Mercedes needs intra-team "disruption" - Wolff
Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff says his team needs "disruption" between its two drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in order to perform at the highest level.
Wolff made it clear that he wants to have both of his drivers in contention for the championship, as that will help to raise the level of the whole team, even if it proves difficult to manage.
This season the two drivers enjoyed a fruitful relationship, but only rarely did Bottas seriously challenge Hamilton on track.
"I don't think we need to avoid a stressful situation," said the Austrian. "We need to acknowledge that, if two teammates can fight for race wins and a championship, that this will be a rivalry.
"And we need to be conscious and acknowledge that that is the case.
"We are not trying to build a new family here, we want to be the most effective racing team, and an effective racing team needs stress, needs tension, needs disruption as much as it needs calmness and a positive attitude and mindset.
"But like everywhere in life you want to have the mix of both, probably the recipe for success."
Wolff praised Bottas for turning his 2017 season around – and he believes that the Finn's struggles in the second half of the year may ultimate benefit him.
"The best ones are the ones that recover from bad moments. And maybe in a few years we will look back and say this was an important moment for his racing.
"The only thing we can do as a racing team is to stay transparent and fair to both of them, support them where we can, but eventually they are alone in the car. And he pulled himself out of it.
"He's a hard Finn. I could never see, visually, that it was impacting him – he said that, but I think with the strength of his character, he crept back.
"And every race, there was better performances, and Brazil the qualifying was good, the race less so, but he knew that, and then he delivered an exceptional weekend here in Abu Dhabi."
Wolff said that heading into the winter on the back of a victory was the perfect scenario for Bottas.
"I think [it was] very important. Because he had a very strong qualifying session and a very strong race that he was in control of all the time, fair and square racing between him and Lewis.
"And I think carrying positive momentum with the race win through the winter, after a difficult time, is probably for him just what the doctor ordered."
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