until the end of 2018.



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Taipan

December 02, 2015 12:27 PM

SmithOpinion: There is no question who the better driver is, it has been the same since they race karts together as teenagers. Hamilton has always been the faster driver when put in equal equipment, so for all you Hamilton haters (Lulu is unimaginative and really pathetic), get real. Qnd where did you get that Hamilton would belet go, he has a three year contract, so it would cost Mercedes millions. Rosberg is done at the end of 2016, and has no World Championships to his name, he's the number 2 driver so get real!
If Lulu is so fast and Nico is so number 2 you'd think Lulu would manage to beat him quite easily without all the sulks, fall outs, blaming strategy, blaming the car, blaming the tracks etc etc etc. Sorry but Lulu is an over rated, self obsessed bellend who has always caused more trouble than he's worth.



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