Wolff says driver rows will race on for now

JULY 28, 2016

Wolff says driver rows will race on for now

Toto Wolff has admitted that Mercedes' philosophy of signing two 'number 1' drivers will never be perfect.

His comments come after the latest public disagreement between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, who are both staying at the team until the end of 2018 at least.

In Hungary, Hamilton disagreed with Rosberg not being penalised in qualifying to the point that he even visited race control for clarification about how much a driver needs to slow for yellow flags.

And Bild newspaper now claims that Hamilton will raise the issue again in Friday's race briefing ahead of the German grand prix at Hockenheim.

The report said Mercedes is not overly happy with Hamilton's stance, especially having raised the issue directly with Charlie Whiting.

"I don't think I influenced the stewards investigation," the reigning world champion is quoted as saying.

For his part, team boss Wolff says he is happy with Mercedes' current driver lineup but admitted it is "not perfect".

"A perfect pairing would be two number ones at the same level, both capable of winning the world championship and not generating any controversy.

"But this is an illusion that does not exist. We have opted for this philosophy for the benefits it has to the team but with the disadvantage that we have to do a lot of people management," he told Sport Bild.

"There is always one winner and one loser, one happy and one unhappy one each Sunday."

But Wolff said Hamilton vs Rosberg does work for Mercedes.

"Their relationship is constantly changing, it's up and down, but they're in their fourth year and fighting for the title for the third time and so far it has gone relatively well.

"We don't know for how long that will be the case, and there may be a point in which we say 'We did it for four or five or six years but can't do it anymore.

"Then it may be that we need to exchange the drivers or change the philosophy. So far we aren't there yet but it is a wild horse that we ride," Wolff added.

(GMM)

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