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Wolff admits driver strategy change likely

NEWS STORY
24/08/2014

As the fall-out from today's second lap incident continues, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admits the team may need to rethink its policy on team orders.

To the delight of fans, broadcaster and the media, the German outfit, whose car is clearly the class of the field, has made a point of allowing its two drivers to race one another despite fears that it could all end in tears.

Whilst fans have thrilled to the numerous wheel-to-wheel battles between the two drivers, a number of incidents - all played up to the full by the media - have seen the relationship between the two deteriorate.

With an eye on how the in-team dispute between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost almost derailed McLaren's hopes in the late 80s and early 90s, many feared history might repeat itself at Brackley.

Today, following a number of signs that the temperature was clearly rising, things finally hit rock bottom, the two colliding on the second lap, subsequently forcing Hamilton to retire from the race, and a post race meeting which led to the Briton claiming that Rosberg admitted to deliberately hitting his car.

Acknowledging that the in-fighting has not only allowed Daniel Ricciardo to take his third win of the season but means the Australian could yet steal the title from under Mercedes nose - what with double points on offer in Abu Dhabi - Wolff has admitted that it may now be time to take action.

Asked whether his team might now have to start invoking team orders, the Austrian told reporters: "Unfortunately, yes.

"It would be too early to elaborate in detail because the devil lies in the detail," he continued. "We are all fans and we owe it to ourselves and everybody out there to let them race. Today 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 were too much race fans."

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1. Posted by wmcot54, 27/08/2014 5:42

"For those of you who want to watch a "gentleman's sport" I suggest you start watching curling. I want to see racing. Look at the WEC, ELMS, ALMS(now TUDOR) and similar and you will see real racing with a lot of paint-swapping."

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2. Posted by wmcot54, 27/08/2014 5:39

"In response to Robert about "today's F1" I would have to say that by your definition it's not even F1 at all! There are too many rules, regulations and penalties. Watching a current F1 race is a bit like watching one of the "races" with vintage F1 cars. Nobody want their precious vehicle to be touched so nobody "really" races!"

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3. Posted by Kkiirmki, 25/08/2014 21:40

"I'm not sure how "team orders" would have stopped this from happening? Sure, when Mercedes looked like they were going to waltz to both titles they decided to play the partisan good guy F1 racers..."no team orders at Mercedes, we let our drivers race one another". Now that there's a chance their season's going to implode they suddenly change tack. "

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4. Posted by Robert, 25/08/2014 20:44

"To C5:

If you believe that you're a gentleman then you should appreciate sporting behaviour, AS I DO, right!?

People booed Nico because they 'know' that he turned into Lewis on purpose - you should see the photos and watch Sky Tv's slow motion video clip - you can see that Lewis gave Nico sufficient room for the corner yet Nico had full right-hand lock on his steering when, as far as I can judge, only a half turn on the steering was necessary! I believe that if the FIA had the spine to investigate all the facts, photos and videos, they will come to this conclusion! But obviously I doubt Jean Todt will do anything!

I am not being partisan, I just like fair and sporting behaviour in F1 - and all sport actually - I don't care who the driver is! That is why I appreciate drivers like Lewis, Fernando, Kimi, Jenson, Jacque V etc., and you know that when a collision happens it was a real accident and they will apologise afterwards, and I hated drivers like Michael (when he was still competing), amongst others, and now Nico!

As I have mentioned before, the only reason why good drivers, like Lewis and Fenando, have collisions, on the whole, is because the bad drivers just will not accept that they have been beaten and will come back with impossible moves! Yes! Lewis does make a few genuine mistakes, but the last time he really did something stupid was when he was still at McLaren and collided with his then teammate Jenson when Lewis went on the inside of Jenson as Jenson was coming back to his racing line! Lewis apologise for the accident!

To be honest, I think the biggest shock to me, and to most people, was that we thought Nico was a nice chap, but he actually turned out to be another Michael! Well, I suppose he is desparate to win the championship, at any costs it seems!
"

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5. Posted by C5, 25/08/2014 19:53

"@Robert,

Well, your coverage being out would explain how you can reach the conclusions you do. For most of the rest of us, who actually saw the race, it was very clear that Rosberg simply did to Lewis what Lewis has done to others countless times and not back out. This time it just so happened that the cars actually touched. No malice was intended. And the FIA stewards agreed.

If you think booing ANY driver is OK, may I suggest you stick to football and leave racing to gentlemen who can appreciate talent over partisanship. For me, that includes Lewis, who despite his tiresome constant whining is an extremely talented driver. With the attitude he is displaying, I personally don't think he is worthy of another championship. But I will applaud him if he is on the podium, and if he end up on the top of the sheet at the end of the season, I will applaud him for that as well. THAT it motor racing.
"

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6. Posted by Spartacus, 25/08/2014 19:50

"This incident was very unfortunate for ROS. Although he collected a 2nd place podium his actions were intolerable. If you are a car following another you have to give them room especially if you are teammates. The leading car is going to take their line "Close the door" and the following driver has to back off. If this was NASCAR it is a different story where you bump fenders and fight your way through. Police use a "pick maneuver" to spin a car to a stop, this is similar in F1 although they usually break a front wing and cut a tire. I think in Champ Car they actually created a rule that was coined "Michael Andretti" rule that was similar to this incident. HAM was half a car length ahead of ROS he did not need to give him any room especially on the 2nd lap of the race."

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7. Posted by Robert, 25/08/2014 16:40

"Sorry to HHBiker:

Unfortunately, due to technical problems here, the broadcast of the Belgium race was severely interrupted and we couldn't see major parts of the full race! It was so frustrating!

However, judging from what I did see of Alonso's race, which was already severely hampered from the start by his team's error, he was in so many dog-fights throughout the race that it must have been so frustrating for him (such as with Magnussen), and I'm amazed that he actually finished seventh!

Yeah, well, even the 'best' can't avoid hitting someone when he's too frustrated with other drivers going all over the place (like Magnussen), even when he had tried his hardest to avoid collisions, and definitely NOT collide 'on purpose' just 'to prove a point'! Cheers!
"

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8. Posted by HappyHippyBiker, 25/08/2014 15:37

"In reply yo Robert's satement to me:

It is noteworthy that you use the example of Alonso as a 'good, sporting' driver for not colliding with other drivers whilst Rosberg is a 'bad, unsporting' driver for creating an incident where his front wing came into contact with Hamiltons rear wheel ..... was this the same Alonso that, later in the race, lost his front wing on Vettels rear wheel?"

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9. Posted by Robert, 25/08/2014 11:50

"For all those people still living in the past and comparing what happened 10, 20, and even 30 years ago - like Senna and Prost, THIS IS 2014!!! We now have more rules and regulations for sporting behaviour, as well as for safety too!!!

IN TODAY'S F1, it is NOT alright to try and 'make a point' by deliberately NOT avoiding a collision and NOT backing out of a risky and impossible overtaking move when the other driver is clearly almost a full car in front! This collision could had killed somebody, and it's also against the FIA regulations and Nico should be punished!!!

So Nico should be booed and should be BANNED!"

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10. Posted by Jorjitop, 25/08/2014 10:17 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 25/08/2014 14:03)

"Stop repeating the Hamilton heresay "Rosberg admitted to deliberately hitting his car." Hamilton, and all the best drivers, regularly put themselves in a position where the other car has to back off, or there will be an accident. Hamilton has provoked many more accidents that Rosberg.

The fact is that Rosberg did not back off and all Hamilton had to do was give him a few more centimeters and they would not have touched. If it had been Alonso or Vettel, he would have respected them and given them space. In fact, Vettel did cut off Alonso later in the race, but nothing was said. But, with Rosberg, Lewis just saw the "red haze" and cut him off.

It is time that Hamilton is told that he should give space to his colleague and not run him off the track as he did in past races when Rosberg tried to pass. This is the bully crying when the other guy does not back down."

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11. Posted by my tyres are going off, 25/08/2014 9:36

"I'm not the greatest Lewis fan but in this case Nico has made a move that caused an accident and gained a significant lead in the championship. To many if he wins then this will be the equivalent of Hill getting rammed out of the track by Schumacher who also never took the blame. In the absence of any FIA sanction the real question is what do Merc do now? Short of sitting Nico on the subs bench for a couple of races he has got away with it along with 25 points."

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12. Posted by Robert, 25/08/2014 9:03

"To C5:

Because Nico basically 'admitted' that he had 'not backed down' - out of an unsuccessful overtaking move - just'to prove a point' - ie that in effect, Nico had deliberately not even try to avoid a collision with Lewis', and that means he is being unsporting, and that is an FIA offence!
And in fact, as Sky TV showed in slow motion, Nico probably had deliberately turned into Lewis's rear tyre 'to prove that point'!

To HappyHippyBiker:

Only bad drivers and unsporting drivers collide with other, normally better drivers!
For example, Lewis and Fernando normally don't collide with other drivers, but bad drivers and unsporting drivers collide with them because they just won't accept the fact that they have been beaten and still try coming back in very risky and impossible moves which a better driver would never expect! In my opinion, I would name the few 'bad' drivers in their past as: Romain Grosjean, Kamui Kobayashi, Sergio Perez, Pastor Maldonado, Felipe Massa, and unsporting drivers as: Michael Schumacher, and now Nico Rosberg!"

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13. Posted by C5, 25/08/2014 2:26

"@Robert, why are you shouting?
"

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14. Posted by HappyHippyBiker, 25/08/2014 1:53

"When there are two equal (or near equal) drivers in the same team racing for a Drivers Championship with no other real protagonists there is going to be clashes between the two. when Vettel and Webber were fighting each other they collided, however I think Hamilton is doing himself or the team no favors by seemingly publicly stating that the collision was deliberate without having the FIA investigate this first. I think it would be wisest, if not as entertaining, that Mercedes did impose greater control of the two drivers until the Constructors Championship is wrapped up ...... then let the two of them sort it out on track!"

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15. Posted by Robert, 24/08/2014 22:57 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 25/08/2014 14:03)

"This comment was removed by an administrator as it was judged to have broken the site's posting rules and etiquette."

Rating: Negative (-3)

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