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F1 Abu Dhabi GP: Wolff responds to Hamilton’s mechanic swap dig

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has explained the decision behind switching mechanics around in the team garage for 2016 and why it is a 'closed chapter'.
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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has explained the decision behind switching mechanics around in the team garage for 2016 and why it is a 'closed chapter' in his eyes.

In the Thursday FIA drivers' press conference with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg ahead of their F1 world title showdown in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton joked he will 'reveal all' behind the reasons for the mechanic switch around this year.

Despite his positive backing of the mechanics, Hamilton has continually voiced his displeasure at Mercedes' decision which went against his wishes and changed a set-up which saw the British driver to two consecutive F1 world championships.

Wolff has duly responded by explaining the drivers' concerns were taken into consideration but it was a decision made for the benefit of the full factory squad rather than purely Hamilton.

“I find it very remarkable how they have managed the relationship between the two of them for the benefit of the team taking it consideration it must be very intense and high pressure for them,” Wolff said. “That one comment was taken out and it is clear if you change a crew that is directly involved with the driver like mechanics or the ones who he looks up at pulling out of the garage, it can have a psychological effect we acknowledged that and it was part of our thinking when we shuffled around [the team members].

“We have to take decisions for many, many hundreds people and develop them. It is our duty and obligation to the 1500 people and the great brand to take the right decision and not just for one person.”

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Wolff has reiterated it was a team decision rather than for an individual after being pressed further on the issue and also emphasised it is a method of pushing the team further in the future – while joking he may release his own book to reveal details on the issue in the future like Hamilton.

“I appreciate the effect on a single driver and it was taken into consideration and maybe I will write a book in 10 years and put some things in there,” he said. “It is a matter of fact that we are 1,500 people in Brixworth and Brackley and it is about developing personnel who might be working on one part of the car this year and might become chief mechanic of the car next year and maybe even more potential within the organisation in the future.

“In a similar way we have done throughout the organisation, we are not keeping it static as it is dynamic structure and the same happens in the garage.”

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