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'Fed up' Wolff prepares for crunch team orders meeting

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'Fed up' Wolff prepares for crunch team orders meeting
By:
Jul 4, 2016, 4:03 PM

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he is not interested in apportioning blame for the last-lap collision between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the Austrian Grand Prix, as he says he is simply 'fed up' that they have done it again.

Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid leads team mate Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid leads team mate Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Niki Lauda, Mercedes Non-Executive Chairman with Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1
(L to R): Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 and team mate Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 in the post qualifying FIA Press Conference
Race winner Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 on the podium
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid crashed in the third practice session
Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director in the FIA Press Conference
Niki Lauda, Mercedes Non-Executive Chairman and Toto Wolff, Mercedes GP Executive Director

Hamilton and Rosberg had been set for a 1-2 finish at the Red Bull Ring when they clashed at the second corner on the final lap in their fight for the lead.

Rosberg was blamed by the stewards for causing the accident and given a 10-second time penalty, although it did not drop him down from the fourth place he got at the chequered flag.

The move has left Mercedes contemplating team orders for the rest of the season to prevent any further trouble, with meetings set for the next few days to decide exactly what the team does now.

For Wolff, with the latest controversy coming so soon after Hamilton and Rosberg crashed in Spain, there is no hiding just how annoyed he is by the whole thing.

“I don't want to attribute a particular blame to each of them, because there is the heat of the moment, and it is either the first lap or the last lap,” he said.

“But you know what? I am fed up with trying to analyse it. I just don't want any contact any more.”

Wolff will call together senior management at Mercedes' Brackley headquarters this week to discuss where it goes from here, with a decision about team orders needing to be made before the British Grand Prix.

Asked for some more details on what the plans were after the Austrian GP, he said: “Put my head in a bucket of cold water! That is the next thing I will do after this.

“For sure, because the race is on next week we need to discuss internally with all guys involved how we want to manage the situation going forward when the two are close to each other.”

Let them race

Although the way the race strategy played out set up the prospect of Hamilton needing to attack Rosberg to win the race, Wolff said that no thought had been given to calling off the fight early.

“Our mindset going into this was let them race, let them just get on with it,” he said. “We owe it to everybody watching. All of us remember the days of the strategy calls and it makes it boring.

“In hindsight, this [press conference] is so full because there are headlines and we create the story. I would rather have it half empty and not have the story…

“But the fact is, if they race in a way we have seen in Bahrain [2014], maybe that is the best example. We love it.

“Collision between teammates is a no go for every team and needs to be avoided. We didn't discuss it in the race but at a certain stage we need to step in and discuss it.”

When asked if Mercedes could communicate the outcome of its meeting, Wolff said: “We cannot really hide it from you if it happens. We have tried always to be as transparent as possible, and we will tell you.

“The risk is that you put information out, you put a strategy out and if you need to change it, then you are looking like an idiot.

“So we are going to discuss it carefully, see what the options are and then come up with something. If it is clear cut, I will tell you.”

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