3 July 2016
F1 Austrian Grand Prix: Wolff ‘fed up’ of analysing Hamilton, Rosberg incidents
Toto Wolff: It's unpopular, makes me puke myself , but if the racing is not possible without contact, then team orders is the consequence
Toto Wolff has threatened Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg that he will instigate team orders between the two Mercedes drivers if they are unable to race another without incident, despite saying such a scenario makes him 'puke himself'.
Rosberg and Hamilton collided on the final lap of the Austrian Grand Prix, with Hamilton surviving the turn two impact to take victory and Rosberg slipping to fourth with damage. Rosberg was later blamed for the collision, though the 10secs penalty does not change his result.
Regardless, Wolff aired his fury at the situation in the immediate aftermath, declaring the collision as 'brainless' on live television, albeit without pointing blame at a specific driver.
It was a strategy he continued to maintain during his media session later in the evening, Wolff refusing to apportion fault, even if he reiterated his dissatisfaction at having to mediate after another inter-team collision, particularly after their collision in the Spanish Grand Prix.
“I don't want to attribute any blame because every time you watch the video and you look at on-boards there is new information,” he said. “You can't clearly say who is more to blame than the other. I have a personal opinion, and I'm not going to express it here. As a matter of fact that needs to be avoided.
“In Barcelona I was much easier with it because we had 30 races without any collision (it was 29), it was clear it was eventually going to happen, it wiped out both cars.
“From my naïve thinking I said to myself 'Okay, that's it, they've learned their lesson, they've seen the consequences and it's not going to happen anymore'. But here we go, it happens again.”
Significantly, Wolff says the incident may now force Mercedes to begin introducing team orders to prevent it happening again, even though he says it makes him 'puke himself'.
So the only consequence is to look at all the options available on the table, and one option is to freeze the order of a certain stage in the race.
“It's unpopular, makes me puke myself because I like to see them race, but if the racing is not possible without contact, then that's the consequence. We'll have to cool down a little bit and in the next couple of days figure it out.”
The collision is the latest in a spate of incidents involving the two drivers since 2014 and is arguably the most damning since Belgium 2014 when Rosberg was blamed for deliberately making contact with Hamilton. However, the pair have also made contact twice this year, in Spain and Canada.
With only a few days to go before the British Grand Prix, the two drivers are split by just 11 points in the standings.
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