I decided to participate in the fan discourse over at Sky Sports F1’s story regarding Toto Wolff’s “threats” on the Mercedes driver lineup. Here’s my comment:
The way I see it, Mercedes is quite strict with the way they perform things in races—they want their drivers to abide by their strategy. So if they want you to match your teammate’s tire strategy, then you’d better follow. I understand that’s a problematic system but however flawed that may be, that’s the way they want things to be done. Rosberg has always followed these rules and I can’t seem to remember any instance (except Spa 2014) where he disobeyed team orders, let alone criticize his engineer’s calls. If Mercedes is so concerned with all their team spirit, Rosberg has been the “law-abiding citizen” and is the one who fits in more than Hamilton.
I understand that Lewis is a fiery competitor but if we base it on adherence to the Mercedes team dynamics, he’s the one who’s causing more tension within the team. Lewis is a risk-taker while the team around him is (at times, frustratingly) risk averse. The way Mercedes handled the last three races tells us a lot about how that team means business. I know it’s unfortunate that we didn’t get to see Nico and Lewis fight on their own.
Then again, what do I know, all of this may only be an empty threat to attract new drivers for 2017, as suggested by some of the other comments I’ve read. I do hope this situation doesn’t get blown out of proportion by the media. I could still imagine a Rosberg-Hamilton lineup for next year.