Mercedes refutes Senna/Prost feud comparisons

Friday 30th May, 2014 - 3:38pm


Wolff has downplayed comparisons between the Hamilton-Rosberg rivalry and that of Senna-Prost

Wolff has downplayed comparisons between the Hamilton/Rosberg rivalry and that of Senna/Prost

Mercedes Formula 1 chief Toto Wolff insists that the culture within his team remains “very different” to that seen at McLaren during the height of its Ayrton Senna/Alain Prost era.

Comparisons between the Lewis Hamilton/Nico Rosberg dynamic at Mercedes and the legendary McLaren fight have been frequent since last week’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Incensed by what he saw as a deliberate act from Rosberg in qualifying to bring out the yellow flags and ensure himself pole, Hamilton declared immediately that he’d “take a page out of Senna’s book” to deal with his team-mate.

Although later dismissing the comment as a joke, the 2008 world champion remained standoffish following Sunday’s race, refusing to acknowledge the German after his victory.

“It’s an intense relationship but this intensity is normal; they are both competitive guys and they are fighting for a World Championship,” wrote Wolff on the Mercedes team website this week.

“They have a competitive car with exactly the same strengths and weaknesses, so they need to fight for every little advantage when they can.

“We have seen a lot of talk about their relationship but that’s not the key thing for a successful campaign: it’s a job not a holiday, and the drivers need to work with and for the team first of all.

“There have been a lot of comparisons to the Senna/Prost scenario, which is a kind of compliment to both Lewis and Nico, but the situation here is very different.

“The racing philosophy of Mercedes-Benz is to allow our drivers to compete: we let the boys play with their toys, unless they break them.

“Sure, it can be pretty tense when they are racing so hard, but this intensity is normal: they are both competitive guys and they are fighting for a world championship.

“The drivers know we will not tolerate any incident.”

Rosberg now leads Hamilton by four points in the championship standings ahead of next weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix. comment policy

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