Mercedes could drop one of its drivers


Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has admitted that should the team feel it is unable to manage its drivers one of them could be shown the door.

Despite, or because of, what happened in Belgium, and all that followed, the atmosphere within the Mercedes camp doesn't seem to have improved over the past two weeks.

Whilst Nico Rosberg has accepted responsibility for what happened at Spa, and the team has said that both drivers are free to continue racing, the German looked far from happy today ahead of the Italian Grand Prix weekend.

Lewis Hamilton, on the other hand, appeared far more relaxed, using this afternoon's press conference to suggest he has moved on and all is well, even if some are not quite convinced.

Whilst his team heads towards it first constructors' title, Wolff admits that there is concern the relationship between his two drivers could flare up again at any time, leaving the Brackley outfit with a difficult decision.

"We have made it very clear this is an unacceptable scenario for us, actually for both of them," he told BBC Radio 5 Live. "We don't want this to happen ever again and the consequences are very easy.

"If we are not able to manage the two of them following the Mercedes-Benz spirit then we need to admit that and take decisions and take consequences of having a different line-up probably," he warned.

Whilst Rosberg recently agreed a new "multi-year contract, teammate Hamilton is still in the midst of negotiations, though he admits he is keen to stay.

Asked about the punishment meted out to Rosberg following his admission that he accepted full responsibility for what happened at Spa, Wolff was giving nothing away, possibly having heard of comments made by Max Mosley earlier this week when the former FIA president said it was wrong of the team to make such matters public.

"When you are managing a team it is very important to keep it balanced," said Wolff. "I would very much like the penalties we have been implementing to stay within the team because it is just not fair on the driver to discuss that in public."

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Chris Balfe

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Published: 04/09/2014
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