Wolff: Rivalry won't boil over
3:04pm Monday 11th August 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff is confident the simmering rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will not boil over and has revealed the pair may be allowed to duel for the Formula One title.
German Rosberg leads the drivers' standings on 202 points, with Briton Hamilton 11 points behind and their nearest rival Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) a further 60 points adrift.
Mercedes have won nine of the 11 grands prix this season and it appears Rosberg and Hamilton, whose relationship has been frosty of late, are in pole position for the title.
Wolff told formula1.com: "Yes, potentially it is going to get more heated, but if we carry on in performing as we do now I am still carefully optimistic that it is only up to the two of them in fighting for the world championship.
"Then we get to a situation where we could discuss if we want to maintain the way we work with each other.
"Do we think it is beneficial for the car, the team, and both sides of the garage? Or do we want to recalibrate a little bit, because it is about the two of them and one remaining world championship?
"That is a question mark - I don't know, because I haven't been there yet. It is new ground.
"For the drivers, it is about the drivers' world championship, but nevertheless you have to understand that there is a big organisation behind them - one of the biggest and most well-known brands in the world - and sometimes the team comes first. That is clear and both of them acknowledge and accept that."
The relationship between the drivers was subject to scrutiny when Hamilton refused to allow Rosberg to pass during the Hungarian Grand Prix last month, acting against team orders.
However, Wolff believes the pair's relationship is good for the team, adding: " Until now it has functioned really well.
"Could it come to a point where we say it is difficult to manage? It could be, but I don't see it - not with the two of them.
"They push each other to new levels, to new heights, in a way that is not detrimental to the team.
"It can get quite messy, and we have seen that at other teams. To this point it has been very beneficial for the team.
"We are in good spirits here, we have a good atmosphere, and having two drivers on that level, racing each other like they do, is not only good for the brand but also for performance overall.
"It is a very important ingredient for the success of the team."