Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg cannot make their case for or against the implementation of team orders, saying the decision will be taken by Mercedes internally.
In the wake of another controversial collision between the two drivers on the final lap of the Austrian Grand Prix, one that would see Rosberg blamed and punished with a ten-second penalty, an incensed Wolff indicated team orders would be imposed if the drivers cannot be trusted to race fairly.
In a year that has seen Hamilton and Rosberg make contact in Spain, Canada and now Austria, the latter collision could mark a dramatic shift in dynamic for the way Mercedes handles its drivers. Though Hamilton has urged Mercedes not to introduce team orders, Wolff suggests the matter is now out of the drivers' hands.
“We will make a decision irrespective of what they say,” he said. “It's the core race team that's got to make a decision and it could go either direction. The outcome need to be that we avoid contact between the two cars, so everything needs to be on the table. There's no going to be any what we'd call in German 'holy cow', we're going to look at everything.
Reflecting on whether the crackdown on team radio communications helped stir things up as Hamilton slipped behind Rosberg, Wolff has reiterated his view that the restrictions go 'too far' but accepts the FIA cannot leave the rules open to interpretation either.
“The FIA's not in an easy position either, because what is the limit? Teams might easily abuse it and under the title of safety try to communicate with the drivers.
“My opinion is we probably went a little too far in what is restricted. Open it up is actually Bernie's suggestion, not my idea. Maybe not the driver coaching bit, that's the only thing.”