Mercedes may enforce team orders on drivers

Tom Howard

Monday 25th August, 2014 - 3:25pm


Mercedes may enforce team orders upon its drivers

Mercedes may enforce team orders upon its drivers

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has warned the team may no longer allow its drivers the freedom to race each other following the controversial clash between team-mates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton at Spa.

Wolff and non executive chairman Niki Lauda were angered by a collision involving its two title protagonists on lap two of the Belgian Grand Prix, which saw Rosberg inflict a puncture on race leader Hamilton.

The incident cost the team crucial world championship points and a likely one-two finish.

Rosberg went on to finish second behind race winner Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, while Hamilton retired from the race slipping 29 points adrift of his team-mate in the standings.

Having labelled the incident as “unacceptable”, Wolff said the team will not tolerate a repeat of this incident in the future, hinting that they could enforce team orders upon its drivers.

The team held a meeting with its drivers to discuss the incident after the race.

“It would be too early to elaborate in detail because the devil lies in the detail,” said Wolff.

“We’re all fans and we owe it to ourselves and everybody out there to let them race.

“That philosophy has ended in Mercedes losing many valuable points and we don’t want to end up in Abu Dhabi, with a season where we lost the championship, be it constructors’ or drivers’, because we’re too much race fans.

“We’ve probably not hit the self-destruct button yet but there is a lot at stake, and if you don’t manage this properly now it could end up at that point.

“It’s one thing enjoying great races and letting them fight with each other, but if you look like a fool at the end of the season then you haven’t won anything.”

Hamilton fanned the flames after revealing that Rosberg claimed he deliberately made contact with the 2008 world champion’s Mercedes at Les Combes.

“We just had a meeting about it and he basically said he did it on purpose,” said Hamilton.

“He said he could have avoided it. He said ‘I did it to prove a point’. He basically said I did it to prove a point.

“And you don’t have to just rely on me. Go and ask Toto (Wolff) and Paddy (Lowe) who are not happy with him as well.”

Wolff dismissed allegations that Rosberg intended to collide with Hamilton claiming his version of events had been misinterpreted.

However, the Mercedes boss has revealed the team may be forced to impose stricter sanctions on its drivers to avoid any future on-track flare ups.

“We’ve seen the limits of the slap on the wrist,” added Wolff.

“Maybe the slap on the wrist is not enough.

“If Lewis has said that it’s going to be a slap on the wrist, and that there’s going to be no consequence, then he’s not aware of what consequences we can implement.”