Mercedes F1 boss Wolff expects Hamilton/Rosberg tensions to remain

nico rosberg toto wolff lewis hamilton

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes that tensions between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will remain in the future despite their friendly banter after the Formula 1 season finale.

Hamilton and Rosberg have endured several flashpoints this year – most famously at Monaco and Spa – as their Mercedes chiefs faced a hard time stopping their fighting hurting the team.

And although Rosberg made the effort to personally congratulate Hamilton after the Abu Dhabi title decider, pointing towards better relations between the men, Wolff is under no illusions that future trouble cannot be ruled out.

When asked if he believed their rivalry would reset and become normal again now, Wolff said: “It will reset a little bit over the winter and at the beginning of the season, before it gets competitive again.

“It’s very clear that if your team-mate is your biggest competitor and your biggest enemy then it gets tense.

“I have no doubt that we’ll have similar situations and similar challenges next year again between the two.

“To maintain it on the current level of respect – and you’ve seen it upstairs after the race – [when Rosberg spoke to Hamilton] shows they respect each other.

“So with all the emotions of a good or bad day in the office, I think it’s perfectly acceptable.”

 

“Spa was key moment”

Tensions between Rosberg and Hamilton escalated throughout the season, until matters boiled over on track at the Belgian Grand Prix when they collided.

It is that moment, allied to the way team bosses came down hard on the two men afterwards, that Wolff thinks was the key moment in defining the campaign.

“For me that was the decisive weekend of the year,” explained Wolff.

“Everything that we discussed and we wrote down was theory.

“And after that weekend we needed to make sure that this was not getting out of control for the team.

“What we did was we considered the options and I think coming out of Spa after your two drivers hit each other to take seven victories in a row and five 1-2s is satisfying, and it seems what we did was okay.”

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