Mercedes rules out giving drivers more freedom with strategy

Mercedes has ruled out any talk of allowing drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg any more freedom in picking strategies in a bid to beat each other.

Hamilton asked during the Brazilian Grand Prix for the team to consider switching him on to a different strategy because he could not find a way past Rosberg on track.

Such a move would have gone against Mercedes' long-standing policy of having drivers run to the same strategy because it is fairer.

And although the situation has prompted talk of Mercedes changing its policy in the future in a bid to make the racing more exciting, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff ruled that out.

"We have had our principles with one strategy since 2013 and it worked well for us," he said. "We will not change that.

"In the car you do not have the complete picture in the particular moment when his tyres were going off and it was changing into a three-stop.

"That strategy would have been 10 seconds down so would have risked P2 against Sebastian so therefore it was out of the question.

"The driver in the car being emotional is understandable. We hired guard dogs and we don't want to have any puppies – and we want them to be guard dogs. Sometimes it is a bit more intense but it is okay."

When asked if there was any scope to open discussions with the drivers about changing the policy, Wolff said: "No. Because we are going to keep one strategist and if the driver in the car is going to lose every single race because that is not an instinct-driven decision.

"Your instinct might be right sometimes but if you are not having the full set of data you are going to get the majority of your races wrong so that is why we are going to keep it why it is."

Pressure race

Although the Brazilian GP appeared to be straightforward, Wolff said there was an intensity within the team because of the closeness of their battle.

"Actually it wasn't easy at all," he said. "Between the two of them it was getting intense, and that intensity of course, that transcends in to the team and then making the right call between a two or a three stop.

"When stuck behind Nico it was clear his tyres would not last and at that stage his race was compromised, and the whole situation changed into our favour when Ferrari clearly then changed to a three-stop, then we could change to a three-stop and from then on it was strategy wise and team wise it was a cruise."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Brazilian GP
Track Autódromo José Carlos Pace
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Nico Rosberg
Teams Mercedes
Article type Breaking news